Degrees and courses for international students
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Research degrees
Research areas
Scales of Justice Old Bailey


The Open University Law School (OULS) provides a lively and stimulating interdisciplinary research environment for PhD students. As a PhD student in OULS you will be provided with the resources and support you need to enable you to fulfil your intellectual potential and generate research impact in your chosen field.

Research activity in the School focuses on the Space, Law and Governance Centre and the following research clusters:

The School is also networked to a University-wide priority research area aimed at addressing 21st century global challenges and promoting social justice:

Doctoral researchers are fully integrated into the School’s academic and research community through regular seminars and social activities. Key to your development are the learning opportunities enabled by The Open University Graduate School and research training provided within the Faculty of Business and Law. We are also members of the ESRC Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership. Our growing community of PhD students investigate a wide range of research topics, and can study with us full-time or part-time.

Key facts

  • Requirements for entry onto PhD are normally an upper second class honours degree 2:1 and usually a specialist masters in a subject relevant to the intended study with a strong research element. 
  • Students are normally required to be resident in the UK for the duration of their studies.
  • Full-time funded studentships are advertised twice annually: in January/February (October start date) and May/June (February start date) for specific projects.
  • Full- and part-time applications are welcomed in any business and management research topic where there is research expertise. For information about researchers in the School, see People.
  • Acceptance depends on the quality of the application, prior academic achievement and capacity to supervise the proposed research. 
  • We do not offer funding for part-time study.
  • The PhD programme is not available by distance learning.



Research topics

Explore specific areas of research, current and prospective projects, entry requirements, available supervisors and contact details for advice.

Astrobiology, space law and governance

Belonging and faith in law

Open justice