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Examination Process

Please refer to the Chapter 12 - Handbook for Examination of Postgraduate Research programmes for information on the appointment of the Board of Examiners.

Please refer to the TQA Chapter 12 - Handbook for Examination of Postgraduate Research programmes and in particular, “section 7: The examination” for the detail about the examination policies. Below is some guidance for staff and students about the arrangements for the examination.

We now offer more flexibility in the format for viva voce examinations:

  • Virtual viva: where every attendee uses an online platform to attend the viva – no two attendees are in the same room
  • Blended viva*: where at least one attendee joins by video link, but two or more attendees are in the same room
  • In-person viva*: where all attendees are in the same room and there are no remote attendees

*Please note that blended and in-person vivas require attendees to adhere to the University’s Covid Guidance, and may not be offered if government guidance on social distancing and travel change.

When you are preparing to submit your thesis, you will be asked to complete a submission form, in which you can identify your preferred format of attendance for the viva.  Whilst we will do our best to accommodate your preferences, there may be circumstances where one or more attendee must participate remotely. It is expected that decisions about attendance at the viva will be made in the contact of the University’s ‘Green Restart’ and with particular regard to prioritising low-carbon solutions such as video link as opposed to travelling to campus.

In order to agree that an examination may proceed with a virtual or blended viva, your College DPGR needs to:

  • make sure that it is feasible for all participants to proceed in the proposed format, which includes appropriate communications technology access, which must be satisfactorily tested in advance, to minimise the likelihood of any disruptions to communications in the viva;
  • If you have an ILP: make sure that any adjustments to the viva required can still be made.

We're aware that circumstances can change: even if appropriate arrangements are in place for your viva to proceed, please do get in touch with your PGR support team if you have concerns that this will no longer be feasible for you (please mark your email as urgent if your viva is due to take place within two weeks of making contact).

You may find sources of support open to you including the PGR Support Team, Wellbeing Services and Spectrum Life.

Read about the experiences of some of our past students who have completed their viva virtually through the Doctoral College Blog:

Staff Documents

If you have any questions relating to the viva process please contact your College PGR support team.