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An image to illustrate studying geography with The Open University

The Geography discipline at The Open University has built a reputation for producing rigorous and innovative intellectual work in both human and environmental geography, a serious commitment to active engagement in the world beyond the academy, and the development of an intensive yet flexible research culture. Its achievements are reflected and recognised by having 76 per cent of its research rated as being world leading or internationally excellent in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Research is conducted through the OpenSpace Research Centre which promotes research on geographical and environmental concerns. Students are regarded as valued members of the discipline, able to interact with research-active academic staff and post-doctoral fellows based on campus in Milton Keynes, as well as with other staff and students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and its associated research centres.

We offer two research degree programmes: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

Key facts

The Geography discipline at the OU prides itself on:

  • cultivating a genuinely collective research culture sustained by regular seminars, collaborative meetings, reading groups, workshops, conferences and visits from external scholars
  • linking with external funding bodies and partner institutions to generate major collaborative projects such as the recently funded Earth in Vision (AHRC), Stories of change (AHRC), Creating the new Asian woman (HERA), Creating Hackney as Home (ESRC) and Tracing modes of infrastructure financing and their effects on cities (Australian Research Council Discovery Grant)
  • hosting a lively postgraduate community of around 15 students on the campus who play a critical role in our research culture
  • maintaining an excellent record in terms of the number of our postgraduate students who go on to further post-doctoral research or permanent academic posts.

For further information please visit the postgraduate research degrees section of our website.

Further information

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

Jan Smith
+44 (0)1908 654456

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