Research Degrees Handbook
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 approximately 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. 187 students were awarded research degrees by The Open University in the academic year 2015-16.
The Open University’s innovative research and development ranks in the top half of all UK universities. Our research influences national and international policy and practice, and enriches the lives of ordinary people around the world every day.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 72% 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. Assessment in the REF of the impact of research on society has shown that Open University research makes a substantial contribution to the economy, policy making and quality of life in the UK and across the globe. Examples of the outstanding impacts of Open University research include:
The aims of the Research Plan 2020 are to:
Support, develop and value all of the research community in a sustainable environment that fosters creativity and collaboration.
This handbook is a guide to the University’s academic and administrative arrangements for research degree study. It provides information about the services available to research degree students, the policies that apply to registration, and it provides advice about key points in the student journey.
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.
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 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.