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Affiliated Research Centres

Researcher in front of equipment

The Open University's Affiliated Research Centre (ARC) programme enables leading research institutes from around the world, who do not have their own research degree awarding powers, to provide doctoral training with our support. 

Why become an OU Affiliated Research Centre?

  • Experience: ARCs benefit from our positioning as a global leader in innovative and high-quality degree programme delivery and our long experience of partnering with external institutions to achieve the necessary standards and establish the required policies and procedures
  • Quality: The OU-ARC doctoral programme adheres to all UK higher education processes and procedures and UK Quality Assurance Agency standards for student support, monitoring and guidance
  • Resources: ARC students gain access to the extensive training and professional skills development resources available to research students based at the OU, have the same opportunities to serve on university committees and access to student organisations and contribute to the co-design of the doctoral programme
  • Recognition: ARC students receive their degree from a widely recognised UK institution and join a worldwide community of OU-ARC graduates
  • Network: Becoming an ARC provides access to a global network of internationally-recognised research institutes. The ARC network offers opportunities for research collaborations, co-supervision, resource sharing and staff development around key areas such as research degree supervision and examination. Staff representatives of the ARC network are also members of key OU governance panels to contribute to the oversight and development of the programme
  • Support: ARCs are supported to address any issues that may arise during the student journey by highly experienced OU Graduate School personnel and the ARC Management Group, an inter-faculty panel of OU academic staff who visit each ARC in the network on a routine cycle to provide face-to-face assistance and opportunities for bespoke discussion on any points of concern
  • Participate: Opportunities for staff and student visits to other ARCs, research placements at the OU campus and participation in the biennial ARC conference.

Research degrees at our Affiliated Research Centres

Within the framework of the programme, ARCs can recruit eligible students and appoint supervisors to projects that fit with their own institutional research priorities. Wherever they are located in the world, ARCs can offer their students a cost-effective route to a respected UK research degree qualification.

We welcome enquiries from organisations with an established, high quality research environment who wish to join our programme. To find out more download our Affiliated Research Centres programme brochure, or contact the Senior Manager, Business Growth. If you would like to make an enquiry please complete the enquiry form.

More information about the enquiry and application

Our community of ARCs