Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ask an expert

Discussions for May and June will be on the subject of vivas and upgrade reports / theses.  In preparation therefore, we gave some thought to the questions we would like to discuss.


  1. What training is available at the iSchool to help students prepare for their vivas?
  2. How does an upgrade viva compare with a PhD viva?
  3. What sort of scene setting is there at the start of a viva?
  4. How long should a viva last?
  5. Who sits on a viva panel?
  6. What are their roles?
  7. What are the possible outcomes of a viva?
  8. How often do people fail their viva?
  9. What sort of things cause students to fail?
  10. What preparation do you look for? 
  11. Can you give an example of something that impressed you in a viva?


  1. What guidelines are available for upgrade reports and theses?
  2. Where are they?
  3. What is the process for upgrades?
  4. What is required in a Doctoral Development Programme portfolio?
  5. How is a transfer report assessed?
  6. What are the possible outcomes?
  7. What is the difference between a transfer report and a thesis?
  8. How long should a thesis be?
  9. What makes a good thesis?
  10. What makes a good Methods chapter?
  11. What difference does it make if a student has already published from her/his thesis?
  12. Can you suggest anything that all disciplines would look for in a thesis?