Candidate or Thesis

A fairly common question about the viva, asked by someone who has to pass one in their near future, is whether or not it’s an exam of the candidate or their thesis.

“Is it me or my book?” – and the answer is both.

  • The candidate is being examined to see if they are a capable researcher; have they done enough? Do they know enough?
  • The thesis is being examined to see if it has what it needs; does it meet expectations? Does it have everything that a thesis in that field is supposed to have?

The candidate wrote the thesis, but on the day both have to be good.

Both typically are.