Research course


Open University · School of Physical Sciences

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. If you have a qualification from outside the UK, or you are not sure if you meet the entry requirements, please contact us by email before applying.

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.

Cold atoms for quantum technology; Experimental and computational molecular physics; Molecular clusters; Physics education; Plasma science; Theory of condensed matter and biophysics.

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

Research in physics within the School of Physical Sciences falls into the following main research themes:

  • Cold atoms for quantum technology
  • Experimental and computational molecular physics
  • Molecular clusters
  • Physics education
  • Plasma science
  • Theory of condensed matter and biophysics

See the individual entries under eachof these headings for more details.

Key facts

  • Our work is at the forefront of modern science, and we featured in submissions to RAE2008 and REF 2014
  • Research is funded by industry and by national and international funding agencies, including the European Union
  • Research students are recruited both nationally (some grants are restricted to UK nationals) and internationally


Researchers within the Physics Research Discipline have a suite of state-of-the-art laboratories on the OU campus. They also have access to the university’s IMPACT computing cluster and external computing facilities.

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


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


full time
15 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036