i have to pass the viva first. a viva voce is a 2-3hr exam carried out face-to-face with two examiners who spend the whole time pointing out what they see as the holes in your work whilst you try to justify how and why you did the stuff you did and your conclusions. you also have to be able to explain how your work contributes to and extends the body of scientific knowledge in your area. for that reason, it's also called the thesis defense, as you have to defend your assumptions/arguments/theoretical position/conclusions etc. the way it's meant to work is if you successfully defend your thesis at the viva, you pass. in practice, however, your examiners have usually decided whether you've passed or not before the viva but in cases where it's borderline, your performance in the viva can swing it either way. it's rare for people to fail their viva - most people pass either subject to minor corrections (i.e. fixing a few typos) or major corrections (which can involve substantial rewriting of sections or reanalysis of data). hopefully, my viva will take place before christmas.
So, when do you find out whether or not you're a Dr Berry Rydell?