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Advanced Training

Advanced Course Details

DoctorateHub | 2020

Advanced course

The Viva Preparation – Getting Ready for the Viva!

Advanced course

The Viva Preparation – Getting Ready for the Viva!

Location: Online
Course Length: 8 Weeks coach supported

Course overview

The Viva preparation course will prepare doctoral students for their final Viva. The course will allow you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your work, and to prepare to discuss both.

The Viva Preparation course is designed to help you prepare to engage in critical reflection and familiarize yourself on how to interpret and respond to critics within an academic discourse in readiness for your Viva. The course will allow you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your work, and prepare to discuss both. To provide a truly authentic Viva experience each Task includes a 45-minute oral presentation and discussion exercise.

The Viva is an oral examination that consists of a highly critical and stimulating discourse across two examiners and the doctoral candidate. The Viva Preparation course works through the various areas you, as a doctoral student, can expect to be covered in the Viva. Areas such as scene setting and introduction of the research, literature review, methodology, data collection and findings, analysis and evaluation, presentation of the results, along with the actionability of the research and why it mattered. The course closes with a final elevator pitch style full presentation of the research project to demonstrate and apply the learnings from the previous tasks.

There are three course versions: Self-Study (self-managed, peer-supported with no tuition fee), Fully Tutored (experienced academic supported for a fee) and On-demand Support (experience academic support as needed for a fee). In the fully tutored course version, the weekly discussion will be led and recorded by your tutor. In the self-study version, participants are asked to self-record their weekly oral presentation and make them available for peer review. In both course versions, participants are asked to transcribe their oral presentation a to evaluate their performance and identify areas for further improvement.

The Viva Preparation course fosters both reflections-in-action and on-action. Reflections-in-action will be promoted through the oral presentation and discussion. To further nurture reflections-on-action each video-call is recorded, and participants are asked to transcribe the recording to once again look at the questions, their answers, and the feedback and tips received. Based on these transcripts, participants are then asked to write up possible ways to act on the feedback and tips received, and subsequently commented by the course tutor.

The Viva Preparation course is rich in double-loop feedback and therefore ideal in your preparation for your final acid test, the Viva itself.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course you will:

  1. Have gained practice on how to present and defend your thesis;
  2. Understand how to interpret and react to critical and probing question;
  3. Have learnt about the do’s and don’ts on critical engagement and research presentation;
  4. Get the ‘make or break’ experience within a safe environment.

Study segments

This course is of relevance to the following study segments.

Research methods and tools covered or trained in the course:

Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research

Data collection techniques covered or trained in the course:

Artefact mining
Content Analysis
Document Analysis
Mind Mapping
Organisational Records
Rich Pictures
Secondary Data Review

Course is suitable for the following doctoral journey steps:

Viva Preparation


This course is made of the following tasks:

Task 1: Thesis introduction

Task 1 will consist of a general introduction to the thesis.

Task 2: Literature Review

Task 2 will focus on the literature review of your thesis.

Task 3: Methodology

Task 3 will focus on the methodology of your thesis.

Task 4: Data and Findings

Task 4 will focus on the data and findings of your thesis.

Task 5: Analysis and Evaluation

Task 5 will focus on the analysis and evaluation of your thesis.

Task 6: Conclusions, Recommendations, and Future Research

Task 6 will focus on the conclusions, recommendations, and future research of your thesis.

Task 7: Impact, Actionability, and Personal Development

Task 7 will focus on the impact, actionability, and personal development of your thesis.

Task 8: Mini Mock Viva – Speed Navigation through the Thesis

Task 8 will provide you with a Mock Viva experience at which you are expected to cover all the areas you worked on during the past 7 Tasks within a single oral presentation and discussion of no more than 45 minutes.


Andreas Meiszner

I am one of the DoctorateHub’s Co-founders with a particular focus on strategic development and building up of the various DoctorateHub support services that we provide.

I have been a portfolio worker for most parts of my career and I am constantly looking for opportunities where to apply my knowledge and analytical skills, which also lead to the DoctorateHub back in 2016.

Since 2012, I have tutored, mentored and coached beyond 500 professional doctoral students (mid to seniors, aged 35 to 70) both with the University of Liverpool Management School’s Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program (UK), and since 2016 also with DoctorateHub. This allowed me to understand how to tackle problems at scale, be it the tame, the complex, or the wicked. 500+ students also implies 500+ workplace-based problems which I had the chance to look at. And while working with such an array of problems allows for quite some learningit also has shown to me that very often it is quite exhaustive for such grown up and seasoned research novices. In response to this, we thus decided to set up the DoctorateHub, so to provide training, mentoring, and coaching services to all those that struggle to get their workplace-based issues identified, analysed, understood, written up in a thesis, and ultimately resolved.

In addition to this, I am also an active research fellow who has an interest in applied research, have more than a decade of global experience as a contract researcher in the areas of Innovation, ICT and the Internet, Education, Management, and Economics. I have a track record as Principal Investigator in the development and management of research, training and capacity building projects within Europe and across the globe; managing in-house teams and globally distributed external research, development and training teams, and have worked for a number of leading academic institutions, such as the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), who has been ranked as one of the global top 3 institutes in its domain next to Harvard, MIT, Stanford and the London School of Economics.

As for my educational background, I obtained my PhD in 2011 from The Open University (UK) for work carried out at the Institute of Educational Technologies and that is titled ‘The Emergence of Free / Open Courses - Lessons from the Open Source Movement’. I am also holding three higher education degrees in management from universities in France, Germany and The Netherlands, and with majors in ‘International Management’ and in ‘Human Resources and Organizational Management’. 


Select course edition

Use Brain Coins for on-demand support

Our Advanced Courses come in three formats: as a free self-study with peer support, as a fully coach supported edition or with flexible on-demand feedback whenever you need it. You can select the option that suits your learning needs best.

Brain Coins (BCs) are a currency used at the DoctorateHub to pay for on-demand services in a flexible way. You can purchase BCs at a discount and use them across the system in the combination it suits you best. BCs are valid for 12 months after the first BC has been spent.


Self-study with peer support. We provide the structure, you focus on your thesis research.

Ideal for those who prefer to advance on their own schedule or who are on a budget.

  • - Community peer supported.
  • - Tested Curriculum
  • - Dedicated Course spaces to connect around common interests, objectives or challenges.
  • - No time pressure.

Duration: “As long as it takes you“

Learning at your own pace, in your own time.

No tuition fee

Dedicated coach

Fully supported by a DoctorateHub coach dedicated to the course topic.

Ideal for those who prefer tight guidance to progress through their research and thesis development.

  • - Dedicated coach(es).
  • - Formative written discussions, video-orientation calls and summative feedback on your work.
  • - Work over clearly defined chunks to control progress.

Start “Whenever you want“

Courses are 8 or 12 weeks long.

Detailed information is available in the course detail view.

Tuition fee

On-demand Support

Get On-demand support to provide you with clarity and guidance.

Ideal for those who have unpredictable agendas, or that just need some orientation.

  • - Directly contributing to your thesis.
  • - Get written feedback and video-orientation calls.
  • - Use your Brain Coins as you need them for each service.

Duration: “As long as it takes you“

Learn at your own pace and request on-demand feedback on an assignment basis, either written or via video-orientation calls.

See options

See options

Schedule video-orientation call

Good for: One video-orientation call to discuss a task or assignment and to understand how to take your research further.

1 BC

Get written orientation feedback

Good for: One-time written feedback on a course task assignment of around 2.500 words in length.

1 BC

Go back
Need Brain Coins? Get them here.

Get one Research Mentoring month

Good for: One Research Mentoring month with written feedback and video-orientation calls.

12 BC


Course overview

Download your course syllabus and brochure here

DoctorateHub | 2020

Advanced course

The Viva Preparation – Getting Ready for the Viva!

Brochure: 'The Viva Preparation – Getting Ready for the Viva!'

The Viva preparation course will prepare doctoral students for their final Viva. The course will allow you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your work, and to prepare...

DoctorateHub | 2020

Advanced course

The Viva Preparation – Getting Ready for the Viva!

Syllabus: 'The Viva Preparation – Getting Ready for the Viva!'

The Viva preparation course will prepare doctoral students for their final Viva. The course will allow you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your work, and to prepare...

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