The viva voce

The viva voce is the public defence of the artistic Ph.D. project.

Insofar as possible, the viva should take place no later than two (2) months after the programme committee for the Ph.D. in Artistic Research at the NMH has approved the examination panel’s confirmation that the project has been accepted and should be defended.

The setting 

The committee that originally assessed the Ph.D. portfolio shall also assess the public defence. The public defence shall be conducted in English or Norwegian unless the NMH agrees to another language being used.

There should normally be two opponents. The two opponents shall be members of the panel. The NMH will find a suitable venue for the viva. It will normally take place in the Auditorium, but the Levin Hall may be considered in exceptional cases provided it is available on the date in question. 

The viva voce will be chaired by the principal or by a person authorised by the principal. The person chairing the viva shall give an account of the submission and assessment of the Ph.D. portfolio. Next the candidate shall give an account of the objective and outcome of the Ph.D. work. The first opponent opens the opposition, and the second opponent closes it. The NMH may stipulate a different distribution of tasks between the opponents and between the doctoral candidate and the first opponent. Once both opponents have concluded their opposition, the other persons present shall be permitted to speak ex auditorio. One of the opponents concludes the opposition, and the chair concludes the viva voce.


  • The chair gives a welcome address. The audience stand while the fanfare is performed, and the candidate and examination panel enter the room in procession in the following order: candidate, chair, first opponent and second opponent.
  • The chair introduces the programme, the candidate and the project as well as the examination panel.  
  • The candidate presents their project (up to 45 minutes). 
  • Break (up to 30 minutes).
  • The chair of the examination panel announces the result of the candidate’s presentation: passed or failed. If passed:
  • Discussion/opposition between first opponent and candidate (up to 45 minutes).
  • Discussion/opposition between second opponent and candidate (up to 30 minutes).
  • Questions ex auditorio if members of the audience have submitted questions.
  • The chair concludes the viva voce and invites the participants to an informal reception.
  • The examination panel retires to assess the viva. 
  • Informal reception (usually up to one hour). The examination panel arrives at the reception and announces its decision: passed or failed. If passed:
  • A representative from the programme gives a thank-you address to the candidate.

Practical matters

The NMH will organise and meet the cost of the informal reception. Refreshments and snacks will be served. If the candidate wishes to give a dinner party to celebrate the viva, the candidate must organise and pay for the party themselves. The candidate should issue their own invitations. The NMH is unable to provide premises suitable for this purpose. Costs associated with such a dinner may not be covered by project funds.

Last updated: 4. January 2019