Theory Resources

Viva Voce

Advanced Associate (AASB) and Licentiate (LSB) Diploma candidates' theory papers will be examined viva voce. These examinations will be 20 minutes long for AASB and 25 minutes long for LSB. Examiners will use the grading rubric.

The AASB viva voce candidates will be assessed by performance examiners either in-person as part of a centre tour or via video conferencing. The LSB viva voce candidates will be assessed by specialist theory examiners via video conferencing only.

View an example Viva Voce Examination, where the candidate achieved a Pass with Merit grade and download the grading rubric.

Prepare Students

Teaching for Viva Voce Examinations

Jessica Rees takes Speech New Zealand teachers through the guidelines of preparing their students for viva voce examinations.

 Fellowship Guidelines

Speech, Drama and Public Speaking

All modules

Entrance to the Fellow of Speech New Zealand is upon written application to National Office via and is at the discretion of the Theory Moderator and Chair of Examinations.

The modules have been designed to allow candidates to sit all options in either face-to-face examinations or online. Preference must be noted in the application.

Examination times and venues will be arranged in consultation with National Office. Candidates electing to be examined by video conferencing should take full advantage of the medium and will be responsible for the smooth running of the examination. The candidate will have the opportunity to have exclusive use of any examination venue 30 minutes prior to the examination, when the examiner will not be present. The candidate may choose to meet the audience and members of the class or group during this time. The Examination Supervisor will be responsible for meeting any audience and the Examiner.

Module One


  • no more than 250 words

  • accompanied by the full fee

  • establish:

    • the aspect (Speech and Drama) or issue (Public Speaking) to be covered

    • the number of participants required

    • any work that participants will be required to complete in advance of the class.

Teaching: The Master Class

The ‘master’ takes what the students offer, refines and extends upon this (i.e. – this is not a prepared lesson). The audience will observe the Master Class and participate in Question Time (Section Two) but will not witness the discussion with the Examiner (Section Three). The candidate may choose (but does not need) to make a brief comment to the audience as a whole at the end of Section Two.

To achieve this, the candidate may set a particular work for the students that is to be presented/worked upon (e.g. – a poem or part of a poem, an extract from a play, a reading, an entertaining social speech, a rebuttal speech). The candidate listens, offers comment, and gives specific guidance on how to improve or overcome what has been heard/observed. The amount of time allowed for each student will be determined by the number of students in the class. As there is neither introduction nor conclusion to the class, the candidate is free to apportion the time as appropriate between the students. The candidate should try to focus on different learning points for each student, so that the audience is exposed to a wide range of ideas/teaching approaches/techniques. The candidate will be responsible for a contingency plan for students who have not done any task assigned prior to the Master Class.

Module Two – Theoretical


  • no more than 250 words

  • accompanied by the full fee

  • outline the choice of topic which will allow research to be demonstrated

  • justify the research method

  • if doing Option 2, any information about audience, venue etc.

The proposal will be assessed by the Theory Moderator, according to whether the thesis is likely to meet the outcomes specified in the syllabus and the academic standard required. The Moderator may choose to give suggestions to the candidate; this is at their discretion. If, in the Moderator’s opinion, the outline does not represent an acceptable subject or course of research, the candidate will receive specific advice and be invited to rework the outline for resubmission (a fee applies). If the candidate deviates significantly from the approved outline in either intention or method, a new proposal will need to be submitted (a fee applies).

Both options (Extended Written Assignment or Recorded Lecture)

Research does not need to be entirely original, but elements of the analysis should show evidence of original thinking, and present useful conclusions based on that analysis. The research should demonstrate a connection between theoretical knowledge and its application to teaching or performance.

A Supervisor/Mentor/Teacher may be used to assist the candidate, at the candidate’s own arrangement.

Extended Written Assignment

  • Total word count must be within 10% of 10,000 words, excluding the bibliography and appendices.

  • Work is due for submission 18 months from the time the candidate is advised that the proposal is approved.

  • Must be electronically filed with National Office, presented double-spaced, in justified text, with clear presentation of tables and illustrations.

Work outside the word limit will be returned for rewriting. A word count must be provided on submission. Any application for extension will be reviewed by the Theory Moderator, in consultation with the Chair of Examinations.

This document may be kept on file but may not be used or distributed without the candidate’s express written permission.

Submitting work under Section 1B

‘Published’ refers to a recognised, reputable, academic publisher.

May be an electronic publication.

Submission of such a work must be supported by evidence of publication.

Submission of a work that is ‘passed’ must be supported by a verified transcript from the institution with which it was completed.

Recorded Submissions

  • Recorded submissions may be either audiovisual, or audio only.

  • The candidate is responsible for the provision of this recording in an appropriate format.

The discussion section will be conducted via Zoom.


The Examiner must understand both the Board’s requirements and the subject area chosen.


  • Modules will be graded: Not Achieved, Pass / Pass, or Merit / Pass with Distinction.

  • For the FSB to be conferred with Distinction, both modules must meet this standard.

In the case of a potential Not Achieved grade for Module Two, a Not Approved grade will be applied. The Examiner will indicate what improvement is required. The work may then be resubmitted within 12 months, upon payment of a resubmission fee of half the original fee. If the required improvements are very minor (such as the correction of an incomplete bibliography) the resubmission fee may be reduced or waived at the discretion of the Theory Moderator. Should the work again fail to meet the requirements, eligibility to continue will expire. Further work will then be treated as a new application.