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PhD programme

There are various ways of studying for a PhD in WELS.

  1. Full-time, fully funded, on-site: this is the most common route, where you are based on our campus and the university pays for your fees, monthly stipend and research training support grant.
  2. Part-time, fully funded, on-site or off-site: this is possible occasionally when the funder agrees for part-time studies. You may be based on campus or somewhere else in the UK. The funder pays for your fees, monthly stipend (pro-rata) and research training support grant.
  3. Full-time self-funded, on-site: this is for those with a sponsorship or with sufficient personal funding to support fees, living and training expenses. The expectation is that you are based on campus.
  4. Part-time, self-funded, off-site: this is possible occasionally and are for those with a sponsorship or with sufficient personal funding to support fees, living and training expenses. The expectation is that you are living in the UK.

Entry requirements

You should hold Master’s degree in an appropriate cognate area from a UK University or other recognised degree-awarding body. The comparability of qualifications from outside the UK with The Open University requirements will be determined through reference to UK European National Information Centre (UK ENIC).

Funding

Full-time funded PhDs will be advertised on the Open University jobs page under the heading ‘Studentship’. If you have a sponsor or have sufficient personal funding to support your fees and training requirements, you can apply for a self-funded PhD place.

Residential requirement

Full-time students are expected to live no further than 40 miles/40 minutes from campus so that they can engage with campus life. Applicants for part-time research study must be resident in the UK for the duration of their studies.

Time commitment

Full-time students are required to spend a minimum of 37 hours a week on their studies throughout their registration period up to 4 years. Part-time students are required to spend a minimum of 18.5 hours per week on their studies throughout their registration period up to 8 years.

Fees

Please visit our fees page for more details.

How to apply

Please submit an appropriate application form, supporting documents as indicated on the application form and proposal no more than 2,000 words during the recruitment period (November to January) to the Student Enquiries team (WELS-Student-Enquiries@open.ac.uk). For information on writing a PhD Research Proposal please visit WELS PhD Research Proposal Guidance

Selection process

All research degree places are subject to a selection process and you will be required to write a research proposal and attend an interview before you are offered a place. Places are decided based on:

  • the quality of your proposal
  • the view of the selection panel regarding the contribution to knowledge that your research would make
  • the availability of supervisors with knowledge and experience relevant to your research
  • the University’s current research priorities
  • any entry requirements that apply to the research area

Selection is conducted according to the fair selection principles defined in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education: Admissions, Recruitment and Widening Access, and Research Degrees. You can read more about the Quality Code in the Research Degree Student Handbook.

Overseas students

For overseas students coming to do a PhD there are additional requirements concerning visas and demonstrating English language competency.

If you do not have already have a visa, the University will provide a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) with your offer letter, to enable you to apply for a visa before your study begins. Details of the visa process may be found on the UK Visas and Immigration website. Specifically, the UKVI site contains info about the Student Route VISA.

The University requires an overall SELTS (secure English language tests) score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any of the four categories (reading, writing, speaking, listening). Further details can be found on the UKVI site under language requirement. That page also includes is a link to approved test providers.

Many of the approved centres are run by the British Council, and there is information about the SELTS on their website. This also includes links to a booking system to register for a test.

For more information and applcation forms please visit the MPhil and PhD application website