Transfer And Final

I didn’t have a transfer viva at the end of my first year. This was nearly fifteen years ago; I had a forty minute meeting with my second supervisor. He read my ten-page summary of what I’d done in my first year, asked a few questions and then said, “Well, that all seems fine.”

From listening to other researchers’ transfer viva stories I’m aware this isn’t always as simple. A real sense of “will I pass?” can be the case for some people. If that was your story, or if you just wonder how the two events might compare, remember that the transfer viva and the PhD viva are two different events with two different purposes. They might have some similarities, but those are structural. The why behind them really is different.

The PhD viva is likely to be longer than your transfer; you’ve done more by the end of the PhD, so there is naturally more to cover. How you felt about the transfer, positive or negative, can influence how you feel about the PhD viva. If you feel like the transfer was a terrible thing then I can understand how the PhD viva would seem intimidating.

Focus on the fact that you must have passed your transfer viva to have got to the final viva. You must have. It might have been hard, but you did it. You did it because you had whatever you needed to pass.

And you’ll have that for the final viva too.

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