I'm a PhD student with 6 weeks to go until I need to resubmit. I had my first viva last year and got an MPhil or major corrections with another viva. I decided to carry on to try to get a PhD but I think I was bit depressed about it and basically had very little motivation to do the corrections. I limped on with it until about a month ago when it hit me that I would need to do a second viva and my stress levels went through the roof. I couldn't sleep, was panicking and crying all the time. I ended up going to the doctors and they gave me beta blockers. I told my supervisor this morning and he thinks it's not worth my health and that I should just submit and take an MPhil. However, I just wonder if I should just hang on for the next 6 weeks for a chance at the PhD even though the thought of it is really stressful. I'm honestly not sure my thesis will be good enough and I get so nervous in situations like vivas and feel like my performance in the first viva played a role in not getting awarded a PhD and I'm not sure it will be different this time.

I don't have a job lined up, but I don't want to go into academia and am hoping to go into R&D in industry.

Any advice?

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    What do you have to lose by trying? (Not a rhetorical question.) Sep 19, 2017 at 11:52
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    @Rachel omg, try it, it totally worth it
    – SSimon
    Sep 19, 2017 at 12:06
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    I hope things go well whichever you decide, but I don't think this site can give a useful answer; it's too specific and opinion-based.
    – iayork
    Sep 19, 2017 at 12:13
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    Keep in mind: they don't want you to fail. They want your success to improve their statistics, to the very least.
    – Ambicion
    Sep 19, 2017 at 12:25
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    Making important life decisions when under stress does not always lead to good outcomes. Is there a counselor that you could talk with? That might be more helpful than any answers you would get from random people on the internet. Sep 19, 2017 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


If your supervisor is looking at you and your work and says your health is more important, you should at least give that statement serious consideration. They are probably the only person who knows enough about both you and your work to be able to make a reasonable judgement (it really sounds like you are not in a good frame of mind to judge for yourself).

An alternative approach, at least for a couple of hours, would be to find out whether you can get an extension, given the impact this has had on your health.

  • 4
    +1 for seeing if you can get an extension because of your health issues
    – mhwombat
    Sep 19, 2017 at 14:10

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