Questions of access to citizenship and the rights and duties of citizens lie at the heart of studying citizenship. A complex political institution, citizenship is not only implicated in multiple legal regimes (e.g., national, international, supranational, regional, and human rights) but also involves questions of identity (e.g., race, gender, age, religion, and nationality). This complexity has given rise to an interdisciplinary and international field of citizenship studies, with rigorous theoretical and methodological foundations.
Students on the citizenship studies pathway attend a series of advanced research training seminars on the following specialised content and methods:
(1) Histories and Historiographies of Citizenship, which explores western and non-western histories of citizenship; methods relevant for the study of the histories and contemporary practice of citizenship; and the broader concerns of historiography, which equip students with critical knowledge to understand and evaluate the competing historical claims to citizenship and its meanings;
(2) Philosophies of Citizenship, which explores core philosophical debates over the meaning of citizenship (and the rights and duties of citizens) from their ‘origins’ in ancient Athens to their medieval, early-modern, modern and contemporary articulations; and question of epistemology and ontology relevant to the philosophical study of citizenship;
(3) Laws of Citizenship, which explores citizenship laws from a comparative perspective; relevant EU, human rights and international laws pertaining to citizenship; and methods relevant for the study of citizenship laws and policies.
The Open University is internationally recognised for its research leadership in citizenship studies, with partnerships with over a dozen international universities and a growing community of researchers and academics studying issues of citizenship from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. The OU’s interdisciplinary strengths are complemented by Oxford's disciplinary strengths in Politics and Migration Studies.
Students following the 1+3 route will undertake their core research methods training at Oxford through taking one of two full-time MSc courses before progressing to PhD study at the Open University:
Students on the +4 and +3 routes are based at the Open University. The +4 route at OU has the flexibility to accommodate students with no previous research training and those with Master’s level or professional experience but requiring additional research methods provision. Students with Master's qualifications that meet the 2015 ESRC Training Guidelines will be admitted as +3 students.
- The Open University PhD
Students on the Citizenship pathway will be required to apply for and complete a 1 to 3-month internship (either full-time or part-time) at non-governmental organisations such as, for instance, Tate Modern, British Council, British Library, Migration Museum Project, International Organization for Migration (Geneva), and Counterpoints Arts with which the Open University has existing relationships.
Students with existing professional experience will be encouraged to sustain and develop these during their PhD. As well as giving invaluable career development and practitioner links, internships will help students facilitate knowledge exchange and social change.