Philosophy, Politics and Economics
At a glance
BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics
|Mode of study|
Our BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) is a prestigious joint honours degree offering you the opportunity to explore three subjects – their connections, influences and impact. You’ll gain an understanding of how and why they’ve been so inextricably linked historically, and the ways in which they’ve developed and diverged over the course of the last two centuries, both in content and in method. Throughout the course you’ll investigate the subjects in theory and practice, gaining the knowledge and skills to pursue different lines of inquiry and interrogate your own... more
Our BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) is a prestigious joint honours degree offering you the opportunity to explore three subjects – their connections, influences and impact. You’ll gain an understanding of how and why they’ve been so inextricably linked historically, and the ways in which they’ve developed and diverged over the course of the last two centuries, both in content and in method.
Throughout the course you’ll investigate the subjects in theory and practice, gaining the knowledge and skills to pursue different lines of inquiry and interrogate your own ideas. All this provides a rigorous academic framework which is highly-regarded as excellent preparation for a successful career, no matter what path you take.
In the first year, two modules will be studied in each of the three departments providing the specific foundations for the subsequent years at an appropriate depth.
In Philosophy, these are Ethics and Values and Knowledge and Reality, whilst in Politics, Political Theory is taken alongside another optional module in the School of Government and International Affairs:
In Economics the two compulsory modules are Principles of Economics, which introduces the basic Micro and Macro theory, and Economic Methods, which provides students with the necessary mathematical and statistical skills for subsequent studies in Economics.
Whilst the first year is dominated by the necessity to build the foundations for all three subjects, the choice opens up quite substantially in the second and third year. The basic rule that needs to be met is that for each of the three subjects a minimum of two modules must be studied in the second and third year. At no stage can any one of the three be dropped altogether. In years two and three combined, students then take two core modules in economics looking at the principles of Macro and Microeconomics; either The Philosophy of Economics or Political Philosophy and one further module in Philosophy; and two modules in Politics. Aside from these, and provided that individual module requirements are met, students can specialise and tailor their choices from a wide selection of optional modules in the three subjects. This gives the degree the flexibility and eclecticism that are its defining characteristics.
At this stage, you can choose to add an extra dimension to your studies, by extending your course with a work placement or an international exchange, which can help you stand out in a crowded job market.
In the third year, the Dissertation (double module) must be done in one of the three departments and it must be associated with another third-year module of the same subject.
We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2019 entry from September 2018.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Learning and Teaching
Course Learning and Teaching
Students on this programme learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials (Politics and Economics), workshops (Economics only), informal but scheduled one-on-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.
All of these are supported by a state-of-the-art virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (duo). Seminars, tutorials, and workshops are much smaller groups than lectures, with tutorials often involving between eight and twenty students working with a member of staff; seminars and workshops can be larger but are still small enough to allow interaction with the tutors.
This emphasis on small-group teaching reflects a conscious choice to enhance the quality of the learning experience rather than the number of formal sessions. In fact, the degree programme is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as students move from their first to their final year.
Small-group teaching and meetings with a personal academic advisor (provided for all students when they enter the programme) are part of the learning experience throughout, but by the final year, classroom time gives way, to some extent, to independent research, including a capstone dissertation that makes up a third of final year credits.
In this way, the degree programme systematically transforms the student from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. These formal teaching arrangements are supported by “drop-in” surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin in the week before the start of the programme and continue at key times during each year of the programme.
Subject requirements, level and grade
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
- We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. Please contact our Admissions Selectors
- Mathematics at A level or equivalent is required. If an applicant is taking Maths and Further Maths, a further two subjects must be taken at A2 level.
- We do not accept Advanced Higher Statistics as a substitute for AH Mathematics. If you are taking both of these subjects at this level then a further two Advanced Highers are necessary.
- Typical IB score 38 to include 666 in higher level subjects
- For students taking the IB we are happy to accept either Higher Level grade 6 or Standard Level grade 7 in Mathematics. Mathematical Studies is not acceptable.
- One Arts/Humanities subject at A level or equivalent is required. In the past successful applicants have commonly satisfied this condition, by studying one or more of the following subjects: History, Philosophy, Government and Politics, English Literature; any ancient or modern language; Geography, Religious Studies. Such a list cannot be comprehensive, so if you are unsure over whether the subjects that you are currently following or are planning to take, meet our standard requirements please contact our Admissions Selector for further details.
- We do not include General Studies; Critical Thinking or the Extended Project as part of our offer.
- If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Information relevant to your country
Fees and Funding
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£19,250.00 per year|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Open Days and Visits
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.
Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place: www.durham.ac.uk/opendays
Discover Durham Tours
Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.