Preparing for your Viva

Audience: PG research

Date: Wednesday 13 March 2024

Times: 09.30 to 12.30

Programme: GRADskills

Key details: This workshop will run online. Demystify the viva process - a workshop for final year students in all disciplines.

Target audience

Doctoral students in their final year of study in any discipline.

Course mapped to

Vitae's Researcher Development Framework domains: B2 (Self-management), B3 (Professional and career development)

Course information

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop will run online.  If you are no longer able to attend, please cancel your place at least two working days before so that we can allow others onto the course.

The PhD viva is an integral part of the PhD process in the UK. It offers great opportunities for a well prepared candidate to discuss their work with experts in the field. This course aims to demystify the viva process, help build your confidence and give you an overview of the viva in the context of your own PhD research.

What previous participants have said about (the in-person version of) this course:

  • "It was a useful insight into the ‘black box’ of the viva and he gave a helpful reminder to look at the bigger picture of your thesis as well as the nitty gritty."
  • "Reduces the fear factor and feel more comfortable w/ what to expect. Good to hear advice from someone who’s gone through the viva experience as a PhD student and as an examiner."
  • "I just wanted to thank you for the course you gave at St Andrews on 19th Feb. I had my viva on 13th March and it went really well, I only have minor corrections to complete. Your course really helped me feel much more prepared for the viva and I knew what to expect going into it which helped me feel less nervous."

Aims and objectives

By the end of this workshop you should understand:

  • The 'big picture' of your research in terms of originality and contribution.
  • The role of your supervisor and both examiners.
  • What to expect on the day - typical questions and possible outcomes.
  • How to manage yourself to avoid getting overly stressed during the viva process.
  • Any other concerns raised by participants during the workshop.


Dr Robin Henderson

Course provider