To read this content please select one of the options below:

Students’ questions and their implications for the viva

Rowena Murray (Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Academic Practice, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 1 June 2003



This paper draws on viva preparation workshops conducted at the University of Strathclyde and at other universities in the UK. In workshop discussions, students’ questions reveal anxieties, expectations and gaps in their understanding of the viva. A comprehensive list of questions would suggest that every aspect of the viva is unknown to students. However, analysis reveals recurring issues and underlying ambiguities in the viva. Given that universities provide so much information to students, it is surprising that students have so many questions. However, students’ questions do not indicate ignorance, but show them positioning the viva as a new communication event. The implications of this analysis for the viva are that a panel of examiners, rather than national standards, might provide the foundation for transparency and rhetorical development, rather than more information, would enhance students’ and supervisors’ understandings and preparations.



Murray, R. (2003), "Students’ questions and their implications for the viva", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 109-113.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

Related articles