Educational and Learning Technology

The Institute of Educational Technology (IET) is one of the leading education research units in the UK. It is an internationally respected centre of excellence, pursuing innovative and rigorous research that influences policy and practice. IET research is multidisciplinary and focuses on the use of diverse media in a wide range of social, cultural and disciplinary settings.

The Institute provides research students with a supportive environment and excellent research facilities. Research within IET is of an interdisciplinary nature across the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies and other faculties such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for technology, communication and education topics. IET offers a unique opportunity to study the theory, application and practice of educational and learning technology with guidance from world-class experts in the field.

Key facts

  • A large community of researchers including over 70 PhD students and approximately 120 EdD students.
  • A vibrant interdisciplinary and multicultural environment.
  • Opportunities and support provided for research students to attend workshops, seminars and conferences at other national and international institutions.


Most of our full-time research students are based at our Milton Keynes campus; for details of residence requirements for different modes of study see Full-time study and Part-time study.


One of our exciting research facilities at The Open University is the Jennie Lee Research Laboratory complex which provides state-of-the-art facilities for research in educational technology and related areas. It includes eye-tracking equipment that is used, for example, for usability testing and has also been used for postgraduate research that collected data on student interactions. Another facility within the laboratory is the gaming room and observation suite, which have also been used for postgraduate research into gaming and informal learning.

Career prospects

Many of our doctoral students go on to build successful academic and non-academic careers. Many of them use the doctorate as a platform for continuing professional development in a wide variety of occupations at local, national, and international contexts.



Find your research topic

Explore specific areas of research, current and prospective projects, entry requirements, fees and funding, available supervisors, how to apply and contact details for advice.

Learning analytics and learning design

Learning futures

Learning in an open world

Performance augmentation

Professional and digital learning


Undertaking a PhD amid a pandemic is very challenging, but the support from my faculty has been incredible! The postgraduate research team is always ready to help and keen to assist in any adversity a student can face. This has given me a strong sense of belonging and a boost in my motivation throughout the process. I am doubtless the OU is a great place for a research degree.

Josmario AlbuquerquePhD Student, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies