======= Date Modified 25 Jun 2011 02:24:31 =======
I just wondered how long the period normally is between submission and viva. Is there an average timeframe or does it vary significantly? My university have only just introduced mandatory oral exam for PhD's (I'm not in the UK) and I have been advised to plan for four months or more! To me this seems like a HUGE amount of time to wait, especially for international students.
Maybe this is just the usual amount of time though. How long does it take in your experience? It's hard because as they have only just introduced it here, I have no one else to ask because I'll be the first in my school! (sprout)
Ooops, I just found this http://www.postgraduateforum.com/threadViewer.aspx?TID=11648#repliesTop
It seems that it is hugely variable. I really hope they are over estimating the four months and it will be more like three at the most. Wishful thinking!
Slowmo, it is hugely dependent on the uni being organised, examiners being able to commit to reading it and talking to the uni about a viva date. Just recently we have had Pineapple with a very long wait due to an external pulling out, Keenbean will have just 6 days (very lucky!!) and mine will be just over three months. Hopefully, if you are the first they will be super-organised and get it done quickly. Make sure the examiners are approached prior to submission so they are ready to view your thesis. The quicker it is done, the better I think, as it will be so fresh in your mind whereas several months gap can make you lose the feel of your thesis.
======= Date Modified 25 Jun 2011 10:23:09 =======
Hey Slowmo, it does vary a lot but usually in our department the viva usually is 2-3 months after submission (but nearer 3!). As Dunni said, mine is after 6 days, but that's really unusual and due to certain circumstances and also having very flexible examiners who have agreed to do it so quickly. Orinigally my viva was set for 2.5 months after submission before everything was moved forwards. I'm not quite feeling the luckiness of having it so quickly yet, but I think once I've done it I'll be glad it was all over so soon! Best, KB
I'll agree with others: the time varies a lot. In my case, my supervisor identified and contacted the most suitable academic who could be my external at the beginning of this academic session, and I had my viva 5 weeks after I submitted my thesis. I remember having this awkward situation of meeting my external at a conference just a week before the viva and both of us avoided each other - a point he jokingly made reference to after the viva was over.
Yeah I agree with the others that the time varies from super quick like Keenbean to the more standard 3 months to 6 months for a friend of mine's viva. The external was really busy and couldn't take time out before that! So it does seem 4 months is not that unusual but it is a pain to have a long gap as you'll have to revise it again which is really boring. I kept falling to sleep when I started revising! Doh! :$
Because I submitted in early June, last year, my viva could not be held before the end of September 2010, so there are considerations like time of year to take account of, too. Summer does tend to disrupt things. However, having said that, it hasn't disrupted Keenbean's in the same way!
======= Date Modified 26 Jun 2011 09:13:17 =======
My department specified around 3 months between submission and viva, but in reality, this depends on examiners availability and timing (ie Christmas, summer vacation, university examination timing etc etc).
In the end I was made to wait NINE MONTHS between submission and viva, which was the most stressful time I think I've ever experienced and played havoc with my mental health and weight! The wait was due to the Christmas break, my overly long thesis, busy examiners and a viva cancellation days before my original viva date and time spent searching for another examiner.
======= Date Modified 26 Jun 2011 09:23:31 =======
Oh dear! I'm right in the middle of this process. I finished my thesis in January and now it's July. The processes at my university are so desperately slow that I still have no formal agreement of my examiners (three of them have been proposed so far) and no date for my viva. Last time I looked, my thesis copies were still gathering dust on the administrator's desk where I left them.
My department specifies no time frame, but it seems to be about 6-10 weeks for most students. Part of the difficulty is the type of department, which is well known for the use of qualitative methods. They don't favour quantitative methods and statistics, but it was essential to take this approach for my research or it would've been meaningless. It's a scientific study, not history. literature or philosophy. In another university or department, this mightn't have been an issue at all, but it seems a real problem for my particular university.
I do agree it's not good for one's general health and wellbeing. My patient and supportive husband has suggested that perhaps I don't really need to get a PhD after all and I should just bale out now for the sake of my sanity. I can't very well look for the kind of job I'd hoped to get because I'm still in limbo, so I've probably missed the boat in terms of my future career as many post doc posts will have been snapped up. At the end of this month, I'll have find the dosh for more fees and re-register for yet another year in the hope of my work being examined sometime in the next academic year. I'll always look like a slow completer to future employers because of the increasing time between starting the research degree and any future award sometime next year, (insh'Allah).
I have searched the HEFCE website trying to find some kind of standard for this sort of process, but although earlier regs in 2002 did specify 3 months as a good practice standard, the latest don't have any time frame for completing examination of research degrees. Can't use that as leverage. I would even be happy to transfer my degree to another university at this late stage, if only they would agree to examine my thesis within a reasonable period of time.
I feel forgotten and discarded. My research feels remote and I'm losing touch with the details of it as time goes by. I've enjoyed the research and really feel it contributes to an area of knowledge but at this stage, I think it may be time to move on, forget the research, look for a job and somewhere to live. But it feels as though I'd like to find some way to fix this or it'll just happen to somebody else in future.
Three months for me, due in part to my primary supervisor delaying the viva for a major seminar at my University.
I'd agree with wide variation actually. I'm in the UK and for most people here in the North East it's been around 6 weeks. My viva was scheduled just over 1 month after submission. The summer does mess things up though. I know I've been very lucky not to have to wait until September.
Slowmo - I'm in the same situation and its killing me slowly. I submitted in May and I asked how long it would take from submission to viva, a few weeks I was told, if we could find the right examiners. Another PhD student got hers marked pretty fast and was off to start her post-doc. It was looking good I told myself. Anyway my external examiner pulled out and 2 were changed so that I could get my thesis marked faster. Part of the reason is that I have a post-doc lined up overseas. This is the worst part, if I don't start by the end of Aug I will lose that post-doc funding. Having said that, the Uni where I will be going, have bent over backwards to push my work visa through - which is now ready bar my PhD certificate or equivalent which I need to show before I will get the visa. So my supervisor has worked really hard to find an external that can mark my thesis quick - although I would have liked it to be faster.... I don't understand why but it can take 3 months or more. Don't forget these guys get paid for this! In the UK I have heard 6 weeks is the norm, in the US 4 weeks. But 3 months?? (I am an international student). I am now in this predicament where I have paid for all my flights etc., and the Uni have come back and said its not up to my supervisor to organise the viva, its THEIR job, and they have set the date back to guess what, the 29th Aug. Great, that makes it almost impossible for me to get my visa and start my post-doc. I thought I was stressed when I was trying to finish my thesis, but this is worse.
Little Penguin - I can really only sympathise and suggest what you and/or your supervisor have probably tried already of finding out who the individual person was who set the viva date (I know that may be easier said than done) and getting in touch with them in the hope that they were acting out of ignorance of your situation rather than sheer bloody mindedness so might be persuaded to rearrange. It is after all of benefit to the university to be able to publish that their postgrads have gone on to do further research.
Best of luck.
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