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The Viva and Beyond: Planning, Preparation & Performance

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The Viva and Beyond: Planning, Preparation & Performance


  • Cumberland Lodge The Great Park, Windsor SL4 2HP (map)

The Viva and Beyond: Planning, Preparation & Performance

6-7th October 2018, Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park

Have you submitted your thesis, or are you close to completion? This two-day workshop is designed to guide you through the process of preparing for your viva and to help you plan what happens post-PhD.

Through activities, discussion, and short training sessions on Day One, you’ll learn lots of techniques for successfully defending your thesis. We’ll also stage some mock vivas to get you used to the format in a supportive environment.

Day Two is all about what happens next. We’ll explore the jobs market and use some strategies for working out what career you’d like to pursue. The final session is dedicated to turning your thesis into a publication. We’ll look at the options, what’s involved, and also draft a book proposal.

Participants need to bring a printed (one-sided) copy of a completed thesis chapter.

By the end of the weekend you’ll have:

·         An understanding of the purpose and format of a viva

·         Techniques for preparing your research material

·         Sample viva questions to practice

·         Experience of a mock viva

·         An abstract of your thesis

·         Ideas of possible career paths & what you need to pursue them

·         A draft proposal for turning your thesis into a monograph

Accommodation and dinner is provided on Friday evening, but the workshop starts at 10am on Saturday. Attendees are welcome to arrive from 6pm on Friday.

Venue & Accommodation

The event is held at Cumberland Lodge, close to Egham Station (around 15 minutes from Waterloo).  You’ll get an en-suite single room on Friday and Saturday night, and meals are all provided in the restaurant. Full details and directions will be shared nearer the time

Feedback from previous sessions

“I now feel more confident about my Viva, the process & requirements”

“Should be attended by everyone approaching a Viva”

“Interactive and very helpful.”

“The process of viva was presented very clearly with a variety of examples to maximise our understanding of the process. I really enjoyed the interactive nature of the workshop.”

About the Facilitator

Dr Catherine Pope is an academic researcher and experienced workshop facilitator. Since completing her PhD in 2014, Catherine has worked with thousands of researchers and writers to help them achieve their goals. She runs workshops and writing retreats at many universities, including Sussex, Birkbeck, Canterbury Christ Church, Portsmouth, and Surrey. Catherine has also published books in her field of Victorian literature and on technology. She divides her time between the 19th and 21st centuries.

How to Apply

Places are strictly limited, so we’ll be assessing each application to determine your suitability for the workshop. Answering the questions fully will help us. Closing date: Friday 31st August