Practical Matters

Every so often I’m asked the following sorts of questions by future viva-havers:

  • Will I need to solve equations in my viva?
  • Do I need to take a laptop with me to show my programming?
  • Would it be best to take a prop to demonstrate how I did something?

My response to these questions and the hundred-and-one similar questions I’ve been asked is, “Maybe!”

I solved equations in my viva. I was stood at a chalkboard, sketching diagrams, showing how they were connected and demonstrating the algebra that underpinned my work. But if you weren’t a mathematician you wouldn’t expect to do that.

Are there visual ways of representing what you’ve done? Are there clearly defined processes that show how to do what you did? Then perhaps you might be asked to sketch something in your viva.

You can ask friends, colleagues and supervisors: in fact, they are the best people to ask.

Do you need tools, equipment or resources? Might you be asked to demonstrate something? I don’t know – but you know someone who will. Ask them!