Called for a Viva?
The full name is a Viva Voce which is Latin for “with living voice”, more colloquially known as a “Viva” or oral examination of a student’s thesis. Check your course’s regulations. A Viva Voce may well be a requirement of your course or it may apply only to a certain percentage of students in a particular degree course who may be called at random to undertake a “Viva”.
In Ireland and the U.K. a “viva” is normally conducted by two or three academics with the student making a presentation of their thesis. This presentation is followed by searching questions from the academic panel of assessors. In some academic institutions, a “Viva” is a mere formality, in others; it is a rigorous examination of the thesis. This applies especially to Masters and PhD candidates.
The potential outcomes of a Viva Voce examination are:
Accepted. The thesis is accepted exactly as presented and the student is put forward for an award of the degree sought.
Revisions Necessary. These revisions might include correction of grammar or spelling errors, poor formatting, insertion of additional material, clarification of certain points made or correction of minor faults.
Extensive Revision Required. In this case, the student must undertake substantial changes to theoretical and/or methodological issues.
Unacceptable. The thesis is judged to be completely below an acceptable standard. This is a rare occurrence. The Viva Voce panel can make this judgement when the work of the student necessitates major revisions and they consider that the author is incapable of carrying these out.
See also (How to prepare for a Viva Voce).