Reflections on Variations in PhD Viva Regulations: And the Options are…

Edwin R. Van Teijlingen, Bibha Simkhada, Pramod R. Regmi, Padam Simkhada, Vanora Hundley, Krishana Poudel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Getting a PhD is the highest possible education qualification which only a small proportion of all students achieve. As a consequence, examining PhD research in the form of a doctoral thesis is specialist work. This paper highlights the different options that are available for PhD examiners. There are four general options: (1) pass, (2) rewrite and resubmit; (3) lower degree, with or without resubmission; and (4) fail the PhD. However, from our experience, of both being examined for our own PhDs and examining others at a range of different universities, we have noted a considerable variety in detail within these common options. This paper outlines a variety of outcomes of a PhD examination, followed by four short case studies, each reflecting on a particular aspect /differences we experienced as examinees or as examiners. This paper further aims to alert PhD candidates and examiners to study the examination rules set by the awarding university, as the details of the PhD examination outcome, and hence the options available to both examiners and the students may differ more than one might expect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
Journal Journal of Education and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2022


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