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Supported Progression

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

The degree of Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) is a joint honours degree providing an exciting possibility of exploring the three subjects in all their connections and depth. Historically, the three subjects are inextricably related, with Economics, for instance, being an offspring of Moral Philosophy, and Politics having been informed in theory and in practice by Political Philosophy. The three subjects have, however, progressively diverged over the course of the last two centuries, both in content and in method.

The degree of PPE allows students to pursue these different lines of inquiry whilst retaining in their own minds the connections that link them. Much as J.M. Keynes did not study PPE, his famous statement above could be rightly considered as the motto of a PPE degree, where the never-ending question remains as to when these distinguished thinkers of the past have been "right" or "wrong", and indeed, what their being "right" or "wrong" might mean.

Year One of Degree

Two modules will be studied in each of the three departments providing the specific foundations for the subsequent years at an appropriate depth.


  1. Ethics and Values
  2. Knowledge and Reality


  1. Ideas and Ideologies
  2. One module from:
    1. Democratic Political Systems
    2. International Security and International Organisation
    3. Global Regions in International Relations
    4. Theory and History in International Relations.


  1. Elements of Economics
  2. Economic Methods

Years Two and Three of Degree

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 across the second and third year. At no stage can any one of the three be dropped altogether.

In years two and three combined, students take:

  • 2 core modules looking at the principles of macro and micro economics;
  • either Philosophy of the Sciences or Political Philosophy;
  • one further module in Philosophy;
  • 2 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.

In year three, the Dissertation (double module) must be done in one of the three departments

A-level subject requirements:

  • You will need at least a grade A in A Level Mathematics
  • Applicants for PPE should note that the selectors prefer to see a range of A-Level subjects that include an arts or humanities subject, in addition to science subjects to provide an adequate background for all the different skills required to cope with three so different subjects as PPE at university level.
  • Applicants are encouraged to avoid studying both Economics and Business Studies A-Levels because of the significantly overlapping curricula.
  • Candidates who study Further Maths are expected to offer a minimum of four subjects (to include Maths) at A2 level.

Typical offer if you are successful on Supported Progression:

Degree Programme A-Levels Other qualifications
Philosophy, Politics and Economics AAB see here for an equivalency
plus successful completion of the Supported Progression qualification for PPE