PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS AND ECONOMICS (BA/BSc)
Full-time 2019 entry, A*AA, IB 38
Some of today's most pressing problems such as climate change, the refugee crisis, and poverty are best understood from different perspectives. On this course we explore these important issues, drawing on insights from philosophy, politics and economics.
Your enthusiasm for the three interconnected disciplines will be rewarded with teaching from excellent lecturers who are equally enthusiastic for their topics. A diverse range of modules are taught by world-leading researchers in each of our three highly ranked departments. Once you’ve built solid foundations in each of the three subjects, you’ll have flexibility to tailor your module choices to suit your own interests.
By choosing one of the largest and most international PPE programmes in the UK, you’ll learn alongside students from many backgrounds and cultures, sharing different insights and perspectives on the topics you cover at the intersections of the three subjects.
All students take the first year core modules in all three disciplines. Before the start of Year 2, students choose from a set of six pathways. You can focus on all three subjects (BA Tripartite) or choose to focus on a combination of two (BA Bipartite or BSc Bipartite with Economics Major).
Year 1: 80% core, 20% options, Year 2: 25%-50% core, 50%-75% options, Final Year: 25% core, 75% options.
You will study a set of core modules in all three disciplines, which amount to just over half of the required modules. In addition, you can choose optional modules in each of the three PPE departments or from other departments of the University.
Each department is slightly different in how teaching is organised and you will experience different teaching methods, including lectures and small-group seminars as well as independent study.
Typically you will have 12–15 hours of contact time in your first year and 10–12 hours in your second and third years, with your third year dedicated more to individual research.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and exams, and in some modules you are allowed to choose the assessment method. The first year exams are qualifying exams are pass to proceed and do not count towards your degree classification. This will be determined on the basis of your second- and third-year results. Assessment is dependent on the modules taken. Year 1 is 5-10% assessed, Year 2 and Year 3 are up to 87.5% assessed dependent on the chosen modules.
The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each contributes 50%.
Our students have the opportunity to spend a year abroad at prestigious universities throughout Europe and in the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan as part of their course.
There is the option to take a work abroad placement as part of an intercalated year on some pathways of this course.
"Studying PPE means that I have a lot of flexibility with both my module choices and assessment methods, so I’m able to study some really interesting topics and understand them in depth. This year, I’m studying seven modules, and have opted to be assessed via essays wherever possible."
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A level: A*AA plus at least grade 7/ grade A in GCSE Mathematics
IB: 38 to include 5 in Higher or Standard Level Mathematics/Mathematical Studies
You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Contextual data and differential offers: Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer.
- Access Courses: Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units.
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
- We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
Interviews We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Introduction to Philosophy
You will have a wide-ranging introduction to philosophy, including Ancient, Continental, moral and political philosophy, followed by epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind and aesthetics, and logic. You will learn to engage critically with different viewpoints and critically analyse and evaluate arguments central to philosophy.
Introduction to Politics
You will begin your study of politics through discussion of the main issues and theoretical perspectives, learning first to understand and then apply the core concepts of comparative political science and theory to processes, institutions, ideologies and practical policy-making. You will conduct a comparative study of different political systems and political change, both in writing and in open debate, where you will be encouraged to link your own experiences to the issues raised.
You will develop an understanding of fundamental and intermediate concepts in micro- and macroeconomic analysis, equipping you with a range of appropriate analytical skills, including descriptive, graphical and mathematical methods. This will develop your ability to analyse economic trends, institutions and politics and the capacity to apply analytical techniques to real-world problems.
This module combines three modules together; Mathematical Techniques, Statistical Techniques and Computer and Data Analysis. You will cover topics ranging from algebra and calculus to distributions and hypothesis testing. By the end, you will have acquired the skills to understand economic data and have the ability to use a statistical package to analyse data.
Optional modules from the three departments or outside options. Some examples of modules being taken in 2017/18 are: The World Economy; Nine Ideas in International Security; Foundations of Political Economy; Justice Democracy and Citizenship; World Politics; Ancient Philosophy; Reason, Argument and Analysis; Introduction to Environmental Economics; Linear Algebra; The Industrial Economy: Strategy.
Depending on your pathway, you will take a combination of core modules from the following list:
History of Modern Philosophy
You will discover the metaphysical and epistemological ideas of great Empiricist philosophers Locke, Berkeley and Hume on substance, qualities, ideas, causation and perception. You will then explore Kant's ideas, including metaphysics, space, self-awareness, causation, scepticism and freedom. You will develop skills in critical engagement, articulating your own views of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these arguments and interpreting key philosophical ideas.
We evaluate each other’s actions constantly. Maybe your friend broke a promise, or you protest against a government welfare policy. But what makes these moral claims true? You will use the tools of philosophy to illuminate these questions. You will study theories of what makes things right or wrong (normative ethics) and more basic questions – is anything right or wrong anyway (metaethics)? Studying this module will provide you with knowledge and skills useful to the exploration of ethical and political questions in your further study.
Should I be able to buy your ‘spare’ kidney? You might think that if you are willing and I have the money then there is no harm involved. But if you were desperate, does that mean I would be taking advantage of you? These are the sorts of questions you will cover in Applied Ethics, answering them in systematic ways. For example, we may ask about our duties to animals, whether it’s permissible to have children and what is it that’s bad about death, among other questions. You will engage in debate on these and other questions arising in normative ethics and clarify and articulate your own standpoint on such issues.
Political Theory from Hobbes
How should human beings be governed? The thinkers you will study – from Hobbes to Marx – had very different answers to this question. Building on your understanding of political philosophy, you will read significant primary and secondary texts to develop your understanding of how political convictions are shaped by the context and history of individual thought and social interaction. You will confront and assess complex ideas in political theory, and present and defend your point of view, both orally and in writing.
Issues in Political Theory
Should parents send their children to private schools? Is freedom of movement a moral right? Is it unjust to rear animals for food? Who should bear the costs of climate change? You will explore fundamental questions of political morality by critically analysing complex arguments from contemporary political philosophy. You will study closely John Rawls’s theory of justice, and consider the rival theories of Robert Nozick, G. A. Cohen and Ronald Dworkin. You will have practical opportunities to develop and defend your own ethical standpoint through your considered judgements on current dilemmas, taking into account opposing arguments and perspectives.
You will develop deeper understanding of economic concepts and be introduced to new concepts in both micro- and macroeconomic analysis. These include material drawn from general equilibrium, welfare economics, game theory, rational expectations and time consistency. It will introduce you to the analysis of public policy issues such as market failure and counter-inflation policy, and give you a range of tools to analyse economic problems. Your analysis will be underpinned by a rigorous theoretical understanding acquired on the course.
You will learn important skills of both academic and vocational value, an essential part of the intellectual training of an economist and social scientist and also useful for your future career. These skills include awareness of the empirical approach to economics and social science; reviewing and extending fundamental statistical concepts; methods of data collection and analysis; regression analysis, its extensions and applications; use of spreadsheets and statistical packages such as SPSS or STATA.
You will be equipped with important skills of both academic and vocational value, being an essential part of the intellectual training of an economist and also useful for your future career. This includes an awareness of the empirical approach to economics; experience in analysis and use of empirical data; understanding the nature of uncertainty and methods of dealing with it; and using econometric software packages as tools of quantitative and statistical analysis. With the required necessary skills and knowledge to critically appraise work in applied economics, you will have a good grasp of the dangers, pitfalls and problems encountered in applied modelling.
Principles of Political Economy: Economics and Politics
This module is only available to final year PPE students. You will be concerned with governance at both national and global levels, and consider this topic from the perspective of both economics and politics as academic disciplines. The focus is on the extent to which these perspectives complement or conflict with each other. You will study four specific areas where these perspectives overlap, and learn to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of each methodology covered.
Principles of Political Economy: Economics and Philosophy
This module is only available to final year PPE students. In this module, you will explore topics at the intersection of moral philosophy and the economic analysis and evaluation of public policy. You will encounter topics in individual choice and rationality, collective choice and justice, welfare and welfare measurement and markets and their ethical limitations. You will be introduced to key debates and learn to apply philosophical and economic perspectives to public policy issues.
Principles of Political Economy: Philosophy and Politics
In this anthropogenic era, politics and philosophy seem inextricably entwined. On this module, available to final-year PPE students, you’ll combine the study of philosophy and politics and examine how each influences the other. Using the tools of philosophy to understand, analyse and debate contemporary political problems, you’ll improve your ability to dissect and critique complex moral arguments, and learn to construct an independent, rigorous and informed position on topical social and political issues, drawing on a variety of disciplines to reach your considered judgement.
Students also take an optional core of any interdisciplinary module from the three departments.
Selection of optional modules that current students are studying in 2017/18 across Years 2 and 3
States and Markets: An Introduction to International Political Economy; International Trade; Biopolitics; War and Economy in the Twentieth Century; Philosophy in Education, Capitalism and its Alternatives; Topics in Development Economics; Feminism; Politics of Religion; Politics and Culture in the Middle East.
The flexibility of our PPE programme means that graduates have access to a wide range of careers. Some careers of recent graduates include:
Analyst, Broadcasting Intern, Business Analyst, Campaigns Officer, Charity Intern, Civil Service Policy Adviser, Corporate Tax Adviser, Diplomatic Attaché, Economist, Journalist, Lawyer, Lecturer, Maths Teacher, Parliamentary Assistant, Portfolio Manager, Production Editor (Publishing), Researcher (Think Tank, academia), Risk analyst, Sales Manager, Senior Associate, Solicitor, Trader.
Support is available through the careers and skills team, including PPE-specific sessions and individual appointments for 1-to-1 guidance with a PPE-specifc advisor. The PPE Society also have a mentoring system including links with recent graduates.
A level A*AA Additional grade A in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent)
IB 38 to include 5 in Higher or Standard Level Mathematics/Mathematical Studies
Degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full time
24 September 2019
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Undergraduate students are expected to purchase their own copies of the primary texts for the course, though the departments try to make a considerable amount of material available online and through course materials. It is estimated that students may spend up to £150 per year of study on books. Undergraduate students can obtain most required texts from the University Library. Photocopying/printing costs for essays might come to £25 per year.
This information is applicable for 2019 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.