Part-time study

MPhil, PhD, DHSC and EdD degrees are all available for part-time study. MPhil and PhD students are normally required to be resident in the UK, whereas the DHSC and EdD programme is available to students living anywhere in the world.

Studying part-time may be more convenient if you need to balance your studies with work and family commitments. Part-time students are supported by their supervisors and can access a wide range of virtual services and facilities, including the rich online resources of the world-class OU Library, Research Skills training modules, and live training and meetings via Microsoft Teams.

Access to tailored online spaces and communities provides a rich source of links to streamed events and training resources.

If you study for a PhD, you will be encouraged to come to campus for meetings, seminars and events in your research area, to make sure you can get the full benefit of integrating into the research environment. If you study for a Professional Doctorate, you will need to come to campus for residential weekends.

Can I work while I study?

There is no limit to the number of hours part-time students can work. Part-time students are expected to commit to spending a minimum of 18.5 hours a week on study.

Research student in lab

The Perry Building, Walton Hall campus, Milton Keynes. Named after the OU's first Vice Chancellor, Walter Perry.


WIth a very full professional and home life, I needed a programme that would be flexible and personal. The OU programme has been diligently and sensitively planned to ensure high quality academic rigour in a format that works for everyone’s unique circumstances.

Fiona Aubrey-SmithEdD Student, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies

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.