PhD viva preparation questions

Occasionally, a PhD research student preparing for their viva will ask “how should I prepare for my PhD viva?

I recommend as many of the following as you can manage:

  1. Make your own expert and educated judgements — to find the weaker areas of your thesis and work.
  2. Have a PhD mock-viva — to collect intelligent non-specialist viewpoints of your work, i.e. other PhD students and other researchers. Note: they often won’t have time to read your thesis in full.
  3. Have a specialist mock-viva — to gain theoretical or case study specific viewpoints and questions.
  4. Practice centering and decentering questions and arguments — answer questions in a way that is honest, addresses the question and steers the next discussion onto the topic you want to discuss.
  5. Read and answer these viva prep questions  originally collected by my colleague and senior lecturer Dr. Hannah Dee.


As many will say, the reality is you “cannot know” which questions your examiners will ask. However.. You can prepare well. You can have confidence in your work. You can know “IT WILL BE FINE!!” 😀

Good luck!

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