Publicising a viva voce examination
Current dispensation from advertising vivas
The Proctors have announced that any viva which is taking place remotely (online) does NOT need to be advertised. This is to enable examinations to continue during the COVID-19 shutdown of various facilities.
However, the Gazette will still publish details of any viva submitted to us in time for publication; see 'Publishing in the Gazette' below.
The requirement to publicise in-person vivas at the Examination Schools is also currently suspended.
However, if an in-person viva notice can't be advertised in the Gazette (because it is taking place during the vacation or the notice was sent too late to be published in an appropriate issue), the GSO9 must still be posted at the place of examination at least 2 days before the date of the examination.
How to advertise a viva
There are two ways in which viva voce examinations can be advertised to fulfil the regulatory requirements (see below for an extract from the regulations).
Publishing in the Gazette
The usual way is to publish an announcement in the Gazette. It must be published in an issue dated at least one day before the date of the exam, so needs to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in plenty of time for publication (by noon at least eight days before publication date). The required information can be submitted by filling in and emailing a GSO9 form to the Gazette. The same information can also be sent in the body of an email, without the form.
The alternative method is to post a notice of the examination (the GSO9 form, or a copy of all the information from that form) at both the Examination Schools and the place where the exam is being held. The notices must be in place at least two days before the date of the exam.
Vivas taking place during vacations and at the start of term
Because the Gazette is not published during the vacations, any viva voce exams which take place during vacations or at the beginning of the following term must either be notified to the Gazette office in time to be published in the final issue of the preceding term or publicised using the alternative method (note that the first Gazette of Michaelmas term and the final Gazette of Hilary term don't carry viva notices).
Vivas taking place on or after Friday of 1st week can be published in the first Gazette of term to carry vivas. The final issue of term is published in 9th week.
Vivas taking place on or after Friday of 0th week can be published in the first Gazette of term. The final issue of term to carry vivas is published in 9th week.
Vivas taking place on or after Friday of 0th week can be published in the first Gazette of term. The final issue of term is published in 13th week, but there is no Gazette in 12th week.
Extracts from the Regulations of the Education Committee
Conduct of Oral Examinations for MLitt, MSc by Research, and DPhil Degrees
Notice of the examination shall be given in one of the following ways:
1. It may be published in the Gazette* not later than the day before it is due to take place;
2. Not later than two days before the examination the examiners may
(a) inform the Research Degrees Team** and post a notice in the Examination Schools. (This may conveniently be done by sending a single copy of the notice to the Research Degrees Team at the Examination Schools, where they are located.)
(b) if the examination is to be held at a place other than the Examination Schools, post a notice at the place of the examination.
The notice‡ shall state the name of the candidate, [his or her college,] the subject of the thesis, the place, day, and hour of the examination, and the names of the examiners.
* Notices should be sent to the editor at email@example.com or University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD, by noon on Wednesday of the week before publication. A minimum of eight days must be allowed between receipt of the details by the Gazette and the date of the viva. For example if the viva takes place on Friday, 10 October, the last opportunity for it to appear in the Gazette would be in the issue dated Thursday, 9 October, and so must be received by the Gazette by the Wednesday before that issue: 1 October. The Gazette cannot include notification of a viva which takes place on the day of publication. For this reason, we recommend that you notify the Gazette by email, to prevent postal delays. There is no need to use the GSO.9 form when emailing the Gazette, as long as sufficient information is provided (as in the list above), although we will accept a scanned copy of the completed form emailed to us as a PDF.
** At the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford (fax: (2)76904; email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
‡ It is not essential to use the GSO9 form, which will have been sent to you by the Research Degrees Team, particularly if you are emailing the information to the Gazette. If you are not using the form, please double-check that the details listed have been given.