Politics, Philosophy and Law (BA)
If you have a keen interest in political affairs, legal debates and philosophical questions about human existence, our Politics, Philosophy and Law (BA) degree provides an opportunity to study three interconnected disciplines that each play a vital part in our everyday lives. You’ll benefit from working closely with world-leading and internationally renowned experts in three of the UK’s most highly ranked Social Science departments.
Taking a cross-discipline approach, you’ll consider the relationships between a functioning society, and how political and legal systems are structured and operate. The course will also develop your understanding of the philosophical origins and basis for law and politics. You may explore concepts such as justice, freedom, morals and democracy, as well as the formulation and implementation of law and policy across the world. In addition to core modules in each discipline, there is significant flexibility as the course progresses to choose optional modules from within the three departments. You’ll have the opportunity to apply to spend a year abroad with one of our international partners. You may also apply to take a work placement through individual departments.
In your first year, you will take core introductory modules with each discipline plus a core interdisciplinary module in PPL.
In your second year, you will take an optional core module in each discipline from a list in each department, including choices such as Theories in International Relations, Ethics and Applied Ethics, and International Law. The remaining 25% of optional modules can be drawn from any of the three departments, enabling you to focus up to 50% of your modules in one discipline in the second year.
In your final year, you can choose from the full list of final year modules in each department, again taking at least 25% of your modules in each of the three disciplines. The remaining 25% can be chosen from any of the disciplines, or you can decide to research and write a dissertation in one subject or an interdisciplinary PPL dissertation.
Lectures provide you with information, analysis and argument, on the basis of which you prepare for discussion or problem solving in your seminars. Seminars are much smaller groups, in which you deepen and further your learning through interactive group discussion, debates, and exchange of ideas.
Your seminar tutor or lecturer will provide you with reading, instructions, notes or tasks, and set the format and guide the discussion or work, prompting debate and involving the whole group in the task at hand.
You should expect to attend around 8-12 teaching sessions per week, between lectures and seminars. For each hour you should expect to put in a further 6-8 hours of private study. You’ll be expected to prepare independently or in groups, and share your views and debate the issues and concepts with your classmates.
Lecturers and seminar tutors are available outside of class to give advice on essay writing and on other matters related to their module. They will also give you feedback on your essays to help you improve your writing and problem-solving techniques.
Research training, personal and professional development are all embedded into your PPL degree programme. Through modules, extracurricular activities, skills workshops, careers events and one-to-one advice sessions, you will be able to hone the skills that employers and further study programmes are looking for.
Lectures vary greatly; Seminars in 1st year - maximum 14 students; Seminars in later years - maximum 18 students
Typically there are 8-12 hours of classroom contact per week. Teaching follows a pattern of weekly lectures and seminars, supplemented by group work, one-to-one advice and feedback hours, and the use of web-based materials.
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 and do not count towards your degree classification. The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each year contributes 50%.
We support student mobility through year abroad programmes. BA PPL students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year of study abroad at one of our partner universities. The Study Abroad Team based in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities. The Study Abroad Co-ordinator of each of the three PPL departments can provide more specific information and assistance.
You can apply for an intercalated year of Work Placement that extends the degree to four years.
A level: AAA
Additional requirements: 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 (to a minimum of BBB).
- 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.
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 PPL
This module provides you with an understanding of key concepts, theories, problems and methods in moral, political and legal thinking and how the three interact. You will explore the topics at the intersection of the disciplines, considering both academic and real-life issues. You will build on the legal, philosophical and political science skills learned in your other modules, broadening your studies and building a foundation upon which to make connections in future year. The module shows how the study of politics, philosophy and law intersect and will encourage you to think about what it means to be a PPL student.
Introduction to Politics
Introduction to Politics gives you a broad overview of main issues and theoretical perspectives. You will learn 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.
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.
You will examine the law of civil liability for wrongfully inflicted damage or injury: the law of tort. We emphasise the processes and techniques involved in judicial (as opposed to legislative or administrative) law-making; the relevance and responsiveness of doctrines thus developed to society’s actual problems; and the policies and philosophies underlying the rules. As well as acquiring knowledge of the application of these technical areas of law, you will develop skills of legal reasoning and critical judgement, with particular reference to insurance, loss spreading, developing medical knowledge, professional standards and consumer protection. Work is undertaken independently and in debate and collaboration with your peers.
You will develop an understanding of the general principles of criminal law and its operation within society, coupled with an awareness of the social and political forces that influence the scope of the law and its enforcement. You will encounter basic concepts of the structure of English Criminal Law, and some knowledge of procedures, theories, and historical and political contexts, so as to understand and debate legal arguments and policy. In your studies, you will be expected to assess and present arguments for and against in open debate and also work collaboratively with your peers on specific tasks.
Optional cores (at least one full-year module from each department):
Politics and International Studies:
Political Theory From Hobbes, Theories of International Relations, Core Issues in Comparative Politics, International Security, States and Markets: An Introduction to International Political Economy
Year ThreeAt least one year-long or two term-long optional modules from each department.
There is also the opportunity to choose further optional modules from any of the departments, or to research and write a dissertation in either PPL or any one of the three disciplines.
Examples of optional modules for current students
Crime and Punishment; Ethics of Sociability; Philosophy of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism; Issues in Political Theory; Politics of Globalisation; War in the 21st Century; Comparative Human Rights; Legal Issues of Brexit; Medicine and the Law; Philosophy of Religion; Internet Regulation; East Asian Transformations; Post-Kantian Social and Political Philosophy; Law and the International Business Environment; Human Rights in Practice; Gender and the Law; Violence, Rights, Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
As no PPL students have yet graduated from the programme, information on careers pathways is unavailable. However, our students have expressed an interest in law, business, the civil service, and journalism.
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Philosophy Orienteering/Scavenger Hunt
- Identifying Your Skills, Strengths and Motivators for Philosophy Students
- Thinking about Work Experience for Philosophy Students
- Careers in the Public Sector
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
A level: AAA
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Please not that the degree is not available as a Qualifying Law Degree. Students interested in a law career in England and Wales can take a one year conversion course (GDL).
In addition, the Solicitor's Regulation Authority (SRA) is introducing a new route to qualifying as a solicitor. Soon, any graduate from any discipline will be able to take the Solicitor's Qualifying Examination (SQE). Find out more on the SRA website.
Department of Philosophy
3 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 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.
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