Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full-time (or 4 years with placement)
27 September 2021
Department of Study
Department of Philosophy
Location of Study
University of Warwick
Some of the most pressing problems of today such as climate change, the refugee crisis, poverty, and international justice are best understood by taking up different perspectives. PPE at Warwick offers exciting opportunities for excellent students to explore these important issues, drawing on insights from philosophy, politics and economics.
Are you fascinated by current affairs? Do you want to gain a broad and rounded understanding of the world around you? If so, this course is ideal for you. This course offers you exciting opportunities to explore these important issues. It draws on insights from philosophy, politics and economics - our three highly-ranked departments.
We will help you to deepen your understanding of why and how governing institutions and big businesses make decisions. You will explore how the consequences of these actions influence our world and impact on our futures. You will investigate what would make for a better and more just society.
Your enthusiasm for the three interconnected disciplines will be rewarded with teaching from excellent lecturers who are equally enthusiastic about their topics. Our world-leading researchers will teach you a diverse range of modules. After building solid foundations in each of the three subjects, you then have the flexibility to tailor your module choices to suit your own interests. This allows you to graduate with either a BA or a BSc.
We offer one of the largest and most international PPE programmes in the UK. You will learn alongside students from many backgrounds and cultures. You can share different insights and perspectives on the topics you cover at the intersections of the three subjects.
You also have the opportunity to apply to spend a year abroad with one of our international partners. On certain pathways, you can also apply to take a work placement.
All students take the same first year core modules in all three disciplines, which will support you with the foundation of the disciplines. Mathematical and Statistical modules are available at either an intermediate or advanced level, to suit students’ existing knowledge.
Before the start of Year Two, 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. Depending on your pathway, you will be able to graduate with either a BA or BSc.
- Year One: 80% core, 20% options
- Year Two: 25%-50% core, 50%-75% options
- Final Year: 25% core, 75% options
How will I learn?
You will study a set of core modules in all three disciplines. These 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 between 12-15 hours of contact time in your first year, and 10-12 hours in your second and third years. You will devote more time in your third year to individual research.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and exams. In some modules you are allowed to choose the assessment method.
Your first year exams are qualifying exams - this means that you need to pass them to proceed to your next year, but they 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 One is 15% assessed by essay, Year Two and Year Three are up to 85% assessed by essay depending on the modules you choose.
Your final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each contributes 50%.
You have the opportunity to spend a year abroad. You could study at prestigious universities throughout Europe and in the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and more as part of their course.
You have the option to take a work experience placement, either in the UK or abroad, as part of an intercalated year on some pathways of this course.
General entry requirements
- A*AA plus at least grade 7/grade A in GCSE Mathematics
- 38 to include 5 in Higher or Standard Level Mathematics/Mathematical Studies
- We welcome applications from students taking BTECs as long as the Mathematics requirements are met.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
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).
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 Philosophy
You'll 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'll learn to engage critically with different viewpoints and critically analyse and evaluate arguments central to philosophy.
Introduction to Politics
Introduction to Politics gives you a broad overview of the main issues and theoretical perspectives within Politics. You'll 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'll conduct a comparative study of different political systems and political change, both in writing and in open debate.
You'll 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.
Year Two (optional cores taken depending on pathway)
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'll study – from Hobbes to Marx – had very different answers to this question. Building on your understanding of political philosophy, you'll 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'll 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'll explore fundamental questions of political morality by critically analysing complex arguments from contemporary political philosophy. You'll study closely John Rawls’s theory of justice, and consider the rival theories of Robert Nozick, G. A. Cohen and Ronald Dworkin. You'll 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'll 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'll 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'll 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'll have a good grasp of the dangers, pitfalls and problems encountered in applied modelling.
Year Three (optional cores taken depending on pathway)
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.
Across Years 2 and 3 you will also take at least one interdisciplinary optional module.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
- States and Markets: An Introduction to International Political Economy
- International Trade
- Philosophy of Terrorism and Counterterrorism
- Topics in Development Economics
- Making of Economic Policy
- Philosophy of Religion
- The Political Economy of Money
- Economics of Money and Banking
- Democracy and Authority
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.
PPE graduates have gone on to work for employers including:
- Bank of England
- Thomson Reuters
- Victoria Beckham Ltd
- Morgan Stanley
- Oxford University Press
They have pursued careers as:
- Actuaries, economists and statisticians
- Business and financial project management professionals
- Journalists, newspaper and periodical editors
- Buyers and procurement officers
- Finance and investment analysts and advisers
- Events managers and organisers
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you. They offer impartial advice and guidance, together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- PPE Students: exploring all your options
- Careers in Government and Politics
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- Meet Your Alumni: Real-life Career Stories from Warwick PPE alumni
- PPE Students: making the most of your time at Warwick - and why?
"PPE will give you the diversity of the world in one course"
"All three subjects are worth studying independently but combining them opens the world up like nothing else!
I realised our superpower when I was sitting in my politics seminar, discussing a topic firmly linked to an economic issue and I could understand the depth of the economic problem. PPE will give you the diversity of the world in one course."
BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics
"I chose to study PPE because it perfectly encapsulated my areas of interest, knowledge, and passion.
The inextricable connection between the three subjects excited and further motivated me to study PPE, in the hopes that it would equip me with the necessary skills and tools to develop a more holistic lens of the world in which we live."
BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics
This information is applicable for 2021 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.