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The Panel

The panel for viva voce examinations consists of an External Examiner (two if the PhD Researcher is a member of staff), an Internal Examiner and a Chairperson.

The PhD Researcher will usually invite one of their supervisors to the examination also.

The supervisor’s role is simply for support and should have little input into the viva.

The Viva

The supervisors will get in touch with you to arrange a time, schedule and format for the examination that suits the panel.

At present, a viva voce examination may take place either remotely though this will change from September when face to face and hybrid options will be available:

  • In-person vivas where all parties attend on campus
  • Hybrid vivas where one party may attend remotely (usually the External Examiner)
  • Remote vivas (usually fully remote due to the researcher being unable to travel)

Remote/Hybrid option

A co-ordinator, normally the Chair or a supervisor, will get in touch with you to confirm the final date, time and online platform (plus backup platform) for the viva.

You will be asked for email confirmation of your agreement to the arrangements plus contact details (including a telephone number in case it is needed).

The Chair will have considered the procedures on the day and how these can best be managed to ensure adequate time for the pre-meeting of examiners and discussion of the decision in the absence of the candidate, and vivas will generally follow our normal schedule.

In Person

If prevailing public health guidance permits, and with agreement of all panel members, the viva may be held in person.

We always try to arrange a viva around the External Examiner’s travel schedule to facilitate same-day travel.

The Administration System

On PhD Manager you will be able to view the submitted material, submit your own preliminary report and confirm the outcome of the examination.

We have assembled a detailed guide on all these steps.

Should you have any difficulties or queries please don't hesitate to email us.

Regulations for research degrees

Please refer to the relevant regulations for the research degree programme which you will be examining.

Handbook for Examiners

The Handbook for Examiners of Research Degrees contains guidance on the nomination criteria for the Board of Examiners, procedures surrounding the examination process, the roles of various individuals involved in the examination, assessment criteria and the recommendations available to the Board of Examiners following examination.

Click to view the Handbook for Examiners