Your Preferences & Needs

Preferences are the things that we’d like, but which we could work around if needed. Preferences for your viva and viva prep might include:

  • Starting in a morning;
  • Reading your thesis with a fresh pot of coffee;
  • Knowing your external a little;
  • Having a mock viva to help you get ready.

You might have a strong preference but, for example, if your supervisor was unable to host a mock viva then you would still go on.

Needs are different. For your viva and viva prep you might need:

  • Advance notice or special arrangements for your viva;
  • Specific stationery or time to annotate your thesis;
  • Agreement that your viva will definitely be over video;
  • To not have a mock viva!

Preferences are very different from needs.


To begin with: what do you want for your viva? Which of these wants are preferences and which are needs?

For the preferences: what can you do to get your preferences met? Who might you need to ask for help? What could you do if a preference couldn’t be fulfilled?

For your needs: what can you do to ensure your needs are met? Who can you ask for support? How can you clearly communicate those needs to the people who need to know?