Information for current postgraduates

Examination process and Viva

What happens after your submit your thesis.

The Viva

The viva is led by the examiners and chaired by a third academic colleague serving as a non-examining chair. If you wish, one of your supervisors may attend the viva as an observer.

The internal examiner is responsible for making the arrangements for the viva, including communications with the external examiner, non-examining chair, your supervisor and yourself, and setting the date.

You should familiarise yourself with the potential outcomes of the viva: the range of the recommendations your examiners can make is listed in the Research Assessment Regulations

A workshop is organised every year in the School to help you prepare for the viva and know what to expect on the day. If for any reason you are unable to attend this workshop, please get in touch with Graduate School Deputy Director who will be able to provide the slides for the workshop.

Outcome of the viva

Each examiner will have submitted a preliminary report on your thesis to the College Postgraduate Exams Committee before the viva takes place. After the viva, the examiners write a joint report, agreeing a recommendation to make to the Committee. 

The Exams Committee will consider the reports and the recommendation made by your examiners. Please note, no decision is final until formally approved by the College Postgraduate Exams Committee. Following the Committee's decision the College Postgraduate Office will send a letter to your home address (the one given on your NITS form) and an email to your student email address, confirming the outcome of your examination.

Please note that the Exams Committee meets once a month so depending on the date the post viva report is submitted to the College Postgraduate Office, you may have to wait for a few weeks before you receive the formal result letter. If you have corrections to undertake the number of months of corrections begins from the date of the letter, not from the date of your viva.