The Open University’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. This is reflected in its research which has the same openness and global reach. The research community comprises nearly 1,000 postgraduate research students, at the state-of- the art research facilities on campus in Milton Keynes, online, or working in the University’s Affiliated Research Centres (ARCs) around the world. 177 students were awarded research degrees by The Open University in the academic year 2016-17.
Our innovative research and development ranks in the top third of all UK universities and research influences national and international policy and practice, and enriches the lives of ordinary people around the world.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 72 percent of all Open University research submitted was graded as internationally excellent or world leading. In music, 94 percent of research was assessed as internationally excellent and above, ranking it 8th in the UK in its field. The REF assessment of research impact on society has shown that our research makes a substantial contribution to the economy, policy making and quality of life in the UK and across the globe. Examples of these outstanding impacts:
The Open University aims to ensure that its research continues to be recognised for excellence and impact, delivering substantial benefits to the University’s mission and priorities.
The aims of the Open University’s Research Plan, ‘Research Shaping the Future’, are to:
This handbook should be read prior to registration and referred to throughout registration. Upon acceptance of an offer of registration students will be bound by the Research Degree Regulations, the terms and conditions described here, and relevant policies on the Essential documents website.
The Open University Student Charter sets out the responsibilities The Open University and its students have towards each other, to allow students to achieve their full potential.
Contact details are provided in Part 6.
This handbook is in six parts containing:
Research degree qualifications, mode and location of study, the organisational structure for delivering research degrees, administrative arrangements and Equality and Diversity.
The student record, the terms and conditions of registration, fees, financial support and grants.
Key milestones, facilities and services, the research community, professional development, participating in The Open University life, help and support.
Research facilities and support services available to students.
Procedures for making a formal appeal or complaint.
A wealth of information about the University, the research degrees programmes, and student registration can be found online. Please visit the Graduate School Network.
The Graduate School Network is the gateway to online training and development resources. Forms and guidance notes that support student progress are available on the GSN. All of the University’s policies, statements and regulations can also be found on this website.