Common Qs About The Viva: How Do They Start?

I’ve been talking to PhD candidates about viva prep for over four years, and there are some questions that regularly come up at workshops. I’ve started answering some of these on this blog, but thought it might be useful to answer some of the most frequently asked questions all of this week. Let me know what you think in the comments, and please give me some questions for future posts!

How do vivas start?

I think this question comes up a lot because sometimes starting things is hard. I think there’s often a fear of the unknown associated with the viva: the start of the viva is the start of the fear! I think that’s a shame, because from my experience of talking to PhD graduates, vivas tend to start with examiners asking the candidate to talk in general terms about their thesis and research.