Research course


Open University · Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

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Entry requirements

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 or other recognised degree-awarding body. The comparability of qualifications from outside the UK with The Open University requirements will be determined through reference to UK NARIC.

The research topic pages (in the menu of our Research areas page) give details of specific entry requirements, and provide contact details to discuss your suitability for the PhD.

Months of entry


Course content

We undertake research into a wide range of engineering subjects, from materials engineering and energy to acoustics, built environment, manufacturing, electronics and nanotechnology. We take an interdisciplinary approach to our research and have close collaborations between staff in different groups. Our research underpins our teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate level.

This prospectus page focusses on research in Built Environment, Manufacturing, Electronics & Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and there are separate prospectus pages for the Materials Engineering, Energy, Environment, Acoustics and Design groups.

The Built Environment group has a particular interest in environmental and social sustainability in the design and construction of the built environment. The group members are from diverse backgrounds including architecture, engineering, social science, planning and design.

In the area of Manufacturing we undertake research at the interface between design and manufacturing, for example in product development processes and design margins. We also undertake research in additive manufacturing, and diffusion bonding.

The Electronics and BioEngineering group spans diverse areas and includes broad themes of telecommunications, nanoelectronics and microsystems, bioelectronics and bio-inspired technologies.

The Nanotechnology group focusses on the revolutionary opportunities associated with nanomaterials and nanoscale engineering and works closely with the School of Life, Health, and Chemical Sciences.

Members of the Engineering group contribute extensively to the Open University’s teaching on a large range of undergraduate and post graduate modules. We make extensive use of the Open Engineering Laboratory to allow our distance learning students. More details about our work is given under the groupings listed on the right. Find out more about current PhD studentships opportunities:

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr Helen Lockett
+44 (0)1908 653040