skip to content

Information about the viva voce examination process and the steps following the examination can be found on the Cambridge Students website.

Guidance for Examiners of research degrees can be found in the Information for Examiners section of the Student Registry website.

Viva voce examinations held by video conference

Degree Committees may exceptionally approve that a viva voce examination be held by video conference. Permission should only be granted under exceptional circumstance and not for example because it is inconvenient or expensive for the student to travel to Cambridge for the examination.  This applies to candidates for the following degrees:  PhD, MSc, MLitt, MPhil and MRes degrees.


  1. The Degree Committee must obtain the consent of the candidate and both examiners to hold the examination by video conference.
  2. A trusted party must be present at the same location as the candidate and ideally this person should be one of the examiners. If it is not an examiner, then permission from the Board must be obtained prior to the examination.
  3. It is the responsibility of the department to obtain satisfactory hardware and to arrange for any technical support. The equipment should be tested at least one day in advance of the examination.
  4. Where an examiner is not confident in the use of video conferencing equipment, technical support must be available in case of technical problems.
  5. Examiners to complete independent reports as normal.
  6. If not co-located, the Examiners agree on wording of joint report (by email or phone). External examiner signs final version (retaining copies), signs this, plus independent report and posts to the Degree Committee. Internal examiner, signs independent report and joint report and forwards to Degree Committee.

Requesting adjustments to viva voce examinations

Students may wish to request adjustment(s) on grounds of disability for their oral examinations.  This could be for oral examinations for their first year assessments (or equivalent) or for their final viva voce examination.  Students should complete and return the additional voluntary disclosure form to their relevant Degree Committee. On receipt of a completed form, the Degree Committee should refer to the Disability Resource Centre who will advise on the appropriate course of action to be taken in each particular case.  Information should be provided to the examiners as advised by the DRC.

Information contained on the form must be kept confidential and must not be used for any other purpose.