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Research degrees

Welcome to The Open University’s research degrees prospectus.

5th for overall satisfaction in the Postgraduate Researcher Experience Survey 2019, the OU supports a diverse community of over 900 postgraduate research students, doing cutting-edge PhD and Professional Doctorate projects:

  • at our vibrant campus in Milton Keynes
  • through innovative Doctoral Training Partnerships
  • around the globe, linked through Affiliated Research Centres.
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How to get started

Find out about our current research areas, the research degrees we offer, sources of funding, how to apply and what it's like to be an OU research student.

Research areas

Explore our research areas: research priorities, the research environment, and facilities available.

Degrees we offer

Learn about the types of research degree available (including PhD and Professional Doctorates) and the options around full- and part-time study.

Fees and studentships

Find out about the costs involved in doing a research degree as well as sources of funding and support, including the Doctoral Training Partnerships.

Application process

We walk you through how to make your application for different kinds of degree and additional requirements for Doctoral Training Partnership applications.

Being an OU research student

Our students enjoy high-quality academic and pastoral support, as well as access to excellent research facilities and a rich research environment.

Student views

"I love being a PhD student, being around people who love to learn: it's a fantastic community to be part of." Discover more of our students’ views.
 
 

My supervisors have been amazing. Extremely supportive when needed while also allowing me to have very independent control over my project. They have just been great and made the experience so worthwhile and so much fun.

Freya Wise
Freya WisePhD Student, School of Engineering and Innovation
 
 

The love of learning, support and friendship knows no boundaries at The Open University. It is indeed a place that lives up to its name where doors are open, minds are open, people are open, and opportunities are open to everyone.

Simona Radu
Simona RaduPhD Student, OU Business School
 
 

Frequently asked questions

If you’ve got a question about what it’s like to be a research student at the OU, we’ve got the answer.

Check out some of our frequently asked questions