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The Good Viva video

For doctoral and masters students everywhere, the viva is a daunting challenge, often approached with anxiety and confusion rather than careful preparation. Should candidates relax and hope for the best, panic, or prepare systematically for the big day? This video by Angel Productions and Birkbeck, University of London, will help students in all institutions to understand the viva and handle it well. It is now widely used in universities throughout the UK.

The Good Viva Video will help you understand:

  • What is a viva?
  • How important is it to your degree?
  • How do vivas differ between disciplines?
  • How can you prepare?
  • Should you relax or panic?
  • What are the roles of the internal and external examiners and your supervisor?
  • How are examiners chosen?
  • What questions should you expect?
  • How to use a practice viva.
  • Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your thesis.
  • What are the examiners looking for?
  • Coping with examiners’ mistakes or aggressive questions.
  • Understanding the outcome.

Based on specially scripted drama scenarios and expert interviews, The Good Viva Video was produced with advice from Professor John Wakeford, Director of the Missenden Centre for the Development of Higher Education. It will enable students to prepare for their vivas effectively and take some of the fear out of the experience.