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Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry


The length and style of the oral will vary according to the thesis and the area of the research. There is no set protocol for one examiner taking the lead. The examiners should discuss their approach immediately prior to the oral.

The oral examination will normally take place in-person unless the candidate chooses for the viva to be held by video conference.

If you have been told an Independent Chair has been appointed for the examination, you should also meet with them briefly before the oral.

Last minute problems? contact the Degree Committee Office

In the oral, you should make time for the following:

  • encourage the candidate to defend their thesis and talk about their research in more general terms;
  • explore the candidate's knowledge of their subject and the wider field of scholarship in which it falls;
  • clarify any unclear parts of the work or the writing, for example where the candidate's own contribution is not completely clear from the text or if you suspect poor scholarship;
  • allow the candidate to raise any points (s)he feels have not been covered or could usefully be discussed further. 





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Office closures

The Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry will be closed from 5pm on Thursday 28 March 2024 and will reopen again on Tuesday 2 April 2024.
Research degree theses should still be submitted by your submission deadline even if that falls over the holiday period.