Most of our degree places are allocated in a competitive process.
Different faculties have different entry requirements and timescales for selecting research students. You should look at the relevant pages of website to find out about the application process for the academic area you are interested in or contact us for advice about applying. The application process for specific studentships is described in the relevant advertisement on the OU jobs website.
You will need to download and complete an Application form, and in most cases, submit a research proposal which describes the research you would like to undertake. Your application and proposal will be assessed by a team of academic staff and you may be invited for an interview, either in person at the Milton Keynes campus or by phone or by videoconference. We will assess if your research topic and proposal are a good fit with the University’s research priorities, and if we have staff available with expertise in your area of study who could supervise you. To ensure you have the best possible chance of success, we recommend that you read the information on our website and speak to a member of staff in the relevant academic department before you apply. Contact details are given on each of the Research topics pages of this website. Please make sure you complete your application form in full, and send us all the additional documents we ask for, otherwise we will not be able to consider your application.
We recruit and select students according to the fair selection principles defined in the QAA Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B11. You can read more about the Quality Code in our Research Degree Student Handbook.