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Student views

An image of Annika Wolff The technical infrastructure at the OU is great and the people are very knowledgeable.
Annika Wolff, UK. PhD: Tools and Methodologies for Supporting a User in Reasoning Across Mixed Media Digital Resource

I started studying late. I went to university when I was about 25, started with some access courses, and then did a BSc in Cognitive Science at the University of Hertfordshire. After that I was lucky enough to immediately get a job as a researcher here in The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, KMi.

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An image of Farah Huzair The OU seems to be a hub of research in my field. The facilities are generally excellent.
Dr Farah Huzair, UK. PhD: Social Aspects of the life Sciences

After doing my masters degree I was working for Horsham District Council as a research officer, but was finding it limiting compared to the challenge of academic work. I wanted to go back to university and was looking for a funded PhD. I stumbled across The Open University by luck. I came for an interview and was struck by the degree of professionalism. It seemed a very dynamic place – half way between a university and an office environment, and I really liked that.

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An image of Henry Stead I’ve been able to work and study in Oxford as well as benefit from the training and flexibility provided by the OU.
Henry Stead, UK. PhD: A Cockney Catullus

My discipline is ‘classical reception’, which is a relatively new area of study. The Open University is a world leader in this area – largely as a result of the work of my supervisor, Professor Lorna Hardwick.

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An image of Julius Mugwagwa I am glad that through the OU I’ve been able to get this opportunity, particularly the chance to cross different disciplines.
Julius Mugwagwa, Zimbabwe. PhD: Crossnational Technology Regulation in Africa

I worked for an NGO in Zimbabwe for about five years, on biotechnology projects involving small-scale farmers, before taking up a research studentship at the OU in 2005. My motivation came from encountering the GM (Genetically Modified) food debate and trying to understand how emerging technologies are regulated – especially for the benefit of the poor end-users: small scale farmers and consumers.

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An image of Kgauhelo Lekalakala I’m thoroughly enjoying my research degree and I’d recommend it to anyone.
Kgauhelo Lekalakala, South Africa. PhD: Child sexual abuse in preschool children in South Africa.

Before coming to London to work as a social worker, I was a social worker in South Africa and have been keen to do some research to help me better understand some of the problems of the people I was helping. So when a friend told me about OU research scholarships, I decided to apply.

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An image of Liang Wang The OU is a wonderful, unique organisation for PhD study.
Liang Wang, China. PhD: Internet-mediated intercultural communication in foreign language teaching.

The first thing I would say to anyone thinking of doing a PhD with the OU is to start by doing the MRes – Master of Research – because it’s such excellent training!

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An image of Nicola Corbett I’m thoroughly enjoying myself!
Nicola Corbett, UK. PhD: The effects of Fibroblast Growth Loop on the cellular composition and circuitry of the hippocampus in a rat model of Alzheimer's Disease.

I did envisage going into industry after my doctorate but I’ve enjoyed my OU experience so much I might well stay in academia!

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An image of Phil Dyson The facilities are great, academics are available to talk to, and support is available.
Phil Dyson, UK. PhD: Self-injury: a critical exploration

My main research focus is on self-harm ­– which is when someone deliberately causes injury to themselves, by cutting, burning, biting, scratching or even bone breaking. A lot of my work has looked at things that people find uncomfortable, or society doesn’t like.

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An image of Dr Phil Rosenberg I don’t think I would have ended up in this career without my PhD. The experience I got at the OU gave me a running start.
Dr Phil Rosenberg, UK. PhD: Huygens' Measurements of the Speed of Sound on Titan

I chose do a PhD at The Open University because the project I was offered was just up my street – ‘Looking at data from Titan, Saturn’s largest moon’.

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An image of Sardar Ahmad. I’m very happy here and very satisfied with the facilities and with the people I’m working with
Sardar Ahmad, Pakistan. PhD: The Association between Corporate Governance Mechanisms and the Performance of Firms

I was living in the UK and studying towards an accountancy qualification, I was about to finish my course when the recession came, and people were struggling for jobs. Someone suggested to me, “if you are interested in a PhD look at what The Open University offers”. Before that I didn’t know the OU did research degrees. I was surprised when I looked at their website at the range of research going on and the academics that were there.

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