Degrees and courses for international students
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Research degrees
Research areas
Statue of Socrates


Research is at the heart of the Philosophy discipline at the OU. Our full-time members of staff are all active researchers, specialising in a range of subjects across the disciplines. Staff regularly work with and consult for other institutions and multimedia broadcasters, particularly concerning value, reasons and norms (metaphysics and mind), and the history of philosophy (particularly the post-Kantian European philosophy.

Recently, members of the discipline have conducted research on a diverse range of topics, including Helene Metzger (a French philosopher of Chemistry); how our roles link to our responsibilities; ‘epiphanies’ (instant moments of insight); drug-taking in sport; the philosophy of Nietzsche; the fate of cultural heritage in war zones; and ‘engineering’ our concepts so as to help us think more clearly.

Key facts

  • Competitive Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership studentships available.
  • Annual dedicated Graduate Student research conference.
  • Frequent research talks and seminars held, including those sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
  • Established record of attracting research funding.
  • Philosophy’s academics are internationally renowned – they regularly publish books and research articles with top international publishers and journals, present their research at national and international conferences, and several have held visiting research positions at other universities.


Being a research student at The Open University will entitle you to membership of the OU Library, which has a huge range of philosophy journals and books both online and in the library on campus.



Research topics

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


Ethics and political philosophy

History of philosophy, including Modern European

History of philosophy of science

The philosophy of mind and language

The philosophy of sport