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Being an OU research student

An image of a group of students.

The Open University (OU) is world leading in its research and student support – nearly 900 students are registered for OU research degrees, on campus, on-line and through our global network of Affiliated Research Centres. Our students enjoy high-quality academic and pastoral support, overseen by The Open University Graduate School, as well as access to excellent research facilities and a thriving research environment. You might be based on campus living in the Milton Keynes area, or studying part-time and coming to the campus at regular intervals to meet with your supervisors and engage with the University community. You’ll also be able to join our international research community via the on-line Graduate School Network (GSN). In this way you will be able to communicate with your fellow researchers, as well as access the OU’s on-line training resources and those of other universities through our Doctoral Training Partnerships.

Depending on the type of degree you are undertaking, you will be supported in a number of ways including seminars, supervisory sessions and a doctoral training programme covering research methodologies and thesis writing. Wherever you are, you will have access to a wide range of resources and the opportunity to be actively involved in the life of the research group to which you are attached.  You can read more about the experiences of our research students.

The Open University Student Charter website sets out the responsibilities that The Open University and its students have towards each other, to allow students to achieve their full potential.

Life on campus


Milton Keynes has a wide variety of residential accommodation, and plenty within easy reach of the campus. Although we have no student accommodation on campus, we can help you find somewhere to live, especially if you are joining us from overseas. The OU has a team of accommodation advisers who can help you with finding accommodation in Milton Keynes. For more information about the services they can provide, and to contact them.

Research support

Training and development

Research facilities

Overseas students

Your questions

For advice about applying for a research degree, or sponsoring a research student, send us an email or call +44 (0)1908 654882.