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Research areas

To find out more about opportunities to study for a research degree at The Open University, choose the research area closest to your field of interest from the list on the right. This will tell you about the department, its research priorities and philosophy, recent publications, the research environment and facilities available.

Within each research area is a list of topics – click on these links to find out more about specific areas of research, current and prospective projects, entry requirements and available supervisors. Many supervisors also have links to their profile pages so you can read about their published work and specific areas of interest. Each topic page provides contact details for academic advice – as most research degrees are subject to a competitive selection process, it’s a good idea to discuss your idea for a project/advertised studentship before you apply, so you can have the best chance of shaping your proposal/application to align with current research priorities.

If you have all the information you need in order to submit an application, visit How to apply.

If you want to apply for a funded studentship, these are advertised throughout the year on our Jobs website. You can also find out more about funding for research degrees by visiting Fees and funding.

The Research Degrees Office can give advice on the application process; you can contact us on +44 (0)1908 654882 or by email at