Typical viva questions
- to see whether the thesis is your own work
- to see whether you understand what you did
- to see whether the thesis is worth a PhD (i.e. a contribution to knowledge)
- What is the area in which you wish to be examined?
- In one sentence, what is your thesis?
- Give a short 5/10 minute summary of your thesis.
- What have you done that merits a PhD?
- Summarise your key findings.
- What's original about your work?
- What are the contributions (to knowledge) of your thesis?
- Which topics overlap with your area?
- How did your research questions emerge?
- What are the motivations for your research?
- Why is the problem you have tackled worth tackling?
- What is the relevance of your contribution (to other researchers/to industry)?
- Who are your envisioned users?
- What are the strongest/weakest parts of your work?
- Why have you done it in this way?
- Why didn't you do it the way everyone else does?
- What are the alternatives to your approach?
- What do you gain by your approach?
- Looking back, what might you have done differently?
- How do scientists/philosophers carry out experiments?
- How have you evaluated your work?
- What do your results mean?
- How would your system cope with bigger examples? Does it scale up?
- How do you know that your algorithm/rules are correct?
- How could you improve your work?
- How do your contributions generalise?
- How do/would you cope with known problems in your field?
- Have you solved the field's problem that you claim to have solved?
- Is your field going in the right direction?
- Where will you publish your work?
- Which aspects of your thesis could be published?
- What have you learned from the process of doing your PhD?
- Has your view of your research topic changed during the course of the research?
- You discuss future work in your conclusion chapter. How long would it take to implement X, and what are the likely problems you envisage?
email: jamie.twycross AT nottingham.ac.uk
phone: +44 (0)115 846 7590
office: B48 School of Computer Science
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG8 1BB