I was invited to take part in a podcast about surviving the viva with Dr Nathan Ryder from Viva Survivors (http://viva-survivors.com/2015/05/episode-40-dr-chloe-sharp/). From my experience, I’ve kept this post regarding completing the PhD viva.
The viva wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! I did prepare a lot though and I think preparation is paramount. Read and re-read your thesis – know your thesis and your arguments. Prepare for common questions that relate to your thesis. Practice, practice, practice.
Below are 12 commonly asked viva questions (Finn, J.A. (2005) Getting a PhD: An Action Plan to help you manage your research, your supervisor and your project. London: Routledge):
- Why did you choose this topic?
- How did you arrive at your conceptual framework?
- How did you arrive at your research design?
- How would you justify your choice of methodology?
- Why did you decide to use [interviews and focus groups] as your main instruments?
- How did you select your respondents?
- How did you arrive at your conceptual conclusions?
- How generalisable are your findings? Why?
- What is your contribution to knowledge?
- What criticisms would you make of your thesis?
- What are you going to do after you gain your doctorate?
- Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your thesis
I found these websites particularly helpful:
Good luck! You’re nearly there!