Guidance and resources covering the responsibilities of the supervisor, how the viva examination is conducted at Bath and how to prepare your student for their viva, including explaining the purpose of the viva and demystifying the viva process.

Preparing for the viva

Outcomes of the viva

QA7 Section 17 covers the possible outcomes of the viva available to the examiners. However, note that the specific options depend on the programme on which the student is registered: these can be found in Regulation 16 (e.g. sections 16.3 is the MPhil, 16.4 EdD, 16.5 PhD and so on for IPhDs and other professional doctorates).

Typically these can vary between passing with or without corrections, be permitted a second attempt and submit a revised thesis, undergo a second viva exam, be awarded a lesser award, or fail outright – in which case there might be various alternate awards that can be considered as well as outright fail.

A big responsibility of the supervisory team is to be available to the examiners on the exam day in case they are needed, and to be present with the student at the point they are given their outcome result by the examiners. Even more critical nowadays when the viva is taking place remotely and the student is alone at home. Allocate enough time after the viva to appropriately celebrate or commiserate the outcome too.

Further resources and support