Let me start by saying I would love to do a viva or verbal defence. Before you think I have lost my mind, let me explain the PhD process in Australia. In Australia, a PhD is generally completed through a written thesis, which is sent for external examination. What this means is that candidates do not (and cannot) complete an oral defence on top of the thesis to be awarded the PhD. In theory, I thought it sounded like the best of both worlds – I only needed to focus on completing my thesis, did not have to prepare the oral defence and still could finish my PhD. In practice, it was not that straightforward. The last two months of my candidature felt like an eternity and were the worst because I spent all the time trying to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s.
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