(MPhil also available)
|Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
|February and October
|January to April
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October
January to April
For more than 40 years The Open University has been active in considering the relationship between energy and sustainability. We have research interests in electricity technology and policy, including the growth of renewables. We have much interest in energy recovery from wastes and end-of-life materials.
We are also active in seeking to understand the behaviours of energy users and the linkage of those behaviours to the built environment and design. We have a focus on the role of justice and equity in environmental management and energy sustainability. Our researchers also consider energy knowledge exchange, considerations of stakeholder dialogue and aspects of public communication.
Our diverse research portfolio involves laboratory-based investigation, desk-based assessments and qualitative research including engaging with human subjects Much of the OU’s energy research is interdisciplinary in nature. It combines science, engineering and social science perspectives. The university’s energy and sustainability research often takes a systemic approach with the possibility also of utilizing cognate perspectives such as technology management, environmental management and complexity science.
Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree in a technical or appropriate science discipline, depending on the project proposed. If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.
Potential research projects
For proposed projects in the School of Engineering and Innovation, please email: STEM EI research. The best time to enquire is late autumn each year.
Current/recent research projects
One recent example of an OU PhD student working on energy issues is Madhu Madhavi. In 2020 one of Madhu’s research publications was awarded the James Watt Medal by Institution of Civil Engineers Publishing.
Fees and funding
|Full time: £4,712 per year
|Full time: £15,456 per year
|Part time: £2,356 per year
|Part time: £7,584 per year
Some of our research students are funded via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy Futures (final admissions autumn 2023); others are self-funded.
For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.
To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.