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PhD Studentships

The Open University Business and Law Schools invite applications to join our PhD programme beginning 1 February 2025.   Your application should be based on one of the advertised projects below. In addition 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. We have a number of fully funded full-time studentships.

For this round advertised projects are on:

You will join 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 expected to live within easy commuting distance of Milton Keynes. Fully funded studentships cover tuition fees, and a stipend (circa £18 622 per annum) for 36 months. A generous research training support grant is allocated to all students accepted into the programme to cover research related costs including fieldwork.

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

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
  • IELTS (if applicable) - if you are not exempt, as per the Table 1 and 2 of the  application form (page 17)  the University will  require you to complete an English language test (International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  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.  Test certificates must be no older than 2 years, from date of submission of application.

The closing date for applications is noon UK time on Wednesday 19th June, 2024.  Your proposal, covering letter, fully completed application form and copies of certificates and transcripts including IELTS certificate, should be emailed to by the closing time and date.

Interviews will form part of the selection process and will be held throughout July and early August, 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 lasting up to 45 minutes.

You are welcome to attend an application webinar: Preparing your PhD application workshop – Wednesday 5th June at 13.30 (British time).  This online 1.5 hour workshop with Faculty academics will address questions on whether studying a PhD is right for you, what to consider when applying, what it’s like to do a PhD at the Open University, and how to best craft a research proposal that aligns with advertised project calls. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please email to book a place.

Please ensure to thoroughly check your application before submission, as incomplete applications will not be considered

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