In-Person or On-Video

It used to be that an in-person viva was the right way to have a viva. Video vivas were anomalies, rare arrangements made out of necessity.

Then they were the necessary arrangement. For a time they were the only way of doing things.


And now some candidates might have choice over which format they would like for their viva. Which brings a new question: is it better to have an in-person viva or an on-video viva, if the choice is put before you? What are the pros and cons?

Having thought about it I don’t think there are negatives to either. They’re just different. The viva is the viva: a different medium allows some things and not others. It makes some aspects less of a challenge perhaps, but neither format is worse.

An in-person viva allows you to make more of a connection perhaps. It would be the best situation if you were looking to build a connection with your examiners.

A video viva would allow you to control the space that you’re in. You could make an environment that you would feel comfortable and confident in.

These are my general thoughts – of course, it’s a negative to you if you don’t like having a meeting over video. Or it’s a negative if meeting in public is something you don’t want to do just now.

Then you have to think: what are your pros and cons? How do you weigh it up?

A viva is a viva, in-person or on-video. If you have the choice, reflect on how you feel and consider how you could make the most of the opportunity of your viva.