Preparing for the viva

Title:Preparing for the viva

Duration:0.5 days
Training Units1.0
The Graduate School

This course is delivered by the Graduate School

The Graduate School courses are very popular and the majority are run in both semesters to give you the opportunity to attend at a time of the year that suits you. Semester 1 courses will be available for booking from the second week of October and Semester 2 courses from the second week of February.

Target audience

Late stage postgraduate research students

This course is designed for late-stage doctoral students who are planning to submit their thesis and undertake the viva within the next six months or so. If you would like to start the process of mentally preparing for the viva and gain a clearer picture of what you should be doing in the run up to the big day this is an ideal course for you.

The course is NOT suitable for those preparing for a viva as part of an upgrade or annual review.



We would advise you to attend the Finishing your Thesis course before attending this course.



This is a participative small group workshop.




This course aims to cover all aspects of the viva examination process. It offers the chance to discuss the examination process, see the doctoral examination criteria from the examiner's perspective and consider some possible approaches to typical viva questions. In addition you will normally have the opportunity to ask questions of students who have recently undertaken their viva and to get input from an experienced external examiner.


Related courses


This course builds on the material in the course Finishing your Thesis.


There is also an online course Preparing for your Viva (Standalone Online Learning Course) which provides the background information necessary to submit a doctoral thesis, practical advice and guidance, tasks to help you consider the level of preparation you need, as well as information to help you prepare yourself for the specifics you may face in your viva. Materials include video advice from experienced examiners from the University of Nottingham.



To help you to develop the skills to be well prepared for the viva examination.



By the end of this workshop, you will:

·        understand the main purposes of the viva

·        understand the examination process and criteria

·        be able to provide responses to some typical viva questions

·        understand how to prepare for the viva in order to plan your time leading up to your examination

Booking Conditions

Latecomer policy
Researchers should plan to arrive prior to the advertised course start time. Except for exceptional reasons, there will be no admittance to a Graduate School or Faculty Training Programme (FTP) course 15 minutes after the advertised course start time.

Importance of booking commitment
When booking on to a Graduate School short course you are entering into a commitment to attend. If you find that you are no longer available to attend you MUST cancel your place (on the system if more than three days before the course) or if at short notice by emailing This will ensure that your place can be offered to another researcher on the waiting list. Failure to cancel a place results in other researchers missing out on places through the waiting list process.

It is unacceptable for researchers to just not attend when booked onto a course. The Graduate School maintains records of those who repeatedly do not attend courses they have booked. This may affect future eligibility to book onto further Graduate School courses and will affect considerations for Graduate School funded opportunities.

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