Research Degrees Student Handbook
The Open University’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. This is reflected in our research which has the same openness and global reach. Welcome to our research community where you will join just over 1,000 postgraduate research students, working in our Affiliated Research Centres (ARCs) around the world, at our our state-of-the art research facilities on campus in Milton Keynes, and online.
The Open University’s innovative research and development ranks in the top third of UK universities. It influences policy and practice from local to global levels and enriches lives across the world.
In the last Research Assessment Exercise 2008, 80 per cent of OU research in Art and Design and 70 per cent in both Computing and Earth Systems, was deemed ‘internationally excellent’ or better. We are pioneers in these disciplines. For example, The Open University was first to:
Our aim is to ensure OU research continues to be recognised for excellence and impact, delivering substantial benefits to the University’s mission and priorities.
Some key outcomes by 2015 include:
Our policies, regulations and services for research students are measured against the QAA Quality Code, Chapter B11, which is described in more detail in Part 6. You can find out more about our research strategy on the Research strategy and policies.
This handbook is your guide to the University’s academic and administrative arrangements for research degree study. It tells you about the services available to you, the regulations that apply to your registration, and gives advice about what to do at key points.
Please read this handbook before you start your studies – you’ll also need to refer to it throughout your registration. When you accept your offer of registration you will be bound by the terms and conditions described here, and those on our Essential documents website.
The Open University Student Charter website sets out the responsibilities The Open University and its students have towards each other, to allow students to achieve their full potential.
Contact details for the offices and departments are in Part 10.
Our research degree qualifications, mode and location of study, the organisational structure for delivering research degrees, administrative arrangements and Equality and Diversity.
Your student record, the terms and conditions of your registration, fees, financial support and grants.
Key milestones, facilities and services, your research community, professional development, participating in OU life, help and support.
How to access the research facilities and support services available to you.
If you are studying for the Doctorate in Education(EdD), some parts of this handbook don’t apply to you. Part 5 and Part 7.4 provide information specifically for EdD students.
If you are studying for the Master of Research (MRes), some parts of this handbook don’t apply to you. Part 6 and Section 7.3 provide information for MRes students only.
The regulations relating to research degree qualifications are given in Part 7. Our Student Regulations which apply to all Open University students are published on our website at: www.open.ac.uk/essential-documents
The Codes of Practice set out a framework for the conduct of research students and their supervisors, and serve as a standard for external audits and research degree appeals. Policies on a range of issues are provided in this part.
Procedures for making a formal complaint or appeal.
You will find a wealth of information about the University, our research degrees, and your student registration online.
Our website is at: www.open.ac.uk/research/main/research- careers/research-students
The Virtual Research Environment (VRE) is your gateway to online training and development resources. Most of the forms and guidance
notes you will need throughout your studies are available on the VRE at: www.open.ac.uk/students/research
You will find more details throughout this handbook