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Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

What is an MPhil?

An MPhil is an advanced post graduate research degree. It is ideal for students who are not able to commit to the lengthy period of study required for doctoral research.

What will I get from an MPhil?

You will gain a significant grounding in research methods and skills that will equip you either to enter a career as a professional in your field, or to continue in your studies to complete a PhD. You will get a huge sense of personal achievement. Our training programmes will help you develop transferable skills that will be invaluable in your subsequent career. The research techniques and methodologies you master will enable you to make a direct contribution to the advancement of knowledge in your particular subject area.

After exploring The Open University online prospectus, you may wish to visit Vitae. Vitae is the UK organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of researchers.

How does it work?

Duration and pattern of study

An MPhil may be offered on either a full-time or a part-time basis, with a normal study period of 15 months for full-time study or 24 months for part-time study.

Assessment

Once you have completed your research you must write a 60,000-word thesis, which you submit and then defend via an oral examination (a viva). The thesis will demonstrate your proficiency in research methods, your knowledge and understanding, and a critical evaluation of your academic subject area. Your thesis must meet the expectations specified in the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
 

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a bachelors degree with at least first or upper-second class honours, or an equivalent qualification. However, entry requirements differ between academic areas, and sometimes a taught masters degree is also required. The research topic pages (in the menu on the right of our Research areas page) give details of specific entry requirements, and provide contact details to discuss your suitability for the MPhil with a member of academic staff.

English language proficiency

In order to study with us, you will need to have a good command of English. If your first language is not English, you will need to verify that your competence in the English Language in all four elements (reading, writing, listening and speaking). The University requires a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any of the four categories (or approved equivalent). You should have your level of proficiency certified through a provider approved by UK Visas and Immigration and provide your certificate and grade with your application.

Application closing date

Entry may be permitted for direct registration with The Open University at the following points of year: October and February. This ensures that students benefit from development and training in large peer groups. You should check the details given on the relevant research topic page or studentship advertisement for specific dates.