home page

NEW 2016 version of the popular video used in about
80 UK universities

WINNER in the British Universities Film & Video Council's 'Learning on Screen' Awards 2017


"We felt it was important that we purchase the new Good Viva Video to continue the character Rachel's narrative, and most importantly to ... help ease nervous students during such an anxious period of their PhD."
- Dr Jason Wickham
Graduate School
University of Leicester


"I just finished watching the video. As a PhD student in the writing up phase of her thesis with an impending viva, I can say that I found the content of the video to be extremely useful and informative. It touched on a lot of questions and concerns I have as a student. As well, it was really interesting to watch the scenes between the student and supervisor prior to and in preparation of the viva. It was also useful to hear what the examiners consider to be important and how they prepare, as a team, prior to the viva. Furthermore it was especially insightful and, well, rather calming to see how everyone might interact during the viva. I was surprised at how anxious I felt during the video, and appreciated its playful yet direct orientation."

- PhD student, November 2007 (commenting on the original video)







The Good Viva Video

To bring The Good Viva Video up to date and make it fresh and appealing for new cohorts of students we have re-made it, with a new script written in consultation with many of the 80 universities using the original video.

For doctoral and masters students everywhere, the viva is a daunting challenge, often approached with anxiety and confusion rather than careful preparation.
Should candidates relax and hope for the best, panic, or prepare systematically for the big day? This video in our series for doctoral students was made in cooperation with Birkbeck, University of London.  It will help students in all institutions to understand the viva and handle it well.

Play an excerpt from the complete 32 minute video here. 
Click here for orders, full previews or enquiries  Advice for students who want to see this video

The Good Viva Video will help you understand:
  • What is a viva?
  • How important is it to your degree?
  • How do vivas differ between disciplines?
  • How can you prepare?
  • Should you relax or panic?
  • What are the roles of the internal and external examiners, the chair and your supervisor?
  • How are examiners chosen?
  • What questions should you expect?
  • How to use a practice viva.
  • Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your thesis.
  • What are the examiners looking for?
  • Coping with examiners’ mistakes or aggressive questions.
  • Understanding the outcome.
Based on specially scripted drama scenarios and expert interviews, The Good Viva Video was produced with advice from Professor John Wakeford, Director of the Missenden Centre for the Development of Higher Education. It will enable students to prepare for their vivas effectively and take some of the fear out of the experience.

The Good Viva Video and other videos in the series are available for sale to universities, colleges and other organisations. For a one-off payment, your institution can be permanently licensed to make the video available to all your registered students in DVD format and to upload to your intranet or other secure digital platform. To preview the full video or enquire about licensing, please email enquiries@angelproductions.co.uk