Research course


Open University · Department of History

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.

British and Irish History since the 18th century; Early modern Britain and Europe; Empire and postcolonial studies; History of medicine; The history of crime, policing and criminal justice; War conflict and politics in modern Europe.

Months of entry


Course content

The Department of History covers a broad range of the political, social, economic and cultural history of Britain and Europe from the late middle ages to the 20th century, with additional expertise in colonial and post-colonial history. It has particular strengths in policing and crime (embedded in a multidisciplinary research group), medical history, and imperial history (supported by the University’s multidisciplinary Ferguson Centre for Asian and African Studies). We welcome applications from students interested in studying full- or part-time for a PhD in early modern and modern history.

Key facts

The Open University houses an important archive of material for police history collected from individuals and organisations from the police service.

The University’s library offers outstanding access to one of the UK’s largest collections of online resources, and our postgraduate students benefit from access to collections of both primary and secondary source materials, online journals, periodicals, and other online publications.

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


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

Course contact details

Dr Silvia De Renzi
+44 (0)1908 653266