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Research in the Arts

REF 2014 The REF results saw nearly three quarters (72%) of The Open University’s research assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available – and awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent.  The OU saw a significant increase in its excellence scores across almost all subject areas.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 show that research undertaken at The Open University is both world-leading and has impact in the real world. Follow this link to find out how our Units of Assessment fared and to read some of our research highlights.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is internationally recognized for innovative research across the range of its subject areas, including the study of literary, philosophical and visual texts and their reception; the historical investigation of policing, science and religion; and the exploration of performance in music and drama. Much work is focused on the United Kingdom (with strong interests in the national histories and cultures of Ireland, Scotland and Wales) but there is also considerable expertise relating to continental Europe, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Several major AHRC-funded projects are based in the Faculty. There is a strong vision for developing successful interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, and a commitment to ensuring that our research effectively informs not only our own teaching but a wider process of knowledge exchange with cultural and heritage partners.

As members of an academic community, we advance our knowledge and understanding through research and scholarly activity which contributes to the global research community and enhances the reputation of the University as a centre of academic excellence. See The Open University Student Charter to learn more about our principles.

Arts accepts applications for Honorary Associate status from Associate Lecturers each year with a December deadline.

Applying for Arts PhD study

Applications are considered on a competitive basis and forwarded to four CHASE panels for further assessment and ranking.

Further details of CHASE PhD studentships and the application process can be found on the CHASE website.

The deadline for all postgraduate research applications, including the CHASE studentships, is in mid  January.


researching in a library