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A photograph of a sculpture

Research is at the heart of the Philosophy Department at the OU. Our full-time members of staff are all active researchers, specialising in a range of subjects across the disciplines. The department hosts the innovative Open University Ethics Centre, and staff regularly work with and consult for other institutions and multimedia broadcasters, particularly concerning ethics, morality, aesthetics and metaphysics. Recent themes of research include making good decisions, bioethics, knowing and deciding, and justice. In addition to research under the headings of ‘value’ and ‘mind, meaning and rationality’, we welcome applications in modern French philosophy and political philosophy.

Key facts

  • Competitive Faculty of Arts studentships available.
  • Annual dedicated Graduate Student research conference.
  • Frequent research talks and seminars held, recently sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
  • Established record of attracting research funding.
  • Philosophy’s academics are internationally renowned – having been individually invited to Sci Foo 2010 ‘un-conference’ at Googleplex, collaborating with museums and galleries, leading the world in podcasting (regularly in iTunes top 20 downloads), and consulting for leading media broadcasters.


The department hosts the Open University Ethics Centre, which seeks to clarify our understanding of the key ethical concepts we all use, develops imaginative teaching methods and innovative eresources to spread ethical understanding as widely as possible, and promotes public debate at national and international levels about the pressing moral problems faced by society.

Further information

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

Professor Timothy Chappell
+44 (0)1908 659214

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