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Viva Voce

At the discretion of the Examiners the examination may include an oral examination on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls.  However it is normally the practice of this MPhil Examination Board, endorsed by the Degree Committee and the Student Registry, not to require a viva except for certain candidates who receive a fail mark (or a confirmed marginal fail) or in other special circumstances (e.g. suspected plagiarism) recommended by the examiners and/or determined by the MPhil Sub-Committee acting as Board of Examiners. Viva voce examinations (which normally last for thirty minutes) are held at a predetermined date (usually the day or the day before the Board of Examiners meet).  All candidates are informed of this date well in advance.  Unauthorised absence of a candidate from a viva implies a failure in the dissertation examination.  Postponement of the viva will be allowed by the MPhil Sub-Committee only on the most serious (e.g. medical) grounds.  If this happens the viva examiners will be notified immediately.

If necessary, the Academic Secretary or Chair, or MPhil Director of the MPhil Sub-Committee will call a viva voce examination by the two examiners of the dissertation jointly with the External Examiner.  The viva voce examiners (including the External Examiner) must submit a joint written report to the MPhil Sub-Committee sitting as Board of Examiners and may recommend the raising of dissertation examination marks to pass level or higher. If a joint report is not possible and the two original examiners remain in disagreement after the viva, the view of the External Examiner (who will be present at the viva and have read the dissertation) will prevail. It should be noted that the normal expectation is that marks will not be reduced as the result of a viva. Confidential minutes of the viva examination will be taken either by the Academic Secretary or Chair of the MPhil or by the Director of Graduate Training, or, if these are not available, by the Director of Graduate Studies.  The officer attending in this capacity will be present at the viva only as an observer and will not participate in the discussion.