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Thesis-Defense Training – Prepare Your Viva and Gain Confidence


28. November 2024 09:00 – 28. November 2024 16:00
29. November 2024 09:00 – 29. November 2024 16:00
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Philipps-Universität Marburg, MARA, F|05, Deutschhausstraße 11+13, Seminar room 01.0010

This course starts with the basic question of what a thesis defense or viva actually is. Is it an exam? A lecture? Or something else entirely? Whatever the case may be, it is an event that, for most of us, only takes place once in a lifetime. Of course, you want to be well prepared. The workshop addresses basic questions (preparation, expectation management, role clarification) but also rhetorical aspects (speaking speed, rhetorical devices, dealing with difficult questions, structuring a presentation). Once you have gained an understanding of these basics, the next step is practice and observing. Participants will present short sequences and receive individual feedback afterwards.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • After the workshop you will feel more confident to embark on your thesis defense as you have gained insight into what the aim of the viva is.
  • You will know where to find relevant information to prepare for your viva and identify people who can help you.
  • You will be familiar with different approaches to structuring your presentation and will be capable of applying them.
  • You will have improved your rhetorical skills and will know how to apply them.
  • You will have a better understanding of the interpersonal dynamics involved in your viva.

Didactic Methods

Trainer input, plenary discussion, group work, presentation


Participants are expected to prepare a short presentation (3 minutes). It is not necessary to create something new, one that has been given before will be fine. The presentation offers the opportunity to give and receive feedback and to learn more about presentation techniques and your own style.

Proficiency in English at the B2 level of competency is required.


November 28, 2024, 9 am–4 pm, and
November 29, 2024, 9 am–4 pm

Target group

Doctoral candidates from all disciplines


Maximum number of 12 participants
Internal 50 EUR
External 150 EUR


Please register until November 13, 2024 using the online registration form.


Dr. Jan Schmidt

Event Organizer

MArburg University Research Academy (MARA)
Doctoral Program for Humanities and Social Sciences