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Full-time or Part-time

Full-time study

Full-time students are normally required to live within 40 miles of the Open University campus in Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, though residence requirements can be waived in certain circumstances. Full-time students are expected to live within proximity to campus so that they can come to campus regularly and fully engage in the university’s research environment. The Open University campus is a stimulating place to work and study, with state-of-the-art research equipment, an outstanding library, a nursery, high-quality catering, numerous sports facilities and green spaces.

Milton Keynes is a vibrant, modern city with exceptional facilities for learning, business and recreation. You can find out more about living in Milton Keynes here. Milton Keynes has a wide variety of residential accommodation, and plenty within easy reach of the campus. Although there is no student accommodation on campus, we can help you find somewhere to live, especially if you are joining us from overseas. For more information about this service, visit the OU Accommodation website.

If you wish to study full-time but need to reside more than 40 miles from campus – for instance, because of domestic commitments, disability, or need to reside within close proximity to archives or fieldwork sites – you will need to request a waiver of residency requirements on application. Please consult with the Postgraduate Convenor for your discipline or your potential supervisors to discuss such requests.

Part-time study

Studying part-time may be more convenient if you need to balance your studies with work and family commitments. The OU is renowned for its part-time, distance-learning degrees and we excel at providing support to students who are studying off campus.  

Part-time MPhil and PhD students are normally required to be resident in the UK, but do not need to reside within close proximity to campus.

Part-time students are fully supported by their supervisors, and can access a wide range of virtual services and facilities, including online publications and resources, training materials, library facilities, and meetings via Skype and OU Live, all accessible through the Graduate School Network (GSN), which provides a rich source of resources, materials, and communications facilities for research students. It is a portal for all research students to engage with academics and fellow researchers, even when off campus.

Part-time study is normally undertaken over a longer period than full-time study, and you should commit to spending a minimum of 18.5 hours a week on your research. You will normally need to find your own research facilities for part-time study, but will be encouraged to come on to campus for meetings, seminars and events in your research area, to make sure you can get the full benefit being part of a dynamic, cutting-edge research environment.

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