Viva Survivor

Years: 3


The viva is the culmination of the PhD process: a lot of work has lead to this point, but a feeling of anxiety can accompany the sense of achievement at completing one's thesis. For many PhD candidates the time leading up to the viva is filled with stress about the day, and uncertainty about how to prepare and what the viva will be like.

Viva Survivor is a session for postgraduate researchers close to submission who want to gain insight on how to be well prepared for their viva. In this session participants will:

  • identify allies for their viva preparation;
  • explore practical strategies to prepare;
  • discuss common viva questions.

PhD Researcher Feedback (2018, 2019)

  • Really enjoyed listening to Nathan.  Engaging speaker who clearly knows a lot about the viva process and enjoys helping candidates navigate the process.  Hope he can make it across to UU again in the future so that other PhD Researchers nearing completion can benefit from his knowledge and experience.
  • This was an extremely useful session and I think everyone in 3rd year should be encouraged to attend. Great speaker. Very practical relevant information given.
  • Viva Survivor was very useful and the duration of the training was about right.  The tutor gave great tips from a PhD Researcher point of view, very engaging, open to sharing experience and addressing questions.

Bookings for workshops are via PhD Manager:

Please click on Calendar (on the left hand side) where all the events are listed.

PhD Manager will hold your booking and attendance records for all Researcher Development activities.


  • Dr Nathan Ryder

    Nathan loves interesting challenges. This led him to a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Liverpool, and then to working freelance as a skills trainer in higher education. He has helped over 2500 PhD candidates prepare for their viva. Nathan writes and produces Viva Survivors, a daily blog of viva prep help and an irregular podcast where he interviews PhD graduates about their research and viva. He is the author of two books on viva preparation. Find him on Twitter as @DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors.

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework

This session maps on to Domain A of the Vitae Framework: Knowledge and intellectual abilities which includes the sub-domain areas of:

  • A1: Knowledge base
  • A2: Cognitive abilities
  • A3: Creativity
The Vitae Researcher Development Framework