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.