Markets, consumption and cultural economy

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(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
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

The Sociology discipline at The Open University has an established tradition of researching the cultural economy. Our work in this area explores how consumer markets are shaped and made, the role of markets in social and moral life, consumption and social divisions, and the cultural and creative industries. Highlights of present and previous research under this theme include:

  • Cultural economies of insurance and credit
  • Culture, class and distinction
  • Cultures of social inequalities
  • Moral economies of Fairtrade consumption and recycling.

This theme is affiliated with the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), which makes a significant contribution to academic debates on public policy and social change in the UK and other national contexts.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £12,146 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £6,073 per year

Some of our research students are funded via The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership; 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.


Women choosing lunch in a supermarket

How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Discipline Convener
Email: FASS-Sociology-Enquiries
Phone: +44 (0)1908 653947

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.