Never submit a PhD without the approval of your supervisor
Never exceed the number of words specified by the University (Ideal PhD: 200 pages). Read the University regulations.
The introductory and conclusions chapters are the most important- take great care to manage expectations and understand the limitations
The Research Methodology chapter should be clearly written and justified:
Qualitative or quantitative
Single case study or multiple case studies
Research Process Map
Research findings should be rigorous and statistically proven if possible
The literature review should be comprehensive (Critique and not reporting)
Proof reading is important:
Minor typographical errors - Acknowledgements
Clear abstract - Referencing
Remember that the PhD viva is a formal examination, but in most cases it is operated like a discussion
Make sure that you arrange a mock viva before the real thing
Read about your examiners’ work
Be confident, not arrogant and show passion towards your research
Listen to the question you have been asked
Agree with the examiners if you can’t support your argument -don’t waffle
Bring a list of corrections to the viva
Mark up your copy of the thesis in order to find your way easily during the viva
Don’t read the PhD the night before the viva, try to relax
Tell me about the story of your PhD, what is your main contribution?
Why did you choose the topic or this research method?
Give me the names of two experts in this area (well known researchers)
How did you validate your work?
Would you do this research the same way again?
Do you have any questions which you would have expected me to ask?
(From slides “How to succeed in doing a PhD: personal experiences”
A PhD is a journey of discovery & fun by Professor Ghassan Aouad
Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Internationalisation
University of Salford on 10th March 2009)