Signup date: 22 Nov 2012 at 8:30am
Last login: 29 Dec 2021 at 3:01pm
Post count: 127
So I had my viva back in November. In all honesty I found it very tough and was glad to see the back of it. I had 2 external examiners and it felt like a personal attack. The independent chair had to intervene a number of times to request the examiners give me chance to respond to their criticisms. They started with their dislike of the title and then worked through their criticisms of each chapter and the thesis as a whole. There was a lot of constructive criticism (what I'd anticipated), several harsh comments and a few compliments. After 1 and half hours of discussion I was asked to leave the room and called back in 25 minutes later where there was no handshake or congratulations, I was simply told that I had passed with minor corrections.
Yes I was delighted but also quite confused as during that 25 minute break I'd convinced myself that the outcome was R&R. I then proceeded to sleep for a week (between being spaced out at work during the day).
Fast-forward to this week, I have received my examiners report which confirms my minor corrections outcome and details the corrections required. Corrections involve either re-writing or restructuring 4 chapters and a couple of additional paragraphs or pages in another 4 chapters. I'm a little disheartened at the extent of the corrections required and these are going to take a few months to complete but all in all I'm happy the viva is behind me and I only have one more hurdle to go.
Thanks as always to everyone here for being a support :)
It's difficult to answer this as an outsider to your discipline but from what you've said I'd recommend starting with ontology and epistemology. In my discipline there are lots of good introductory methodology texts which clearly outline the rationale and aims of different ontology/epistemology/methodology. This might help you to see the bigger picture and where your different theorists and concepts align.
Thanks everyone for all your words of support and encouragement - is helping ease the stress a little!
What hasn't helped is seeing my supervisor today who after agreeing my thesis was ready for submission, has said today to "expect a challenge - I don't know what they're going to make of it or what they might ask you".
I didn't find that particularly helpful after saying I felt well-prepared but very apprehensive :(
We shall see what happens!
I'll most certainly report back. I know how helpful it has been for me to read of others experiences so good or bad I'll come back to share my viva experience :)
This forum has been such a supportive place, I want to make one final (pre-viva) post.
Over the past few weeks I've compiled a list of typographical and grammatical errors (which is shamefully long!).
I've read through all 450 pages of the thesis and noted anything I feel I might be asked to explain.
I've compiled a list of around 75 questions I could be asked and rehearsed answers to this.
I've scanned the literature for recent papers by my examiners and recent papers in my topic/theoretical framework.
I've had 3 mock viva with different people including one of my supervisors.
Despite all of the above I'm terrified about the process and the outcome and have had nightmares about the thing several nights.
I have my outfit ready too.
Any final tips in the final few days are very welcome!
I've read lots of very useful advice RE viva prep. In particular a lovely person on this forum recommended Murray's chapter in How to write a thesis and a first read of that has proved very reassuring.
I now have 4 weeks and 4 days until my viva. I haven't looked at the thesis since submission but feel the pressing need to start preparing.
My question is... how many hours do people spend/have people spent preparing for the viva? Murray's book talks about starting to prepare one month before but I also need to consider that I work 35 hours a week.
I am planning to begin spending an hour a day every day on viva prep and possibly a little more in the week before. I'm finding it really hard to know how much preparation to do (eg. how well should I know every paper cited and how much wider literature should I read). Some of these things are hard to measure in hours.
Any advice is much appreciated.
Thanks for very much for the reassurance that what I'm feeling isn't wildly out of the norm.
Dr Jay, thanks especially for the reminder on how many actually fail outright. I'm going to busy anyway so that will probably be a good thing. Have a job sorted and a plan for publications (whether that plan works out or not is different!). Feeling a little more positive today but haven't dared look at the thesis since submission for dear of typos etc...
Timefortea, last night I dreamt that I'd include a half complete table in my thesis, with red ink and notes all over the place! So daft but felt really real!
I'm expecting to hear about a viva date within the next couple of weeks. Have you had yours yet?
Have read a few articles and forum posts about viva prep but planning a week off next week too. I hope the move goes well!
So I submitted the thesis today. Was wondering if anyone else experienced feelings of ambivalence after submission. A number of colleagues have been really supportive and said things like "wow - amazing! You must be so relieved it's all over!" But in reality my anxiety has just shifting from submitted on time to anticipation over the viva.
Someone also passed comment today that one of my examiners is known to be tough!
I'm trying to remind myself that I have a good supervisor and they wouldn't have let me submit something that wasn't good enough.
Any tips, tricks or advice for this time are welcome :)
I've always been reasonably confident about my academic ability. I went to uni as a mature student and did well at undergraduate, feeling like I'd finally found something I was good at.
However.... now I'm in the middle of re-drafting my thesis for submission, that confidence has dissolved. I was very late in getting my supervisor to give me feedback on my written work and initially this was manageable ("clarify this", "connect to theory", "remember to use past tense" etc...) but since I sent him the full second draft of the thesis, he has ripped it apart stating that he is confused, finds it uninteresting and the early chapters lack in theory. I've been told that every chapters "needs lots of work" except 2 of my empirical chapters which are "well written and interesting" which did take the edge of it all a bit.
I just feel as if he could have said a lot of this a lot sooner. He is under the impression that I'll be ready to submit in 2-3 weeks time (I work 30 hours a week too) which suggests it must be OK but his comments and criticisms suggest otherwise. I'm confused and my confidence has really dropped.
Has anyone else suffered from low-confidence pre-submission or had a similar experience with feedback?
Thanks for reading!
So I've checked all the formal requirements regarding the thesis in my institution but there is no mention of whether left hand aligned or justified text is better. Any views? Also where do people stand on indenting the first line of a paragraph?
At the moment I'm going with left hand aligned and no indent but I'm not sure if it looks tidy enough.
Thanks both, sometimes I feel like the only one with crazy tight deadlines! An accountability thread is a great idea timefortea :)
I've spent the morning sorting some admin and now making a coffee ahead of the writing!
Word count 0. Aim for the day is to finish 3 incomplete sections of one chapter, around 1000 words in total. I will post again at the end of today :)
In a similar camp though maybe a little closer to the end. FT student, have a full draft and want to submit in the next 4-6 weeks. I'm struggling a little at the moment but things that have worked for me in the past with procrastination are regular breaks, good planning and mytomatoes.com. Stress and anxiety wise I have found mindfulness meditation and exercise to help, neither of which I have done much of in the past 3 weeks :-/ That might say a lot about my own stress and anxiety...
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