Degrees and courses for international students
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Research degrees
Being an OU research student
Research facilities

Research facilities

At our Milton Keynes campus, we have state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment for design, music, ecosystems and geobiology, atomic, molecular and plasma research, biomedical, cognitive psychological and environmental research. You can also benefit from our on-campus library, and 24/7 access to our online library catalogue.

Laboratories and equipment

The laboratories and facilities you’ll have access to will depend on the research area you undertake. You can find specific equipment details on each of our Research areas.

Library facilities

Our library in Milton Keynes

Our recently remodelled library on the Walton Hall campus combines the best in traditional library facilities and services with the latest technology. Make the most of our modern, quiet and spacious environment for study and research.

Research students can borrow books from our library for up to one year.

Your online Library

As an OU student, you’ll have access to our world-class online library service. You’ll have 24-hour access to full-text journal articles, ebooks, statistics, newspapers, images, theses, conference proceedings and more.

Reference management

Reference management tools enable you to store and organise your references and automatically generate in-text citations and bibliographies in a variety of styles. The Library Research Support team offer a level of support for EndNote and Mendeley, so may be able to answer basic questions on these tools.

Document delivery

As an OU research student, you’ll be able to take advantage of the document delivery service for items that aren’t available through the Library Services’ electronic resources.

Open Research Online (ORO)

Our freely accessible, open-access database of research outputs shows the range and depth of published OU research. ORO also provides access to a range of full-text OU theses.

Open Research Data Online (ORDO)

Open Research Data Online is The OU’s research data repository. ORDO can be used for the storage of live research data or archiving and publishing research data supporting a publication, or once a project is completed. Data stored in ORDO is kept for a minimum of ten years after project completion and is provided a permanent, citable web link to help you get recognition for your work.

Access to other libraries

The OU is a member of the SCONUL Access scheme, which allows SCONUL card holders to use and borrow books from other participating university libraries. Most of the university libraries in the UK (and some in Ireland) are participants. Our Libraries near you page has more information on the SCONUL scheme.

All OU students are entitled to apply for a free pass for the British Library’s reading rooms at St Pancras, London. You’ll need to present two forms of identification, as well as the details of your programme of study. The National Libraries of Scotland and Wales also welcome OU research students.


Different research will require different computing facilities and equipment. For students based on campus, you’ll have access to a networked computer. In some research areas, specialist computing hardware and software is provided.

Support for students with disabilities

We’ll always work with students to support them with their disabilities and additional needs. We encourage you to let us know as early as possible about any additional requirements you may have, so we can support you fully.

Some students may be eligible to apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), which can help contribute to the cost of additional study costs. We’ll tell you how to apply when we send you your offer of registration.

Research student using lab apparatus

Your questions

For advice about applying for a research degree, or sponsoring a research student, email the Graduate School or call +44 (0)1908 654882.