Aiming For Minor Corrections

Most candidates pass with minor corrections as a result of their thesis submission and viva examination. I’ve often been asked about whether or not there is anything specific that a candidate could do to “aim” at getting only minor corrections. It’s a tricky question, because most of the things I can think of seem obvious:

  • Submit a good thesis, and make sure you’ve run spellcheck and proofread it.
  • Take time to be well prepared for the viva.
  • Engage in a good discussion with your examiners, listening to their questions and comments.

Most candidates get minor corrections. This tells me that most candidates are doing a lot of things right (regardless of whether or not they know they are or how they feel about things!). The people who ask me about aiming for minor corrections at least have taken something else onboard during their PhD: it’s impossible to write a perfect thesis.

Aim to write a good thesis, aim to be prepared, aim to engage with your examiners – and in doing all that you’re probably going to hit near the target for minor corrections too.