Viva in 3 days


Hi there

i am due to sit my viva on friday 16th nov for my mphil thesis.

I submitted it early september before i started 2 months of training for a new job so it has been the last thing on my mind for a long time.

I had originally started the research as a PhD but decided to downgrade it to an mphil as i didnt have the passion or interest to continue with the phd.

it has taken me 2 years to write the thesis and in general i have not been the happiest person in the world during it - to be honest i cannot wait till it is all over with.

i am pretty sure my future career will not involve the area of my thesis (my current new job doesnt), but i guess things can change.

anyway what i am trying to say is that the combination or my general low interest in the field and the last 2 months of not thinking about it has got me very worried that i will not do very well at my viva.

is there anything i really MUST do to do the best i can at the viva?

obviously i need to know everything as well as i can but should i be practising any essential questions or summarising things, knowing references thoroughly etc etc - adding post its to my copy of the thesis etc?

ANY help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I think my greatest fear is that i get asked a load of super in depth questions that i just dont know the answers to - 2 hours of that cud be hell :/

thanks everyone


Hi David - I think that being asked questions you haven't got a hope of answering is everyone's fear - I its mine anyway! I am still waiting on my viva date so I can only offer a little advice. I think, considering the time you have, you need to be really focused on the areas you want to re-familiarise yourself with. You will know most of the work, even though you may not have looked at it in 2 months you spent 2 years writing it. If you like use post-its to divide up your chapters and another colour to mark out specific chunks of text (that bit in the intro where you state your argument, and that bit in the conclusion where you nicely sum up that argument), and make sure you make note of mistakes you find during your read through. Good luck.


Yes, you do need to prepare some questions in advance in possible, e.g. overview, motivation, strength, limitations etc. Don't worry too much when you can't answer, just be honest and tell them why you think those questions are not essential for your research!

Good luck and keep us posted!


hi there

i passed the viva in the end, with minor corrections!

so very happy with that after all my worrying.

Avatar for Flipper

Even though you lost interest in the project, it must be lovely to have an mphil to show for your two years of hard work! Congratulations on passing your viva and good luck in your new job! (up)

Avatar for Pootle

======= Date Modified 17 Nov 2012 21:46:48 =======
Congratulations, David - a successful end!

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