What is a Viva?

Viva는 박사과정 끄트머리에서 행해지는 논문제출 후 구두로 하는 학위 취득 시험의 일종이다.

The viva has its own ceremony and tradition. It can be considered part of a rite of passage in your academic apprenticeship, a trial to be addressed confidently, and the gateway to joining the academic community as an independent teacher or researcher. It may be more helpful to think of it simply as the verbal counterpart to your written thesis.

The viva voce, shortened to the word ‘viva’, is:

‘an oral examination, typically for an academic qualification’, derived from the Latin: ‘with the living voice’ (Ask Oxford 2006).


Your thesis demonstrates your skill relating to the written presentation of your research. In the viva you will demonstrate your ability to participate in academic discussion with research colleagues: ‘with the living voice’.

Its purpose is to:

confirm that the thesis is your own work;

confirm that you understand what you have written;

investigate your awareness of where your original work sits in relation to the wider research field;

provide a developmental opportunity for considering future publication and research options.

This guide takes you through six stages of preparation for the viva and its outcome:

  • Stage 1: You have submitted your thesis
  • Stage 2: Stepping back from the detail
  • Stage 3: Returning to the detail
  • Stage 4: The last few days
  • Stage 5: Within the viva
  • Stage 6: The outcome of the viva

- From Leicester University site