Who Is It For?

Your thesis is not written for your examiners. You have to write it for your PhD and your examiners have to read it to examine you. It’s not written for them – the goal is to make a contribution to knowledge.

You don’t learn about viva expectations so you have a template you’re trying to complete. You’re learning more so that you can prepare well. You’re not trying to meet some ideal for your examiners.

Your prep is not done for your examiners. It’s for you. You want to be at your best, ready, refreshed, feeling confident – but that’s not for them. You want to to feel ready for you.

Remember to keep the focus where it needs to be for the viva.

Thesis & Viva

A few loosely connected thoughts…

The viva is bigger in some ways than the thesis, but takes much less time (to read or write!).

A lot of focus is given to the viva, but without a good thesis you won’t pass your PhD.

Your thesis has to be good. Your viva has to go well. The former helps the latter.

Your thesis prompts the discussion for the viva, but doesn’t hold all the questions (or answers).

You don’t have a viva without a thesis first, and you don’t need to prepare for your viva until your thesis is finished.