How to write a good PhD thesis and survive the viva

. Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK, (December 2011)


The paper gives advice on how to write a good PhD thesis in a Computing subject in the UK — assuming that one has done interesting, novel academic work and “just” needs to write up. The context of this document relates to my experience, opinion and practice in various roles as supervisor, examiner or examination panel chair in more than two dozensof PhD examinations. What I have expressed here is likely to be relevant to my own PhD students or those whose PhD thesis I examine within the British system. Many aspects of this paper are universally true for a number of subjects and countries while some are more specific to Computing and the UK.

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