How to Excel in Your Doctoral Viva offers an accessible guide to approaching and preparing for a PhD viva examination. The book explains what the viva is, how the process works, and what the purpose of the viva is. It guides the reader through the course of preparing for their viva examination, with chapters focusing on organisation to dealing with viva concerns. Contributions from over 25 academics ranging from critical care to theology provide a unique insight into the experiences of PhD candidates and examiners and make this book an invaluable resource for students completing PhDs across the sciences.
2. What Is the Viva?
3. Urban Myths about the PhD Viva
4. Real Viva Experiences
5. Making the Most of and Enjoying your Viva
6. After the Viva
7. Practice Questions
8. Being Confident in your Thesis
9. The Viva Preparation Timeline
10. Participating in a Mock Viva
11. Viva Concerns
Dr Stacey Bedwell was awarded her PhD in Biosciences in 2015 from Nottingham Trent University, UK, for her work investigating the anatomical connectivity of the mammalian prefrontal cortex. Stacey completed postdoctoral projects in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. Her current research focus is exploring the roles of early experiences in the development of executive functions. Stacey has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in psychology and neuroscience for several years and has published in many internationally recognised journals.
Dr Isabelle Butcher was awarded her PhD in Psychology in 2021 from the University of Manchester, UK, for her work on the negative symptoms of schizophrenia and traumatic life events. Isabelle's current research interests are in the area of adolescent mental health and the impact of traumatic life events. Isabelle also has a keen interest in the ethics of research and is currently chair of an NHS ethics research committee.
"This is such a fabulous book for PhD students. As a doctoral student in their final year, this book has made me feel so much more confident and prepared for my Viva. The real experiences of others has helped to calm my nerves and see the viva as a positive experience rather than a dreaded one. This book is invaluable to anyone undertaking a PhD."
– Sarah Lloyd, final year PhD candidate
"An in-depth and valuable insightful guide of experiences from PhD candidates and examiners providing an account of the viva preparation, tips on how to answer potential questions, what to expect and how to tackle what is mostly the unknown! The viva process outlined in this guide has made me feel more confident and less nervous and I am actually looking forward to my Viva now! For all PhD candidates, from any discipline [...] Do not enter your viva without reading this book!"
– Gemini Katwa, PhD candidate