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Welcome to the home page for research in The Open University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The Faculty has a vibrant and broad-based research culture. Our work includes rich historical perspectives on subjects such as classical Greek poetry, Byzantine art, the First World War, and experiences of reading and listening to music alongside engagement with very contemporary issues such migration, Brexit, community divisions in Northern Ireland, sexual citizenship and the challenges faced by LGBT people.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework substantially more than half of our research was classified as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, rising to more than three quarters in Art and Design, English, History, Geography and Music (which secured an exceptional 94% in the ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ categories. Our research has also been recognized by numerous grants from funders including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, the European Commission, and the Leverhulme Trust.

We also supervise nearly 200 PhD students, including full-time students in Milton Keynes, many of them funded through our prestigious doctoral training partnerships, OOC (Open-Oxford-Cambridge), CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities and Arts South East) and Grand Union (for the social sciences in collaboration with Brunel and Oxford Universities). We also supervise many PhD students on a part-time self-funded basis. 

The UK-wide presence of The Open University gives a distinctive quality to our research through for example collaborations with a range of regional art galleries and museums, and our participation in the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series in association with the Northern Ireland Assembly, Queens University Belfast and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

You can browse our research pages by subject areas and by research groups. You can also find further information on doing a research degree with The Open University. The research project page highlights a selection of specific current research projects.

For general enquiries about research in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences please contact the Associate Dean (Research Scholarship and Enterprise), Prof Rose Capdevila,

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