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About the Faculty

Ian Fribbance, Executive Dean

Delving into history’s darkest moments, scaling the heights of Homer’s epic poetry and exploring current issues such as global warming and extremism, The Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences deals with the full range of human experience. Intrinsically interdisciplinary in approach, the Faculty produces cutting-edge research that informs our world-class teaching and inspires our students, academics and the general public.

About us

The Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences is the largest and most diverse at The Open University, with almost 50,000 students studying 37 different qualifications across 14 disciplines. We are home to more than 1,700 members of staff, from academics and associate lecturers to support staff and full-time research students.

The Faculty is made up of three schools:

We offer some of the most popular OpenLearn courses at the University and over 37,000 people have enrolled on our free Start writing fiction module.

Our students consistently rate our teaching as excellent and we have a very high completion rate.

Our influence

Noted for the strength of our interdisciplinary approach, our internationally-renowned academics teach and research a very wide range of topics and themes in specific subject areas. Much of this research was ranked as world class or internationally excellent in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The Faculty collaborates with many high-profile organisations and institutions in the UK and globally, generating world-class, agenda-setting research tackling the most difficult challenges we face in the 21st Century. We have a close working relationship with the BBC and our academics advise on insightful and challenging documentaries such as Inside the Foreign Office, The Fires that Foretold Grenfell and Civilisations.

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