The Many Names Of The Viva

People use lots of names to describe the PhD viva.

Viva voce. Thesis defence. Final viva. Thesis examination. The viva.

It’s quite common, in my experience, for candidates to capitalise the V in viva!

“…my Viva is next month…”


Words matter. The name we give something influences how we think and feel about it. In turn this influences what we do about it. The viva is important – your viva is important – but it’s just one day. One day after over a thousand spent on your PhD journey.

If you find that preparing for your thesis defence is giving you doubts, then consider that you’re getting ready for a thesis examination.

If you stress over your Viva then perhaps you will feel better about your viva.

What’s in a name? There are so many ways to describe the conversation you’ll have with your examiners at the end of your PhD. What name will be right for your viva? Make a good choice for yourself.