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PhD Studentships

The Open University Business and Law Schools invite applications for a number of full-time funded PhD studentships beginning 1 October 2022.  Your application should be based on one of the advertised projects. We also welcome full- and part-time applications in other areas of business, management and law, including on a self-funded basis, dependent on supervision availability.

You will join a vibrant environment of students and academics in the Faculty of Business and Law who conduct research of the highest international standard that has economic, public and social value consistent with the mission of the Open University. You will work with subject specialists and have the opportunity to develop your skills in research communication, engagement and impact.

PhD studentships are based on full-time study for three years at the Milton Keynes campus. Full-time students are normally expected to live within commuting distance of Milton Keynes. Studentships cover tuition fees, a generous research training support grant and a stipend (circa £15,544 per annum) for 36 months.

Applicants for the PhD programme should have minimum qualifications of an upper second class honours degree 2:1 (or an equivalent) and usually a specialist masters in a subject relevant to the intended study with a strong research element.

Business School

Department of Accounting and Finance (DAF)

DAF01 Exporing linkages between sustainability and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

DAF02 The Use of Forensic Accounting in Countering Fiscal Corruption, Tax, Fraud, or Other Types of Fraud

DAF03 The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and corporate social responsibility reporting

DAF04 Social and Economic Inequality in a Financialized Society

Department of People and Organisations (DPO)

DPO01 Bridging inclusiveness and diversity on Earth: Study of Space Agencies

DPO02 Developing black leadership for systems change

DPO03 The design of a framework for managing resilient manufacturing systems

Department of Public Leadership and Social Enterprise (PuLSE)

PuLSE01 The Role of Transnational Corporations in Health Inequalities in Developing Countries

PuLSE02 Evaluating the interaction of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Space Industry

Department of Strategy and Marketing (DSM)

DSM01 City Futures:  New Technology, Social Marketing, and Urban Design

Law School (Law)

LAW01 Gender, sexuality and legal history

LAW02 Technology, data, law, and governance

Your application must include:

  • a proposal which should be at least 1,000 words and no longer than 2,000 words, which indicates your knowledge of the literature, methods and likely approach to your project of interest (guidance on how to write your research proposal)
  • a covering letter indicating your suitability for the project
  • a fully completed application form
  • copies of degree certificates and transcripts relevant to your application

Please note that PhD by Published works is only available to internal OU staff and staff based at our Affiliated Research Centres

If your first language is not English, you will need to verify your competence in the English Language in all four elements (reading, writing, listening and speaking). The University requires a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any of the four categories (or approved equivalent). You should have your level of proficiency certified through a provider approved by UK Visas and Immigration and provide your certificate and grade with your application.

The closing date for applications is noon GMT on Wednesday 16th February 2022.  Your proposal, covering letter, fully completed application form and copies of certificates and transcripts, should be emailed to by the closing time and date.

Interviews will form part of the selection process and will be held in March or April, either in person or remotely via videoconference. Applicants are expected to give a 10 minute presentation about their proposal, followed by a question and answer session.

If you are applying to the FBL PhD Programme as a Centre for Policing Research and Learning PhD student please see here for further information about the process and application deadlines.

Further information

We welcome full-time and part-time self-funded applications in topics in Business and Law, dependent on supervision availability and you can apply for a faculty studentship with a research proposal that is not related to one of these advertised projects.  If you have any questions regarding our PhD studentships or about studying with The Open University Law School please contact us.

If you have any questions regarding our PhD studentships or about studying with The Open University Business School please contact us.