A few weeks ago I asked for your questions for a Q&A episode, and here we are! Thanks to those of you who submitted questions; there were only a couple of you, but the questions that were asked are really important to the viva process. I hope that the answers are helpful, I was able to share a mix of some of the research I’ve done in the last few years and also some of my opinions about how to prepare well. One of the questions wanted to know about the comparison between vivas in the UK and in Europe, something I don’t know a lot about: if anyone has any links to resources about this area then do let me know!
I had fun recording this episode, and if it seems like a useful thing then let me know, and maybe it can become a quarterly bonus or special episode. You can find me on Twitter as @DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors, or you can email me. And please get in touch if you want to come on the podcast to share your PhD and viva experiences!
Thanks for reading!
Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)
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I’ve just listened to your podcast, and it was really useful, thank you!!!
I just wondered if there is any specific advice for mature students? I went back to university at 48 to start a part-time PhD in biology, which I’m now writing up six years later. I’m used to being the youngest person in the lab by a clear 30 years, but I just wondered if there is anything particular you’d advise?
Thanks for your comment – it’s always great to hear that someone has found the podcast valuable!
I’m not sure if I have any particular advice about the viva for someone who has been a part-time/mature PhD student: typically, I would encourage people who were starting a PhD as a mature student but reassure them that they’ll likely have the discipline to see it through because they’ve already done so much more than someone like me, who pretty much went straight through from undergrad via a Masters.
I suppose it might be worth thinking about “why” questions: why did you decide to do a PhD? Why did you choose the topic that you did? Why was it interersting? And so on.
There are plenty of people on the podcast who I’ve interviewed that have been part-time or mature students; I’m not 100% sure that they’ve all been tagged as such in the classifications for the episodes, but the following link will get you at least four of them: http://viva-survivors.com/tag/part-time/
I hope that’s of help, drop me a line if you have any more questions!
All the best,