BA Honours Politics, Philosophy and Economics (UCAS Code: LV00)
For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses. For a full list click hereBack to top
PPE - Politics, Philosophy and Economics - is a degree programme from the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, launched in September 2009. It takes its title from the prestigious Oxford programme of the same name that was established in 1920, initially as the basis for a career in the senior ranks of the Civil Service. It takes a more integrated approach to the study of PPE than many comparable programmes. The programme is based on the view that, to understand social phenomena, one must approach them from several disciplinary directions.
Politics acquaints students with the institutions and processes that produce decisions governing our lives, the processes of change within political systems and the types of choices all political systems face.
Philosophy develops analytical rigour, the ability to reason logically and critically, and provides an appreciation of how ethical judgements and just, rational decisions are arrived at. An appreciation of economics and the general working of the economy is essential to an understanding of government policy and the choices facing businesses, governments and society in general, including an appreciation of how decisions in both public and private sectors are arrived at through the application of a variety of economic models and techniques.Back to top
At Level 1, students take two Economics modules, one Politics module, one Philosophy module, and have two choices.
Levels 2 and 3
At Level 2, students take two core interdisciplinary modules which examine the linkages between the disciplines:
Democracy and Ethics and Economics
The Politics and Economics of Devolution in the UK
Students also take:
plus two optional modules
At Level 3, students take six modules including either a double-weighted dissertation or double-weighted internship and at least one Politics, one Philosophy and one Economics module.
The range of optional modules at Levels 2 and 3 include:
Level 2 modules
Economic Growth Theory
History of Philosophy
Logic and Critical Thinking
Modern Political Thought
Philosophy of Mind
Politics and Policy in the European Union
Politics of Deeply Divided Societies
Skills and Methods in the Study of Politics
Level 3 modules
Contemporary Social and Political Thought
Contemporary Theories of Justice
Decision-making in the EU
Economics of the Environment
Economics of the Public Sector
Ethics and Politics of Foreign Policy
Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and the Nation State
Irish Political Thought
Making Politics Count
Mind and Nature
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of Science
Political Parties and Democracy
Politics and Policy in the UK
Politics and Power in the Global Economy
The Politics of Sustainable Development
The Religious and Secular in Modern Political Thought
Theory and Practice of International Security
War and Visual Culture
Women and Politics
Queen’s PPE stands out for its emphasis on interdisciplinarity, linking moral philosophy to political economy. It provides a number of modules in political philosophy and political economy. Students are encouraged to make links between politics, philosophy and economics and to think about how these areas relate to and complement one another. This gives students a rounded and integrated intellectual training, which combines the versatility of an understanding of all three subject areas, with the dexterity to move between and supplement the different modes of thinking that the three disciplines involve.
Student choice is a feature of the programme as students are able to design and structure the programme to suit their interests, within a tightly defined structure, that provides a training in all three areas.
The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy’s well established and highly successful internship programme gives students the opportunity to develop vocational skills and build up workplace based experience, in areas such as public policy analysis, formation and delivery, private sector consultancy and analysis, political broadcasting and journalism.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Assessment (general): The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.Back to top
Overview: PPE graduates are ideally placed for work in a range of occupations, including the civil service, public services, policy analysis, media, research, teaching, business, the voluntary sector, commerce, marketing and management. Some graduates build on the degree by undertaking postgraduate training in fields such as Legislative Studies, Economics and Finance, Politics, International Relations, International Law and Cognitive Science, as well as social science research and teaching. Tailored careers advice and study guidance is available to all students throughout their time at Queen’s
The particular benefit of PPE is that it provides students with a multi-disciplinary approach to problems and issues. It enables students to understand the political, philosophical and economic issues involved, and the overlap between them, in the course of the making of a particular policy, or business decision. The programme is policy relevant and has a particular focus on policy analysis. Students will leave with a good level of economic and financial literacy. The testimonies of PPE graduates repeatedly reveal that the biggest single advantage a PPE degree programme has provided them with is the versatility and dexterity that results from a training and grounding in three different disciplines. It is this versatility, flexibility and dexterity that opens up such a wide range of career options for PPE graduates, and is highly valued by employers, giving PPE students an advantage over many other Social Science graduates
The diversity of interests and topics covered in the discipline, plus the wide range of skills it equips you with, means that our students enter a wide range of careers on graduation. These include the public sector (e.g. social services, education, civil service,) private sector (e.g. market research, policy analysis, human resources, banking), and third sector (e.g. policy analyst, researcher, , charity fundraiser). A number of our students also go on to postgraduate study, on a full or part-time basis.
Famous PPE graduates include in the field of politics include David Cameron, Yvette Cooper, David Miliband, and Ed Balls), the civil service journalism, the media and broadcasting (David Dimbleby, Nick Robinson and John Sergant).
The first cohort of QUB PPE students are currently graduating and are moving into areas such as further postgraduate study (internationally and in Britain and Ireland), teacher training, banking, consultancy, the civil service and politics, including as a StormontMLA.
Consultations with Employers: The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy includes an active and engaged Employers Forum, which is a panel composed of individuals of high ranking in organisations in fields directly relevant to our degree programmes, including Northern Bank, Price Waterhouse, Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, a range of government departments based at Stormont, and the BBC. The members of this panel advise staff in incorporating employability skills in the development of our degree programmes and in helping prepare our students for the world of work. They also contribute to advisory sessions for students on careers and employability.
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.Back to top
• Optional internship
• Specially designed core interdisciplinary modules (students must take this or a dissertation in their final year)