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Student stories

”The level of research is world-class and outstanding. To be here and to be part of that is phenomenal.” Five PhD students discuss what it’s like doing a research degree at the OU: their first impressions, the supportive community they’ve joined and why they would recommend the OU to others.

Watch more at the Research Students at the Open University playlist on YouTube.

Read our student stories

Emma Claire Sweeney

I thought the OU would be the perfect place to do my PhD because of all of the research generated there and I knew my supervisors would be great mentors.

Read more Emma Claire Sweeney, PhD student
Jack Wright

What gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing that I am producing something new, a map of a planet we do not know very much about, and in particular of an area that has not been looked at in any close detail by human beings until now.

Read more JackWright, PhD student
Leanne Gunn

I feel proud to have completed my PhD. OU study has definitely changed me as a person. I’m much more confident at writing and presenting. I’m self-motivated and my managers know that they can trust me to get my work done.

Read more Leanne Gunn, PhD student
Shanta Everington

My end aim is for my PhD narrative to be published as a creative non-fiction book... the OU has launched Part 1 of the new MA in Creative Writing, which I’ve been appointed to lecture on which is really exciting. Hopefully, the PhD will enhance my future teaching opportunities as well as impacting on my writing career.

Read more Shanta Everington, PhD student
Vibha Srivastava

The OU has given me a great opportunity to work in a field I am interested in. It keeps my spirits high and keeps me going. I really am very happy and very grateful. Wherever I have studied, it has given me a broader perspective about people around the world, which I really enjoy.

Read more Vibha Srivastava, PhD student