Research course

Citizenship studies

Open University · Department of Politics and International Studies

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

The Department of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) has an international reputation in the transformative field of Citizenship studies, a rapidly developing and influential area of social science. POLIS researchers have been at the cutting edge of this development for over a decade. These innovations include ‘acts of citizenship’, feminist citizenship, practical ecological citizenship, the formation of new political subjects and even problematising the idea of citizenship itself for being rooted in specific cultures.

POLIS has been home to Oecumene which critically examines the possibilities of citizenship after orientalism. Researching citizenship involves questions of security and social cohesion, rights and duties, entitlements and obligations, justice and fairness, gender and ethnicity/race, inclusion and exclusion, human rights, protecting the vulnerable, migration and identity. The department encourages applicants who can contribute to this new wave of critical citizenship studies as well as to the transnational and comparative analysis of emerging citizen subject positions (such as indigenous, feminist, postcolonial and ecological citizenship as manifested in global movements).

Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

The ENACT consortium, funded by the EU under the FP7 research programme, brought together researchers from three member states of the EU (UK, Belgium and the Netherlands), two new member states (Hungary and Latvia) and a candidate state (Turkey) to explore in depth how European citizenship is claimed, disputed and built – in short, to explore how citizenship is enacted. POLIS is now home to a European Research Council Advanced Grant for the project Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism. The project focuses on the interaction between two controversial and contested concepts: citizenship (the process by which belonging is recognised and enacted) and orientalism (the assertion of the superiority of western culture over its eastern counterparts).

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


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


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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Coordinator
+44 (0)1908 654435