The viva is unavoidable for a PhD candidate in the UK, but despite rumours and misgivings, a truly negative outcome is far from unavoidable. You can find out what to expect, both the regulations and experiences of friends; you can take time to prepare, to know your work well and reflect on the talent that’s made it.

There’s always a place for doubt about the outcome with something important, a space for nervousness to creep in, but that doesn’t mean some terrible result for your viva. Learn more about what vivas are like and you can give perspective to your concerns.

You can avoid being unprepared for your viva – and once you move past extreme possibilities brought on by worry, you’ll hopefully see that the only unavoidable event in your near future is viva success.