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Business and Management

An image to illustrate studying business and management with The Open University

The Open University Business School is a leading global provider of business and management education. Research in the fields of business, management, accounting and finance meets international standards of excellence and provides a strong evidence base to inform practice

Research activity in the School focuses on four research centres:

We also have a number of research clusters that capture key interests and common themes with the School. The School is also networked to two University-wide priority research areas aimed at addressing 21st century global challenges and promoting social justice.

Research encompasses traditional business disciplines and distinctive areas of expertise such as public administration, social enterprise and management learning. Working in collaboration with institutions around the world, our research involves extensive engagement with professional practice in business and management and offers wider benefits to society.

We offer a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Key facts

  • External project funding from a wide range of sources such as Research Councils UK, EU Horizon 2020, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, College of Policing and various philanthropic donations.
  • Opportunity to join a lively community of doctoral and masters research students.
  • Opportunities for personal and professional development via our seminar programme and bespoke training events.
  • 72 per cent of our research was considered as being 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
  • Requirements for entry onto PhD are normally an upper second class honours degree 2:1 and usually a specialist masters in a subject relevant to the intended study with a strong research element.
  • Students are normally required to be resident in the UK for the duration of their studies.
  • Full-time funded studentships are advertised in January/February (October start date) and May/June (February start date) for specific projects offered by the Business School.
  • Full- and part-time self-funded applications are welcomed in any business and management research topic where there is an expertise.
  • Acceptance depends on the quality of the application, prior academic achievement and our capacity to supervise the proposed research.
  • We do not offer funding for part-time study.
  • The PhD programme is not available by distance learning.  

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Lin Nilsen
+44 (0) 1908 858365

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.


Research publications by Open University staff are available through Open Research Online (ORO), the university's repository of research publications and other research outputs. ORO can be searched or browsed by staff name or subject.

The following list, generated from ORO, provides a flavour of the most recently published work in Business and Management