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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses 2019/20>Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) (BA)

BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Delve into the issues that influence governments and develop your critical capacities - prepare to shape the future

Year of entry: 2019
Show year of entry: 2020

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

A*AA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fees

£17,120 per year (2019/20)

Clearing and adjustment 2019

Seeking bright minds for 2019! We have limited places available on some of our courses.

Explore our vacancies

Learn from internationally respected experts from across three highly regarded departments. Build the understanding and analytical skills valued by top employers and become an agent of change.

Understand the forces at work where power and money intersect with ideals. Grapple the problems that shape society, explore the theory behind the politics and question the morality of competing systems of government. By what right do our rulers govern? What conditions create poverty and how does wealth interact with political unrest?

Our flexible course lets you tailor your degree to your strengths. You'll learn with a diverse and international student body. Our active Club of Politics, Economics and Philosophy (PEP) encourages debate beyond the classroom, and with opportunities to study abroad you can develop a truly global perspective.

Watch video on YouTube
Studying Politics, Economics and Philosophy at the University of York
The Club's role in developing a unique sense of friendship and community is difficult to overemphasise
(Marat, Year 3 PPE)

Course content

You'll benefit from a solid grounding in the core subjects of Philosophy, Politics and Economics, along with a range of interdisciplinary modules available across all three years.

You'll study a total of 360 credits, including a large range of option modules that will help you tailor the course to your own interests, meaning you can develop your strengths in your second and third years.

You can also choose between taking the 'standard' PPE route and the 'econometrics' route, which has been developed for those who intend to take statistics or econometrics as second or third-year modules.

Econometrics is usually a requirement if you wish to continue with an MSc in Economics. This route is available only if you have at least a B grade in Mathematics at A Level (or equivalent), but you do not need to decide which degree you'll take until you arrive at York.

Course transfer within PEP

It is reasonably easy to transfer between the courses in the School of PEP, subject to space being available on the course you want to move to. It is relatively easy to change within the first few weeks of the first year. After this, you may have to wait until the start of the second year, and at that point you can move only into a course for which you have taken the relevant first-year introductory modules.

Year 1

You take 120 credits in your first year. You can choose a route within the PPE degree — the standard or the econometrics route.

Route 1 - standard

You'll take a core PPE module, one Politics module, two Philosophy modules and two Economics modules. You can choose one further module in Politics or Philosophy. 


You'll take one core module in PPE, spanning all three disciplines:


You'll choose one of the following:


You'll take one core module:

You'll also choose one of the following:


You'll take two core modules:

You can choose one further module from either Politics or Philosophy:

Route 2 - econometrics

On this route you'll take two additional economics modules which will enable you to study econometrics in your second year. Please note that knowledge of econometrics is usually a requirement if you wish to pursue an MSc in Economics.

You'll take one Politics module, two Philosophy modules and four Economics modules. 


You'll choose one of the following:


You'll study one core module:

You'll also choose one of the following:


You'll take four core modules:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

You take 120 credits of modules in your second year. The core modules you take will depend on whether you chose the 'standard' or 'econometrics' route in your first year.

Route 1 - standard

You will take two Economics modules, one Politics module and two Philosophy modules. You'll have a further 20 credits to choose from either Politics, Philosophy and PEP. 


You'll choose between 30 and 50 credits in Politics, including:

One 30-credit module - current options include:

Up to two 10-credit modules - current options include:


You'll choose between 30 and 50 credits in Philosophy, including:

At least one Key Ideas module - current options include:

Up to three short Key Ideas modules - current options include:

Up to one option module - current options include:


You'll take 40 credits in Economics:


You may take up to 10 credits in PPE with our interdisciplinary module:

Route 2 - econometrics


You'll take one 30-credit module in Politics - current options include:


You'll choose between 20 and 30 credits in Philosophy, including:

One Key Ideas module - current options include:

Up to one short Key Ideas module - current options include:

Up to one option module - current options include:


You'll take 60 credits of Economics:


You may take up to 10 credits in PEP with our interdisciplinary PEP module:

Year 3

Whichever route you chose in your first and second years, you will take 120 credits of modules in your third year and will choose from the same selection of modules.

You will need to take:

  • at least one 20-credit Economics module
  • at least one 20-credit Philosophy module
  • at least one 20-credit Politics module
  • at least one 20-credit PEP module - this may be a taught option or the 20-credit PPE dissertation.

The remaining 40 credits may be taken in Economics, Politics, Philosophy, or PEP.

There are a wide range of modules available across all three disciplines, as well as the interdisciplinary PEP modules. Examples of current modules include:





You will also have the option of taking the PEP Dissertation, which is worth 20 credits and is supervised over all three terms and assessed in the Summer Term.

Examples of dissertation titles include:

  • A Feminist Critique of Drone Warfare
  • A Politico-economic Analysis of the 2012-13 Financial Crisis in Cyprus
  • Is it Wrong not to Vote?

The dissertation option is an independent study module that requires students to write a 4,000-5,000-word dissertation bridging at least two of the disciplines covered in the School. Students receive one-to-one support from a supervisor throughout the year.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Draw upon the conceptual tools and methods of philosophy, politics, and economics, including the mathematical methods necessary to understand and apply economic theory, in order to analyse problems and issues that arise within their respective domains.
  • Propose and evaluate creative solutions to complex problems by gathering and analysing a variety of information (where this includes statistical, mathematical, and interpretative data) and drawing upon the concepts, methods, and theories of the three disciplines.
  • Communicate the issues, methods and results of the three disciplines in a clear and accessible way, demonstrating a sound understanding of the relevant disciplines and showing, where appropriate, how they can illuminate each other.
  • Critically engage with, and, when necessary, synthesize academic and professional research in all three disciplines, thereby becoming a versatile and multi-skilled analyst.
  • Appreciate and articulate the role of philosophical assumptions in different methodologies pursued in the social sciences.
  • Use interdisciplinary thinking to reflect upon and engage with issues arising in modern societies, thereby acquiring a deeper understanding of the connections between the PEP disciplines by drawing on the complete set of skills developed in these disciplines.

International reputation

As one of the first Schools to offer a Politics, Economics and Philosophy (PPE) degree, we have established a strong reputation around the world.


With degrees in PPE, Economics and Philosophy, Economics and Politics, and Philosophy and Politics you can choose the right degree to develop your strength across these interconnected disciplines.

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are for 2019 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £17,120

Additional costs

There are no mandatory additional fees, but we do recommend that you set aside some money for photocopying. Course books will be available from the Library and online reading packs are available for most modules, but you may wish to buy your own copies. Each book typically costs £40.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

We teach in two main ways: seminars and lectures. The main focus of your coursework will be in seminar groups, normally of 10-15 students. In seminars you will produce and discuss your own work, under the guidance of a module tutor. Seminars are normally accompanied by lectures, attended by all of the students taking the module.

In the first year, you will take introductory modules alongside students from a wide range of degree courses. In the second and third year modules, lectures are smaller - often with as few as 20 students.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars228 hours228 hours144 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

The School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy is located in Derwent College, on Campus West. Teaching on this course takes place at various locations across Campus West including Vanbrugh, Derwent and the newly opened Spring Lane Building.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

The majority of your assessments will be either unseen examination papers or essays, which will vary depending on the department running the module. Most economics modules for example are assessed by exams, but in Philosophy and Politics there is more of a mixture of exams and essays.

Assessments occur throughout the three years of study, usually in the term immediately after the module has been taken. There are three assessment periods during the academic year: Week 1 of the Spring Term, Week 1 of the Summer Term and Weeks 5 to 8 of the Summer Term.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams75%65%75%
Practical exams13%0%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Students in a Politics seminar
Economics students in a lecture

Careers and skills

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree is a highly sought after by employers - 95% of graduates from the School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy enter further work or study within six months*. With our diverse student body and opportunities for internships and study abroad you'll be prepared to enter the global marketplace.

The Club of PEP also provides a platform for students to meet with experts and and industry insiders through their careers branch, YorkWorks.

PPE graduates go on to work in a wide variety of fields, including:

  • Public administration
  • Local and national government
  • Industry
  • The ‘not-for-profit’/non-governmental (NGO) sector (including international work)
  • The creative, media and broadcasting industries
  • Marketing
  • Accountancy, banking and finance
  • Law
  • Social welfare
  • Education


*Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2015/16.

Career opportunities

  • Brexit Policy Editor, The Guardian
  • Economist, Nordic Investment Bank
  • Consultant, PwC
  • Policy Advisor to Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
  • Correspondent, ITV News

Transferable skills

  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Debating and clear expression of ideas
  • Development and structuring of arguments
  • Processing information
  • Time management
  • Working collaboratively in a diverse environment
  • Working and learning independently
  • Ability to understand numerical and written information

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

A*AA or AAA including Mathematics. Not including General Studies.

There are two slightly different routes open to students studying PPE with us, one of which (the 'econometrics route') is more mathematical in focus, and for this, A-level Mathematics with at least a grade B is compulsory. For the standard route, we also highly recommend AS or A-level Mathematics.

However, you do not choose between these two PPE routes until you start your degree at York.

GCSEs Mathematics at Grade 7 (A)
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
International Baccalaureate 37 points. A Higher level in Mathematics is strongly recommended.
Other qualifications

For details of other acceptable qualifications, please visit the Student Recruitment and Admissions website.

We welcome applications from mature students (ie those aged over 21), and usually admit a number each year. In all cases we look for evidence of ability, interest and commitment, but we may not require specific formal qualifications. In most cases, we prefer to interview mature candidates before offering them a place.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 169 each component
  • TOEFL: 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in Listening, 21 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 21 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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