Research course

Ageing and Later Life

Open University · Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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

Research in ageing and later life has a distinguished history within the Faculty of Health & Social Care’s Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies (CABS), which involves current and emeritus staff, doctoral students and associated academics from other institutions.

Research in this area is wide ranging and interdisciplinary, with a strong emphasis on qualitative and participative research methods that address the experience of ageing. Projects have been supported by a variety of funders including Research Councils, the Department of Health, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and other charities and voluntary organisations. Recent projects include work on environment and ageing (community, home based); learning about technologies and their use in later life; the experience of care homes for sufferers of dementia; digital skills for carers and older people.

Current/recent research projects
  • Transitions in kitchen living: the lives of older women
  • The stretched generation – caring for children and older relatives in the same time frame
  • A case study of the statutory review system for older people in care homes in one local authority
Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


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


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

Course contact details

Dr Lindsay O'Dell