Research course

Entrepreneurship and innovation

Open University · The Open University Business School

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) plus 120 credits in research methods training or, ideally, a masters degree in Research Methods (MRes), which is the usual precursor to PhD studies.

Months of entry


Course content

Research on entrepreneurship covers issues relating to entrepreneurship, including home-based business, micro-business and small and medium enterprises. Studies might explore functional activities undertaken by such enterprises, for example, ICT adoption, marketing or strategy development, or address cross-functional issues such as ethics or collaboration. Research might also consider the entrepreneurs themselves, including entrepreneurial approaches and traits. Research on innovation is undertaken in both small- and medium-sized enterprises and also in and across large organisations. Topics for research could include the innovation process, such as social or open innovation, and the outcomes and benefits of innovation. Much research is undertaken in international contexts and forms the basis of international comparisons. Innovation is one of the cornerstones of the socio-economic wellbeing of any nation and PhDs with a specialism in innovation are actively being sought in universities as well as in think tanks, consultancies and policy institutes.

Potential research projects

Internally funded full-time research studentships are advertised in January (closing date end of March) and may include the areas below. We also welcome part- and full-time self-funded applications in these areas:

  • Generating and adopting innovative practices
  • Entrepreneurship in home-based, micro and small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Realising the potential of information systems and information technology.
Current/recent research projects
  • Understanding SME manager engagement with climate change
  • The impact of entrepreneurial capital on environmental improvement in SMEs: contemporary practices and interventions in the leather sector of Pakistan
  • An exploratory study of the implications of the technological and the online social media developments, on innovation in fashion retail industry
  • The greening of SMEs
  • The adoption of ERP systems by SMEs in India
  • Engagement in public sector IT projects
  • Knowledge management in the performance sportswear sector
Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information

Qualification and course duration


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


part time
24 months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

Debby Hing
+44 (0)1908 655272