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BA (Hons) Economics and Philosophy

Hone your analytical skills on the complex intersection of economics, human nature and our place in the world

Year of entry: 2019

UCAS code

LV15

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£17,120 per year (2019/20)

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Explore the ethical implications of financial decisions and train your mind as you question the fundamental principles that underpin society.

Economic forces affect every aspect of our lives, from the price of coffee to our structures of our government. Study these pressures under the guidance of world-class researchers and analyse the philosophical implications of economic theory. Who bears the burden of financial stability? Can great wealth ever be ethical? Is it permissible to weigh the poverty of some against the greater happiness of the whole?

You'll learn with a diverse and international student body and with opportunities to study abroad you can develop a truly global perspective. Our active Club of Politics, Economics and Philosophy (PEP) encourages debate beyond the classroom. The skills you will develop in thinking across boundaries and engaging critically with a range of material are highly valued by employers.

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Studying in the School of 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 Economics and Philosophy and build an understanding of the connections between these subjects through our interdisciplinary module: Rationality, Morality and Economics. 

You'll study a total of 360 credits and choose from 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 also have the option of taking the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) dissertation - an extended piece of work in which you'll be able to apply the analytical skills you have developed across these disciplines. 

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

In your first year you will take modules totalling 120 credits from both Economics and Philosophy. 

The economics modules will provide you with modules focusing on the mathematical and statistical skills necessary for advanced study of the discipline. In philosophy you will take modules that introduce you to the methods of thinking and writing that underpin philosophy, central areas of philosophical study and key figures and works from the history of philosophy.

Economics

You'll take 60 credits in Economics. You'll take four core modules:

Philosophy

You'll take 60 credits in Philosophy. You'll take four core modules:

You'll also choose one option module:

Academic integrity module

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

Year 2

You'll take 120 credits of modules in your second year - 60 credits each for Economics and Philosophy.

Economics

You will take the following core modules:

Philosophy

You'll choose two or three Key Ideas modules - current options include:

You may choose up to two short Key Ideas modules - current options include:

You may choose up to one option module - current options include:

Year 3

You take 120 credits of modules in your final year - at least 20 credits in PPE and at least 40 credits each for Economics and Philosophy. Beyond these requirements you are free to choose modules from either discipline - or even elective modules from other departments.

PPE

You will take the interdisciplinary module:

You may choose the PEP dissertation (20 credits), which is supervised over all three terms and assessed in the Summer Term. 

Examples of previous 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?

You may choose to take an additional PPE interdisciplinary module - choices include:

Economics

You'll choose at least two economics modules - choices include:

Philosophy

You'll choose at least two philosophy modules - choices include:

You may choose to study an additional advanced module for certain options:

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 economics and philosophy, 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 economics and philosophy by drawing on the complete set of skills developed in these disciplines.
  • Locate, compile and present social, economic and financial data with an understanding of their strength and weaknesses and be able to use them in analysing and testing economic models.

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.

Flexibility

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 based on data from 2018 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.

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.

“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 work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. 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 conducted 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 seminars240 hours228 hours180 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 1200 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 the Physics and Electronics Building 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 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 exams83%63%83%
Coursework17%37%17%

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

Students in a seminar
Students in a lecture

Careers and skills

The interdisciplinary nature of Economics and Philosophy provides transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers, with over 95% of our graduates entering further work or study within six months. With our diverse student body and opportunities for internships and study abroad, you'll be well 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 central and local government, private industry, the creative arts and media, and professional fields such as teaching and social work.

Career opportunities

  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Accountancy
  • Banking
  • Publishing

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

AAA including Mathematics. Not including General Studies.

GCSEs Mathematics at Grade 7 (A)
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
International Baccalaureate 36 points. A Higher level in Mathematics is required.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAA at Higher level and AA at Advanced Higher level including Mathematics.
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
  • Pearson: 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

Applying

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

Next steps

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School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy

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