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Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Full-Time)

Why study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Warwick?

  • Our 'bridge model' means you do not just study the three disciplines independently, but are given ample formal and informal opportunities to combine insights from all the different disciplines
  • Each of the three partner departments, the Department of Philosophy, Politics and International Studies and the Department of Economics, is ranked highly in UK league tables. Most recently, Economics was ranked second in the Guardian University Guide 2016 and Politics and International Studies was ranked fifth.
  • Our academics are active in research at the frontiers of their subject, meaning you will be taught based on the most up-to-date subject knowledge.
  • We offer a diverse menu of optional modules, allowing you to follow your own interests.

What will I learn?

The PPE degree will help you develop an advanced understanding of how social, political and economic institutions should be arranged. It is jointly taught by all three partner departments. As well as subject-specific content, the course includes interdisciplinary modules in economics and philosophy, political economy, and philosophy and politics. We also offer a diverse menu of optional modules, allowing you to follow your own interests.

Our staff work at the forefront of research in their subject, giving you access to the latest knowledge in all three areas. You will gain expertise in normative analysis, political and economic theories, and their application to policy sectors alongside the highly sought-after ability to interpret and evaluate contending arguments, before applying them to pressing problems.

Your first year comprises foundation modules in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and quantitative techniques (mathematics and statistics) plus one optional module from within the three partner departments. Choices include World Politics, Introduction to Ancient Philosophy, Ideas of Freedom or The World Economy, but you can also choose from outside areas such as History or Psychology, or a language. In your second year, you select one of two pathways, depending on whether you wish to specialise in two subjects or continue studying all three. In your third year, you take two compulsory, interdisciplinary modules. These focus on important areas of application, e.g. the ethics, politics and economics of the global economic governance, or climate change policies. You can choose to write a dissertation on a PPE-related topic or undertake research in applied economics,

How will I learn?

You will study a set of core modules in all three disciplines, which amount to just over half of the required course work. 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, small-group seminars and tutorials as well as independent study. Typically you will have 12–15 hours of contact time in your first year and 10–12 hours in your second year. Your third year is mainly dedicated to individual research.

How will I be assessed?

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. This will be determined on the basis of your second- and third-year results.

Can I study abroad?

We support student mobility through study abroad programmes and all students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities.

The Study Abroad Team based in the International Office offers support for these activities, and the Department’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.

Entry Requirements

A level A*AA. Plus, GCSE Mathematics A or above (or acceptable equivalent).

International Baccalaureate 38 points, to include 5 in Standard Level Maths/Maths Studies.

Other Qualifications We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.

Access Courses Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units.

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 page.

General Studies/Critical Thinking Offers normally exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking at A level.

Essential subjects

Many of our applicants for PPE will be taking at least one science/maths subject and at least one essay-writing subject to AS Level or above. However, all applications will be considered on their individual merits.

Further Information

Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry welcomed.

Interviews We do not typically interview applicants.Offers are made based on your predicted and actual grades, along with your personal statement. Occasionally, some applicants may be interviewed, for example candidates returning to study or those with non-standard qualifications.

Departmental Open Days All students who receive an offer will be invited to visit the department to meet staff
and students. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.

What modules could I study?

Your first year comprises foundation modules: Economics, Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Politics and Quantitative Techniques. You then choose an optional module from one of the three departments, such as World Politics; Introduction to Ancient Philosophy; Ideas of Freedom or the World Economy.

In your second year, you select your pathway, depending on whether you wish to specialise in two subjects or continue to study all three. Depending on your pathway, you will take a combination of core modules from the following list: Applied Ethics; Econometrics; Economic Statistics; Economics 2; Ethics; History of Modern Philosophy and Issues in Political Theory. You will also be able to choose from a wide range of options. Popular options include: Business Ethics; Contemporary Political Philosophy; Economics of Money and Banking; Industrial Economics 1: Strategic Behaviour; Logic II: Metatheory; Politics of International Development; Post Kantian Social and Political Philosophy: Hegel and Marx; States and Markets: An Introduction to International Political Economy and Political Theory from Hobbes.

In your third year, you will again take a combination of core and optional modules. All PPE students will choose two from a list of three interdisciplinary modules: Principles of Political Economy: Economics and Philosophy; Principles of Political Economy: Economics and Politics and Principles of Political Economy: Philosophy and Politics. These modules focus on important topics at the intersection of philosophy, politics, and economics, such as distributive justice, global governance, or climate change policies. Additional optional modules may include: Dissertation in Philosophy; Dissertation in Politics and International Studies; East Asian Transformations: A Political Economy Perspective; East Asian Transformations: A Political Economy Perspective; Gender and Development; International Trade; PPE dissertation and Research in Applied Economics.

Find out more about the degree structure and module information.

* This is not an exhaustive list and the modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please visit the department website for more detailed information.

What can a Warwick degree in PPE lead to?

PPE equips you for a career in either the public or private sector, and the combination of subjects is well regarded by employers. Some graduates have started careers in finance, the Government Economic Service, domestic policy think-tanks and international institutions.

Career destinations of our most recent graduates include: Civil Service, Policy Advisor (Civil Service); Goldman Sachs, Operations Analyst; House of Commons, Parliamentary Assistant to Edward Garnier QC MP; PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, Tax Associate; Tesco Pension Investment, Property Graduate.

Many also go on to postgraduate study at Warwick, or at other prestigious UK or international institutions.


Professor Andrew Reeve

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Why study at Warwick

A view from our academics