Fees – what you need to pay

The information below is only relevant for students who register directly with The Open University. Students who register through an Affiliated Research Centre (ARC) should contact the ARC directly if they have any questions about fees.

Annual fees

All students registered for a research degree are liable for an annual fee that covers registration, supervision, examinations and graduation.

  • Where a student is in receipt of funding, their fees will be met by the funding body for the periods stated in accordance with the provisions in the offer letter. Where registration continues beyond the funded period the student will become liable for fees.
  • Self-funded students are required to pay annual fees in full at the beginning of each of their academic years (usually prior to the registration anniversary date).

The annual fee depends on the research programme that you want to study, whether you are studying full time or part time, where you currently live and potentially on your nationality and immigration status.

Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation.

Annual fee amounts for 2022–23 are:

Full-time study
  Qualifications Annual fees (£)
UK MPhil/PhD 4,596
International non-science students MPhil/PhD 11,666
International science students MPhil/PhD 15,079
Continuation fee MPhil/PhD 4,596
Writing-up fee MPhil/PhD 565
Resubmission fee MPhil/PhD 2,298
Part-time study
  Qualifications Annual fees (£)
UK MPhil/PhD 2,298
UK DHSC/EdD 3,499
International non-science students MPhil/PhD 5,833
International science students MPhil/PhD 7,539.50
International students DHSC/EdD 8,885
Continuation fee MPhil/PhD 2,298
Writing-up fee MPhil/PhD 565
Resubmission fee MPhil/PhD 2,298
Resubmission fee DHSC/EdD 3,499
PhD by Published Work
    Annual fees (£)
UK PhD by published work 5,553
International students PhD by published work 6,899

Am I a UK or an international student?

UK students are those who can show that:

  • they have been ‘normally resident in the UK’ – not just for educational purposes – for at least three years before the start of their course


  • who can demonstrate that they are ‘settled’ in the UK.

‘Settled’ means having either:

  • indefinite leave to enter or remain


  • having the right of abode in the UK.

For those students who are resident outside the UK, the fee varies according to whether they are taking a research degree in a science or in an arts discipline.

Advice for international students about fees and finance for research degrees for international students can be found on the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). Advice about visa requirements can be found on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Continuation fees, writing-up and resubmission fees

Continuation fees

Where a student enters their fourth year (full time) or eighth year (part time) of study and are still acquiring new data they are classified as 'continuing students' and are required to pay an amount equivalent to the annual fee. The continuation fee is due upon re-registration.

Writing-up fees

Please note that students on Professional Doctorate courses are not eligible for writing-up fees.

Where a student enters their fourth year (full time) or eighth year (part time) of study and is no longer engaged in the acquisition of new data and is predominantly concentrating on writing up their thesis prior to submission, they will be classified as writing-up students. A writing-up student must be in a position to submit their thesis within 12 months, or by their thesis submission date, whichever is sooner.

The writing-up fee is available for a maximum of one year. Regardless of mode of study, should the student fail to submit their thesis within the ‘writing-up year’ they will become liable for the full annual continuation fee should they be granted an extension to registration.

The supervisor will need to formally confirm to the Graduate School when a student should be classified as writing up.

The writing-up fee will be invoiced at the start of the fourth year (full time) or eighth year (part time); it becomes payable halfway through the year (e.g. at 42 months of registration for full-time students and at 90 months of registration for part-time students). Where a full-time student who has been designated as at ‘writing-up’ stage submits prior to 42 months the writing-up fee will be waived. Where a part-time student who has been designated as at ‘writing-up’ stage submits prior to 90 months the writing-up fee will be waived.

Resubmission fee

Where a student is required following the final examination to resubmit their thesis for re-examination a fee will apply. The charge is made to cover costs of re-examination and additional supervision.


Before accepting an offer of registration, it is important to consider your finances over the period of your studies. If you are paying your own fees, you must make sure you can meet the cost; you will not be able to proceed with your degree if your fees are in arrears. New postgraduate research students are now eligible for student loans; information on eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Gov.uk’s doctoral loan page. Please note you are unable to apply until you have received an offer letter and you will need to ask the Graduate School for a Course Code in order to apply.

Although financial support is available for students in financial hardship, it is a small fund and should not be relied on.

Funded students

Some students are in receipt of a studentship – that is, they have applied for and successfully been awarded funding for a fixed amount of time during their studies. Current studentships are advertised on the Studentships page. Depending on the award received, which would be confirmed in their award/funding offer letter, students typically receive a stipend and the awarding body pays the fees.

Students entering the fourth year (full time) or eighth year (part time) may become liable for a continuation fee or a writing-up fee. This may not always be covered by funding bodies and the student will be expected to pay this fee – payments by instalment can be arranged using an OUSBA account (subject to credit check). Where a student is formally recorded as ‘writing up’ (i.e. they have completed their research and are focused on writing their thesis), by the time they enter the fourth year (full time) or eighth year (part time) year, the fee is reduced.

Students are advised to check whether this is covered in their award offer letter and/or with the organisation/body making the award offer.

Self-funded students

Students who are self-funded are liable for the full fees for the duration of their study.

Students entering the fourth year (full time) or eighth year (part time), will become liable for a continuation fee unless they are formally recorded as ‘writing up’ by the time they reach the end of the third (full time) or seventh (part time) year, in which case the fee is reduced.

Research student working out fees with calculator

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.