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Research at the OU

The Open University is unique among UK universities in combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence. Research and knowledge exchange is fundamental to The Open University's founding principle: to be 'open to people, places, methods and ideas’.

Our research underpins the teaching we deliver to almost 170,000 students as the UK’s largest university. It informs the high-quality free open educational resources we provide to learners worldwide. It feeds into the TV and radio programmes we make with our partner the BBC, which reach an audience of 40 million viewers annually.

Key themes

Our current strategic plan is aimed at strengthening our academic reputation, improving our research environment, ensuring there is intellectual breadth and rigour across all our curriculum areas with a focus on a number of key themes.

About our research

Our world-leading innovative research and development ranks in the top third of UK universities. It influences policy and practices from local to global levels.

Partner with us

Our Enterprise team are dedicated to develop Knowledge Exchange opportunities and are the first port-of-call to begin exploring how the OU can work with you.

Faculties & institutes

Our research is designed to have impact, influence policy and practice and change lives for the better and is carried out across our four faculties and two research institutes.

Research degrees

The OU has a vibrant international community of research students working in state-of-the-art facilities with academics who are leading experts in their disciplines.

Work for us

Our careers mission is to provide excellent training and development opportunities for researchers at all stages of their career so that they excel in their profession.

News & articles

Shutterstock-1086016091 Child with virtual reality headset in classroom

OU research to tackle extremism among England's youth

An Open University (OU) research project has been awarded almost £100,000 to evaluate the usefulness of virtual technology (VR) to combat extremism among vulnerable young people.

14th June 2018
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Upcoming Events

Jun 26

OU inaugural lecture to address new ways of organising

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 18:00 to 19:45

Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

Jul 17

Should we risk lives to save history?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 18:00 to 19:45

Berrill Lecture Theatre, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

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Get in touch

Speak to our key research contacts by phone or email.

Contact us

Open Research Online database

OU research is available to all via our free public access online repository, home to thousands of peer-reviewed publications.

Go to the ORO website