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ONLINE: Preparing for the PhD oral examination (REPEAT)


About this session

The UCT Doctoral Degrees Board is piloting a modification to the PhD examination process, and has introduced an oral examination. This one-hour interactive, online webinar is aimed at preparing PhD students for the ‘oral exam’.

This is currently running on a voluntary basis, and students who have recently submitted their theses for examination have been asked to volunteer. The oral examination at this stage will have no bearing on the final outcome i.e. you cannot fail your PhD because of a poor oral exam.

This workshop is aimed at preparing these volunteer students (and others who are planning on submitting soon) for what to expect in the build-up to, and participation in, this oral examination.

Important to note is that the PhD oral examination must not be considered a punitive, further hurdle towards graduating. Rather, it should be viewed as an educational and helpful process, allowing students to engage deeply with their research topic, via discussion and questioning on Zoom/MS Teams with the examiners. This is aimed at aiding the Committee of Assessors in reaching a recommendation fairly and efficiently.


The structure of the webinar is as follows:

  • 20 minutes – Background to the PhD oral exam at UCT and the process
  • 20 minutes – What to expect and how to prepare yourself for the oral exam
  • 20 minutes – Q&A


What previous attendees have said about this workshop:

  • "As a PhD student, the knowledge will help my current thesis writing and planning towards completing the program within my anticipated project timelines."
  • "I'll know how to better handle myself for the oral examination if it does become the norm before I complete my studies."
  • "It will help me pitch myself in a better place for opportunities - career and academic."


For those interested in attending, click Begin Registration below.  We look forward to you joining us.


Wednesday, May 15, 2024
11:00am - 12:00pm
Prof Peter Meissner, Mihloti Mkhatshwa and Jodee Arendse
PhD Students
Information Session

Registration is required. There are 96 seats available.

Event Organizer

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Amanda Bessick



Room 2.04  Level 2 Otto Beit Building

University Avenue, Upper Campus

University of Cape Town

Rondebosch 7700


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