Viva R&R


Hi all,

Just had my viva and have been given 12 months to revise and submit.

It feels pretty strange.

They were generally very positive about my thesis, which was encouraging, and I felt throughout the viva there might be a chance I could get revisions only. I knew beforehand there were weaknesses in the thesis, so I didn't expect to pass outright, or even pass with minor corrections. Part of me had feared I might be downgraded to an MPhil, but thankfully that didn't happen. They said it was 90% there but just needed a bit more work to get over the line.

I'm trying to focus on the positive side of this outcome, but at the same time it feels as if I'm in some weird no-man's land as I don't have the joy of a pass nor the sheer disappointment of a fail. And after all the build-up in intensity leading up to the viva, I kind of feel very tired and a little deflated.

I'm not sure if there will be another viva, although it seems likely.

Anyone else have to have another viva, and how was your experience?

Thanks for reading.

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I'm really sorry mate. Feel for you. I look forward to readng the advice you get, it souns a ring-pieceque situation to be in :(


Hi Pablo

I also had an R n R verdict for my viva last September. I was quite depressed with the outcome and it was only 4 months later that I managed to start working on my thesis.

I was supposed to re-submit in October this year but I applied for leave of absence due to nausea and migraine early this year. I am slowly working on the chapters and hope to re-submit before April 2016.

The r n r is quite an arduous and heart-breaking process to me, because I felt like my four years of writing had been thrown to the dogs just like that, but I'm determined to do my best this time. I would suggest that you take a month's break, wait for the list of corrections first from the examiners and then try to do one correction per day. It is a do-able process so don't be disheartened.

All the best !


I would not see it so negative. You already expected this or something even worse (downgrade). They were positive about the thesis and 90% is there, now go get the last 10%.

I am not really familiar with this "viva". Never heard it before. So far, everywhere I was they just called it a Phd defense but there you don't have the possibility to resubmit or further work on it. You pass or you fail. Where is the difference between both?


Hi Pablo

I agree with others - you're almost there, and they will give you a list of the things they want changed. Have a break, then start working through the list and you will get there. You have done most of the work already, although it must feel very strange to go through a viva and not have a clear 'decision' at the end.

Dunham - we have the viva system in the UK - you can pass outright, or pass with minor corrections, or you can be asked to revise and resubmit (as well as the options of fail or downgrade to MPhil).


Hello Pablo!

Congrats for going through VIVA. It indeed is a very difficult process and you performed well.

I understand your concern but why do not you see it as the possible positive outcome. The examiners said you need to improve just 10 percent and still provided you 12 months. Have you checked your university guidelines for the Viva outcomes? In some Unis there are only two options for corrections 3 months or 12 months and the examiners might think you fall in between? or Are you working full time? Either way the bright side is you have got 12 months for the corrections of only 10 percent improvement and you have definite map to follow. You can use this time for working(may be part time), finding post doc position(in case you haven't secured one) and even for publication. Remaining motivated is the key for the success which is the prerequisite for the degree of PhD. There are many examples of RR in this forum who successfully finished it and now are in academia.

As per your details you still are waiting for the revisions in the written form. Have a break till then with your family or friends and then finish it off. You are nearly there just stay positive.

Good luck!


Thanks everyone for your encouragement. When I first posted it was only a few hours after the viva and I was a bit emotional. Now I feel a lot more positive about things and it's good to know many on here have had successful R&Rs.

I now see it as a challenge, a way to develop my thesis and make it better than before. Reflecting on the viva itself has also made me realize there were times I could have put up a better defense, so I'm going to work on that and hopefully develop a more critical understanding of the arguments in my thesis, and find ways in which to present those arguments in a stronger and clearer manner.


Your examiners should give you a detailed report specifying what changes you need to make to your thesis. Wait until you get that before making any changes. Then consider what they've asked for, and start working through the list.

I really wouldn't be depressed about this if I were you. You've been given a chance - and time - to improve your thesis. And you should be given a fairly specific set of things that you need to sort out. If you do that you should come out the other end good.

I know several people who were given R&R who passed in the end, and with hindsight view it as a positive process.

Oh and the changes you need to make never seem to take as long as people think they will. You'll be done sooner than you think :)


I have had a viva success story and I survived it. You can get a PhD after r&r. Take a few days off and then go back to your thesis. You need to rest your mind a little bit.


R&R decision in Dec 2014, no extra viva needed, however any advice on how to stay positive when it seems like my entire thesis was a joke? I know it sounds crazy, but self-doubt has no limits and while my empirical work is fine, the major revisions on the literature/theoretical portion make the entire process appear unreachable.