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BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE)


Fact File

Degree Awarded: BA

Duration: 3 years

Entry requirements: AAB + GCSE Mathematics grade B

Tuition FeesRelevant details concerning tuition fees are provided here.

UCAS Code: LV00

Further information: The Convenor for this degree is Dr Stefan Andreasson,

Pathway diagramme for BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics (follow this link for information on the structure of the degree pathway)

Why PPE?

Three Good Reasons to Study PPE (PowerPoint presentation)

PPE at Queen’s is an innovative programme, designed for ambitious, motivated students, with an excellent academic track record. Politics, Philosophy and Economics overlap not only in the world of academia, but also in public policy, business and commerce. The intellectual dexterity and versatility that emerges from a training and grounding in these three overlapping and cognate disciplines is an enormous professional, intellectual and vocational asset, valued and recognized by governments, policy makers, enterprises and employers. PPE is a recurring feature in the academic background of many of the world’s rich and powerful, including countless CEOs and cabinet ministers.

The Queen’s PPE programme allows students to probe the political nature of economic facts, processes and structures, the economic nature of political decision-making, processes and power, and the philosophical questions raised by both concerning the nature of the society in which we live and for which we should strive, including how we can rationalise and justify our decisions. Students will take modules in all three disciplines as well as a number of core interdisciplinary modules that will examine the ways in which politics, philosophy and economics inter-relate and complement one another.

Intellectually, Politics, Philosophy and Economics have been linked since the time of Plato and Aristotle through the moral philosophy of the liberal enlightenment up to contemporary theorizing about the nature and challenges of today’s supposedly ‘globalized’ world.  Politics, Philosophy and Economics have overlapped in the work of a diverse range of great thinkers including Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, David Hume, Adam Smith, John Locke, Karl Marx, Friedrich List, Mohandas Gandhi, David Ricardo, Ibn Khaldun, Amartya Sen, Friedrich Hayek, Max Weber, and many more. This reflects the fact that political power, wealth creation and questions concerning the most appropriate uses of both have been intimately intertwined throughout the history of the modern world. Such questions are faced by all societies both in the ‘advanced post-industrial societies of the so-called ‘West’, in the new and emerging economic powerhouses of  Eurasia, Asia and Latin America or in the developing world. Politics, Philosophy and Economics are crucial ingredients in our efforts to come to a rounded understanding of the mechanics of contemporary society. The three disciplines provide the intellectual cornerstone and foundation of modern social science.

PPE at Queen’s

The emphasis in the PPE programme at Queen’s is on student choice. Students can choose to specialize in any one of the three disciplines, or take roughly equivalent numbers of modules in each area. The degree is simultaneously multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary, comprising a range of single-subject modules and modules which bring together insights from all three disciplines. At least one module will be taught jointly by political scientists and economists. The degree will primarily be taught by the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, with input from the School of Economics and Management. Students will have the opportunity to study areas as diverse as political thought, the politics and economics of devolution in the United Kingdom, political parties and democracy,  comparative politics, international relations, international political economy, Irish Politics, British Politics, the politics of development,  ethics of foreign policy, politics and policy in the UK, theories of justice, epistemology, human nature, the good life,  philosophy of mind,  history of philosophy, the philosophy of law, metaphysics, managerial economics, regional economics, employment relations, applied economics, economics of the public sector, business methods, democracy, morality and economics. Students will also have the opportunity to apply to undertake a vocational work placement.

Key Features

One of only a dozen or so PPE programmes available in the United Kingdom.

The only programme of its kind on the island of Ireland. 

A demanding multidisciplinary/ interdisciplinary programme for high achievers

An emphasis on student choice and specialization across three disciplines. 

One of the few PPE programmes in the UK, to involve an active and well-established vocational work-based learning placement programme. 

An opportunity to focus on policy analysis and policy-relevant questions

One of the few UK programmes to place an emphasis on special programme-specific core interdisciplinary modules that examine the interface between the constituent disciplines. 

An emphasis on the development of transferable vocational skills and experience as well as intellectual training and academic rigour.

Key Teaching Staff

Stefan Andreasson: Comparative Politics and Political Economy, Research: African and post-colonial politics, approaches to development, the political economy of energy

Andrew Baker: Political Economy, Research: Global Financial and Monetary Relations, the Political Economy of the UK and the United States

John Barry: Environmental Politics, Research: Green theory and social justice, technology and the political economy of the environment

Keith Breen: Political Philosophy, Research: Civil society, the state and political ethics, workplace democracy

Alan de Bromhead: Economic History: Research: Globalisation, political economy and political extremism

Graham Brownlow: Regional Economics, Research: Economics of Devolution in the UK

Dan Bulley: International Relations, Research: The ethics of foreign policy, the philosophy of Jacques Derrida

Chris Colvin: Economic History: Research: banking crises, cooperative enterprises, corporate governance, the economics of religion and demographic history

Joseph Diekemper: History of Philosophy, Research: Metaphysics, ontology, philosophy of religion

John Garry: Comparative Politics, Research: Electoral behaviour, public opinion and party competition

Chirantan Ganguly: Microeconomics, Research: Game theory, Contract theory and Industrial Organization

Cillian McBride: Political philosophy, Research: Justice, deliberative democracy and the politics of recognition

Duncan McVicar: Regional Economics, Research: Applied Labour Economics in the UK and Northern Ireland

Renee Prendergast:   Applied Economics, Research:  Development economics and the history of economic thought, history of the political economy of Ireland, information in classical economics

Jeremy Watkins: Moral philosophy, Research: Theories of forgiveness and punishment, definitions of morality, ethics of international law