The Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) degree is based on the view that, to understand public phenomena, one must approach them from several disciplinary directions. This degree illuminates how these three areas complement one another:
• Politics acquaints students with the institutions and processes that produce decisions governing our lives
• Philosophy develops analytical rigour, the ability to reason logically, critically and ethically
• Economics helps in understanding government policy and the choices facing businesses, governments and society
Although the PPE degree only began at Queen’s in 2009, it has already been successful in placing graduates in top positions in business and government. This includes one currently serving minister in the Northern Ireland Executive.
“The School is of not too large a size as to be impersonal, and therefore the relationships between the students and with the staff were strong and highly inclusive. The relatively small intake of the PPE programme meant that across all three years there were plenty of opportunities to interact with the other students, and the PPE society always had great socials as well as academic events.”
Ed Livingstone, BA Politics (2013), Philosophy, and Economics
|Course Content||In order to ensure that students studying on the PPE degree have sufficient grounding in all three subjects, they have a prescribed list of four modules at both Levels 1 and 2 (with two optional modules each year). At level 3, students have greater flexibility in terms of their module choices, having the option to substitute either a dissertation or internship in place of some of their modules.|
• two Economics modules
• one Politics module
• one Philosophy module
And have two choices.
Students take two core interdisciplinary modules designed specifically for PPE students to show how politics, philosophy, and economics are deeply intertwined:
• Democracy and Ethics and Economics
• Politics and Economics of the Devolved UK
They also take two other core modules:
• Macroeconomic Policy and Performance
• Moral Theories OR History of Philosophy
And take two additional modules of their choice, with module choices across all three subjects. The following provides an indicative list of the range of module choices at level 2:
• American Politics
• History of Philosophy
• Industrial Organisation
• International Organisations
• International Relations
• Knowledge and Reality
• Managerial Economics
• Modern Political Thought
• Mind and Language
• Politics and Policies of the European Union
• Scholastic Ethics
• Security and Terrorism
• Studying Politics
• The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies
• Data analysis and optimisation
• British politics in crisis?
Students take the equivalent of six modules: either a double-weighted dissertation, or double- or single-weighted internship; and modules from at least two of the three subject areas of Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Students can also spend a semester abroad at Level 3.
The module choices available to PPE students cover a wide range of topics in each of the three subjects. In Economics, modules cover issues such as labour economics, public economics, and economic history. In philosophy, topics include ethics, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. Politics options include development, comparative political behaviour and institutions, foreign policy and international relations, and issues of gender and ethnic minorities.
Note that this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.
Dissertation: In their final year, students can to write a dissertation based on a research topic of their choice and under one-to-one supervision by an academic with specialist knowledge in the chosen field.
Email: email@example.com Telephone: +44(0)2890975028
|Large Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of lectures
|Medium Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
|Personal Study||30 (hours maximum)|
30 hours studying and revising in your own time each week (10 hours per module), including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc.
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||2 (hours maximum)|
2 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
As students’ progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
|A level requirements|
AAA + GCSE Mathematics grade B/6
|Irish leaving certificate requirements|
H2H2H3H3H3H3 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O3 in Mathematics
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 75% + GCSE Mathematics grade B/6 or equivalent in Access Course.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma|
36 points overall, including 6,6,6 at Higher Level. If not offered at Higher Level/GCSE then Standard Level grade 5 in Mathematics would be accepted.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma|
QCF Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits), with 160 credits at Distinction grade and 20 credits at Merit grade.
RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)), with at least 900 GLH at Distinction grade (minimum 240 GLH to be externally assessed) and 180 GLH at Merit grade.
GCSE Mathematics grade B/6 required.
A minimum of a 2:1 Honours Degree, provided any subject requirements have been met.
There are no specific level 3 subject requirements to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS. Applicants must meet the subject specific requirement of GCSE Maths grade B/6. GCSE English Language grade C/4 is also required.
Demand for places differs from course to course and for PPE, past performance at GCSE is taken into account when deciding whether or not to make conditional offers. For entry last year, we started making offers to applicants offering A-Level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications, who have achieved 3 grade A/7 and 3 grade B/6 at GCSE. This threshold may be lowered as the cycle progresses depending upon the number and quality of applications. The final threshold is not usually determined until late in the admissions cycle, so there may be a delay in processing applicants who do not meet the initial threshold.
Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-Levels only and is normally the same as that asked from the first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 4 Distinctions and remainder Merits.
For those offering a HND, to be eligible for an offer, a minimum of 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits is necessary in the year 1 performance. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with 4 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only.
For those offering an HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
For applicants offering the Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Junior Certificate is taken into account and at the end of last year’s application cycle, the Junior Cert profile was a minimum of 3A and 3B grades.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted however, these are not the final deciding factors as to whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying PPE at Queen’s has several unique advantages:
• Studying in Belfast, a regional political and economic capital city, allows for one to interact directly with key decision makers in the area
• Situated on the island of Ireland, the PPE degree at Queen’s offers a unique international setting
�� Studying politics, philosophy, and economics in a divided society allows one to explore how these subjects work to shape conflict
• Small class sizes promote the building of close friendships and networks
Employment after the Course
A PPE degree provides a stimulating programme of study and intellectual training useful in many walks of life and future career paths. Graduates are equipped with the necessary attributes for graduate employment or postgraduate education and training, and are able to make a difference in whatever future career they choose. PPE graduates enter careers in areas such as marketing, journalism, broadcasting, education, the Civil Service, equal opportunities, banking, business, public relations, local government, and even politics itself.
The School also maintains an Employers Forum – a direct link to businesses and organisations who look to recruit from among our school’s graduates.
Placements: Students have the opportunity in the final year to undertake a part-time placement within a local organisation to gain direct experience of policy-making and political decision-making.
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.
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.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,395|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU *||£4,395|
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Politics, Philosophy and Economics costs
In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000.
Students who undertake a period of study or work abroad, are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students should be aware that placement and internship modules do not normally involve payment or financial support from either Queen’s or the placement/internship provider.
If the placement is undertaken under the European Erasmus programme, students are normally eligible to receive a top-up grant to contribute towards these costs of approximately €300 per month. A limited number of Erasmus grants are available.
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2020) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2020. If you apply for 2020 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Fees and Funding
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11