Research course

Computing and Communications

Open University · Department of Computing

Entry requirements

PhD: Entry requirements vary according to the research topic and/or specific studentships. The normal minimum entrance requirement is an upper second class honours degree or masters degree, relevant to the proposed area of study, from a recognised higher education institution in the UK. You should also have experience of academic research in the previous four years, normally in the form of either a masters degree in research methods, an undergraduate degree with a research element in the final year, or work-related experience with evidence through research reports.

MPhil: Applicants should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a bachelors degree with at least first or upper-second class honours, or an equivalent qualification. However, entry requirements differ between academic areas, and sometimes a taught masters degree is also required.

Months of entry


Course content

We research the practical problems of what software is, how technologies are developed, how they are used and spoken about, and how they are taught. Our diverse research community, embodied in the Centre for Research in Computing (CRC), spans the OU and encompasses software, systems, emerging technologies, knowledge media, human-centred, social and educational perspectives. We have a mixed research portfolio, embracing science, engineering and socio-technical approaches. Our active themes include: software engineering and design, natural language engineering, interaction design, multimedia, social computing, semantic web services, mobile and ubiquitous systems, music computing, computing education and next-generation networks. Our vibrant community of over 70 research students enjoys an infrastructure of seminars, research groups, conferences, labs and other resources.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
      part time
      72 months
        distance learning
        variable months
        • MPhil
          part time
          24 months
            full time
            15 months
              distance learning
              variable months

              Course contact details

              Dr Alistair Willis
              + 44 (0)1908 653846