Research course


Open University · Department of Economics

Entry requirements

PhD: The normal minimum entrance requirement is an upper second class honours degree or master's 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 master's degree in research methods, an undergraduate degree with a research element in the final year, or work-related experience with evidence through research reports. If you're not sure if you meet the entry requirements, please contact us ( 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. The research topic pages (in the menu on the right of our Research areas page) give details of specific entry requirements, and provide contact details to discuss your suitability for the MPhil with a member of academic staff.

Months of entry


Course content

OU economists are involved in major externally funded pieces of work related to development and health, inequalities within households and the measurement of economic progress. There are also high-profile research connections with other leading universities around the world.

We welcome applications from students with interests in development, innovation, industrial economics, health, economic theory and philosophy, behavioural economics, economics of personal finance, economics and gender issues - particularly in household or labour economics.

Research students work closely with supervisors and have been very successful in obtaining jobs in academia.

Key facts

  • Publications in a range of excellent journals (economics, development, innovation, health and social policy)
  • Conference and other research expense support
  • Strong connections with other schools and faculties in the OU (includes opportunities for multidisciplinary supervision e.g. economics and statistics, economics and business, economics and geography)
  • Very strong track record of grant funding from international and national sources (e.g. EU, UN, ESRC, AHRC)
  • Opportunity to apply for studentships supported by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
distance learning
variable months
full time
36 months


full time
15 months
part time
24 months
distance learning
variable months

Course contact details

Discipline Convenor
+44 (0)1908 659304