Social Justice & Inequalities (formerly Citizenship Studies)

The Social Justice and Inequalities pathway provides a rigorous interdisciplinary framework for exploring the complexities of inequality and injustice at both national and international levels. Based in the School of Social Sciences and Global Studies (SSGS), this pathway is closely aligned with the new Global Challenges and Social Justice (GCSJ) Research Centre, which has particular strengths in applied research and the co-production of knowledge with relevant community and policy stakeholders.

Students enrolled on this pathway will be immersed in a vibrant research culture, backed by two leading research units specialising in Politics and International Studies, and Social Work and Social Policy. These units have been lauded for their research quality and have secured significant research funding, attesting to their academic vitality. Together, they encompass approximately 75 academic staff members and potential supervisors in the School.

Potential applicants looking to apply to study the PhD at the Open University on the Social Justice and Inequalities pathway before submitting your application please contact both Victoria Cooper <> and Dan Taylor <> as soon as possible

Students on the +4 and +3.5 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 2022 ESRC Training Guidelines can be admitted as +3.5 students.

  • The Open University PhD

Students on the Social Justice and Inequalities pathway will benefit from the GCSJ Research Centre through a tailored academic mentorship programme; a Teaching Lab, translating innovative research into curriculum development; and through a programme of lectures, seminars, roundtables and knowledge exchange events with opportunities for PhD students to present and lead activities.

In addition, students will be strongly encouraged to complete a 1-3 month internship (either full-time or part-time) at a relevant organisation. Students with existing professional skills and experience will be encouraged to further sustain and develop these skills and experiences during their PhDs. As well as giving invaluable career development and practitioner links, internships will help students facilitate knowledge exchange and social change.