Anything Else?

When I’m asked about what a PhD candidate needs to take to their viva I typically respond by talking about their thesis, something to make notes with and something to drink.

The thesis is a valuable resource for the viva. A candidate might not make notes on a minute-by-minute basis in the viva but it is helpful to have the means to make them when they’re needed. Universities very rarely provide refreshments for a viva, so I think it’s important to remind candidates to take something to drink!

These are the typical resources needed on viva day, but your specific research and circumstances might need something else for the viva.

  • Do you have a model that shows some aspect of your research? That might be helpful to show.
  • Have you created a prototype that relates to your research success? Sharing that could be great in the viva.
  • Do you need a screen of some kind to display a video or software? Arrange to have one in your viva.

Your supervisor and department are the best people to talk to if you’re thinking of taking something else to your viva. They will be helpful at exploring the specific expectations and needs for your viva.

Thesis, notebook, water – anything else?