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  1. Study at the OU
  2. Research degrees
  3. Research areas
  4. Design
  5. Integrated waste systems

Integrated waste systems

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An image illustrating studying integrated waste systems with The Open University

Interdisciplinary, and often cross-department, research that generates policy-relevant understanding of complex waste management and resource use issues is undertaken in this area. Scientific and technological investigation that is relevant to the development of sustainable waste management practices is carried out alongside research on social and policy aspects. The former includes research on waste characterisation, health impacts and bio-processing, whilst the latter is designed to generate understanding of sustainable behaviours, investigate the role of the community and voluntary sector, and examine governance and policy.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Sustainable behavioural change in relation to waste and resource management in domestic and commercial sectors
  • Understanding sustainable resource systems; lessons from waste and other resource-use systems such as energy and transport
  • The role of the Third Sector in sustainable social waste and resource management systems including environmental and social impacts
  • Environmental emissions from waste management activities

Potential supervisors

  • Dr Stephen Burnley
  • Mr Jim Frederickson
  • Dr Toni Gladding
  • Dr Rachel Slater
  • Dr Christine Thomas

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Emma Dewberry
+44 (0)1908 332940

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under ‘Your questions’ on the right of the page.