Research degrees
Being an OU research student
Affiliated research centres

Affiliated Research Centres

One third of the OU’s research student community are studying based at an Affiliated Research Centre (ARC). The OU’s 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.

The benefits of studying at 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.

How recruitment works at our Affiliated Research Centres

ARCs recruit their research students directly. Within the framework of the programme, ARCs can recruit eligible students and appoint supervisors to projects that fit with their own institutional research priorities.

Our community of ARCs

Your questions

For advice about applying for a research degree, or sponsoring a research student, email the Graduate School or call +44 (0)1908 653806.


Interested in becoming an Affiliated Research Centre?

Download our Affiliated Research Centres programme brochure, or contact the Senior Manager, Business Development.