Research course

Public leadership and social enterprise

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

The Public Leadership and Social Enterprise (PuLSE) discipline at the OU is committed to generating public and social value through the impact of our work on research, policy and practice in the areas of collaborative and co-operative socio-economic governance, leadership and management of public and voluntary sector organisations, social and sustainable enterprise, and ethical professional practice. The reputation and success of the department is manifested in the work of three research centres (Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership; National Centre for Policing Research and Professional Development; Collaborative Governance Strategic Research Area). Our research employs diverse conventional, non-traditional and multidisciplinary approaches and combines critical understanding of leadership and management with a focus on working with practitioners in a variety of public, voluntary and private sector contexts.

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:

  • Public- and third-sector governance, leadership and management
  • Interorganisational and intersectoral collaboration
  • Social and sustainable enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Ethical professional and organisational practice
  • Practice-based learning and pedagogy.

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

Claire Wylde
+44 (0)1908 332311