Research course

Business and Management

Open University · The Open University Business School

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

The Open University Business School is a leading international management school with the largest management education programme in Europe. Research is at the heart of our activities, underpinning our teaching, consultancy, advisory and policy work.

Research activity in the School focuses on five research centres:

The School is also networked to other faculties through participation in the collaborative Research Centre:

Our themes include traditional business disciplines and newer areas such as social marketing, social enterprise and management learning. Working in collaboration with institutions around the world, our research involves extensive engagement with professional practice in business and management and offers wider benefits to society.

We offer two research degree programmes: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

Key facts

  • External project funding from a wide range of sources such as Research Councils UK, EU Horizon 2020, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, College of Policing and various philanthropic donations.
  • Opportunity to join a lively community of doctoral and masters research students.
  • Opportunities for personal and professional development via our seminar programme and bespoke training events.
  • 72 per cent of our research was considered as being 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
  • Requirements for entry onto PhD are normally a 2:1 Bachelors degree (or equivalent) and a masters degree with a strong research element. Ideally we require 120 credits in research methods training.
  • Students are normally required to be resident in the UK for the duration of their studies.
  • Full-time funded studentships are advertised in January/February for specific projects determined by the Business School.
  • Full- and part-time self-funded applications are welcomed in any of the business and management research topics. Acceptance will depend on the quality of the application, prior academic achievement and our capacity to supervise the proposed research. Applications must be received by the 1 June to start on 1 October of the same year.
  • We do not offer funding for part-time study.
  • The PhD programme is not available by distance learning.

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


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


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


distance learning
variable months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Claire Wylde
+44 (0)1908 332311