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The Open University PhD Student Reviews

Updated 30 October 2017
5 reviews

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PhD Student

3.4
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The Open University Vice-Chancellor Peter Horrocks
Peter Horrocks
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Pros
Cons
  • Bullying culture, micro-management, not a lot of support and no opportunities for career progression (in 7 reviews)

  • Another point of criticism is the fairly weak involvement of the OU in Milton Keynes (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Distance-learning university"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - PhD Student
    Current Employee - PhD Student

    I have been working at The Open University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The OU is a big producer of educational content and at the forefront of technological development. It's distance-learning set-up makes the university more open to staff living away, which is great if you are willing to commute to the campus.

    Cons

    The campus is not that easy to get to, and many of the departments have faculty and staff that commute from around the UK. This can make it difficult to get things done and can make it feel more isolating because few live around the campus.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Tranquil place for research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Milton Keynes, England
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Milton Keynes, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Open University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Quiet, many parks around, good researchers in the department (maths), fairly funded PhD.

    Cons

    Not that prestigious, sometimes campus feels dead.


  3. "Working at the OU"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Milton Keynes, England
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Milton Keynes, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Open University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent work/lab facilities, good team, grounds maintained to the highest standard, catering is excellent

    Cons

    location makes finding nearby accommodation difficult, despite the presence of excellent sports facilities, there are very few organised social sports. NO CASH MACHINE

    Advice to Management

    build a gym, renovate both bars which are currently very shabby and get a cash machine, or at least make card payment limitless


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  5. "Not good for student perfect for staff!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PhD Student in Milton Keynes, England
    Former Employee - PhD Student in Milton Keynes, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is peaceful, you have your desk with an average pc in a office with windows (it is good to change air, when you share the office with nine other persons). You have unlimited access to your office and facilities (laboratories and printer included). Good quality space in the lab a good range of facilities. Very good laboratory manager.

    Cons

    First, working in Milton Keynes you have to buy a car or live nearby the University. Car it is too expensive to maintain with a PhD salary, and living nearby the uni is expensive too (400-500 £ for a room in a shared house) and there are is not many house to choose. Departments have carpet everywhere (corridors, offices, stairs so if you are allergic it is not the best, overall considering that they are hoovered one a week with a henry hover not a professional one). The working hours are lots, but this depends from your supervisor and by the type of PhD. There is not cash mashine, and you have to eat in the university cafeterias, no other options around a part from a little shop that close at 4:30 pm. The deparment is little, and people poorly interact. No very good to discuss and to improve your knowlwde and have feedbacks, almost no one knows what you are speaking about, little bit frustrating!


  6. "University without undergraduate students"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PhD Student in Milton Keynes, England
    Former Employee - PhD Student in Milton Keynes, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Relaxed environment, freedom to do research without bothering with undergraduate students.

    Cons

    A little bit isolated, but that has some advantages too.