Research degrees
Being an OU research student
International students

International students

We value our diverse and transnational research community. The OU welcomes international students looking to undertake a research degree in the UK.

This page covers the ways the OU can support international research students; for detailed information on requirements and considerations for applying from outside the UK, please see our International research student applications page.

Our Student Route license

The OU is licensed as a Student Route sponsor under the points-based immigration system. This means we can register students coming from outside the UK.

Details of the requirements for entry to the UK as a postgraduate research student are on the general student visa website. The UK Council for International Student Affairs also offers support with applying for a Student Route visa, as well as other issues affecting international students.

Support for international students

Coming to the UK to start a degree programme is an exciting opportunity. We’ll help you settle into your new life, both in Milton Keynes and at the OU.

  • The University has a dedicated Accommodation officer to support you in your accommodation search and you can be put in touch with them once you have accepted your offer.
  • We have negotiated an arrangement with a campus-based university nearby for some of our research students to live in their student-friendly accommodation; again, we can tell you more about this once you’ve accepted your offer.
  • You will get support from a dedicated International research student support adviser who can offer:
    • assistance in opening a UK bank account
    • general advice for living in the UK
    • social opportunities to get to know your community.
  • The Graduate School runs a dedicated induction session for first-year international students.
  • On acceptance of an offer to study with us, we can issue a confirmation of acceptance (CAS) for study.

If you need additional information on any of the support we can offer you, get in contact with our Graduate School Team.

Open University research students

I really do think the peer support at the OU is excellent. Everyone I have come in contact with is really helpful and open about issues. This has helped the quality and diversity of my learning and research at the university.

Awele AchiPhD Student, OU Business School

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.