Research course

STEM Education and Engagement

Open University · Institute of Educational Technology

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Entry requirements

PhD: 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. You should also have experience of academic research in the previous four years, normally in the form of either a masters degree in research methods, an undergraduate degree with a research element in the final year, or work-related experience with evidence through research reports.

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.

Months of entry


Course content

The Open University is one of Europe’s largest providers of university-level online STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) programmes. The eSTEeM unit works across University boundaries to bring together STEM academics to innovate, evaluate and research in STEM teaching and learning. We work closely with external partners across the UK and the globe to promote STEM and STEM education and to offer OU responses to national and international STEM needs for HE.

The use of digital technologies provides a wide range of opportunities to transform the design and delivery of STEM subjects in higher education, with learning analytics tools providing a potentially rich source of information on how students interact with learning resources. How digital technologies can be best exploited to maximise student understanding of STEM concepts and mastery of skills requires structured pedagogic research. The Open University provides a stimulating environment in which to research world-leading pedagogic development.

Our innovation and research includes all relevant aspects of pedagogy with a strong emphasis on e-learning. Recent major funding has allowed us to create the Wolfson OpenScience Laboratory that enables students to carry out authentic practical science activities online. We are guided by the priorities of access and authenticity: real data through realistic interfaces.

If you are interested in research into the teaching of STEM subjects, eSTEeM offers a unique and stimulating environment with links to practical innovation.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
      full time
      36 months

      Course contact details

      Administrative Support
      +44 (0)1908 655114