The Wild West Viva

Stereotypes of 1800s western towns are often invoked when it seems like “anything could happen” but that’s really not the case for your viva.

  • Regulations have to be kept to, and can be known well in advance by everyone involved.
  • General expectations for the viva are created by past experiences and the stories people share.
  • You can’t know questions in advance but you can anticipate what might be discussed.
  • You don’t know the outcome until it’s over, but you can have a reasonable belief in success.

Examiners can’t do what they want. Vivas aren’t random or subject to the whims of fate. Read the regulations for your university and ask your friends and colleagues about their experiences. All of this is far more helpful than focussing on the unknown aspects of your viva – or worrying that your examiners might strike you down at high noon!