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.
Politics, Philosophy and Economics Degree highlights
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.
- QUB students, uniquely in the UK, still have the opportunity to spend part of the course studying in other European universities, through our Erasmus programme. There are also opportunities to study at partner institutions in the USA and Canada.
- Although practicing politics, philosophy, or economics does not usually require professional accreditations, many of our staff and students are members of many of the key professional associations in these subject areas. This includes the Political Studies Association, the British Philosophical Association, the Political Studies Association of Ireland, The Association for Social and Political Philosophy, the American Political Science Association, and the Royal Economic Society.
- The School offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep – for example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman’s Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.
- Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Studying for a Politics degree at Queen‘s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers and academic institutions.
To this end, there are opportunities in final year to undertake a part-time placement with a local organisation to gain direct experience of policy-making and political decision-making,
- PPE graduates from Queens have moved into areas such as further postgraduate study (internationally and in Britain and Ireland), teacher training, banking, consultancy, the civil service, and politics. Recent graduates have gone on to work for employers such as the Bank of England, major companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers, and major political parties (including an MLA at Stormont).
- The School offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real-world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep – for example, in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman’s Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Centre of Excellence: the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen‘s has over 70 full-time academics, making it the largest institutional centre for the study of these subjects in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK.
The School also boasts the following:
• Centre for Public History
• The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for
Global Peace, Security and Justice
• Institute of Cognition and Culture
• Institute of Irish Studies
• Two International Summer Schools (the Irish
Studies Summer School; and the Conflict
Transformation and Social Justice Summer
- Professor David Phinnemore is an expert on EU Treaty reform and EU enlargement, which led to his secondment as an advisor to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- Professor John Garry is an internationally recognised expert in the areas of citizens’ political attitudes and voting behaviour. His research has informed governments both in Belfast and Dublin on offering ordinary citizens the chance to have greater input on policymaking.
- Our uniquely supportive pastoral care/ personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available. Our vibrant PPE Society provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students. We have students from around the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world, ensuring a rich mix of students with different experiences and backgrounds.
- Queen’s is the 25th most international university in the world and has staff and students from over 80 countries.
Queen’s was ranked 2nd out of 199 universities worldwide for satisfaction with social facilities.
Queen’s is ranked 1st in the UK for entrepreneurial impact (Octopus Ventures, 2019).
“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.”
|Course Content||In order to ensure that students studying on the PPE degree have sufficient grounding in all three subjects, you will have a prescribed list of four modules at both Levels 1 and 2 (with two optional modules each year). At level 3, you will have greater flexibility in terms of your module choices, having the option to substitute either a dissertation or internship in place of two taught modules|
|Stage 1||You will take :|
• Core modules in each of the three disciplines
• The Economy (full year)
• Perspectives on Politics
• Philosophy and Human Nature
• Quantitative Methods
And one optional module from this list:
• Contemporary Europe
• Issues in Contemporary Politics
• Introduction to Logic
• Philosophy and the Good Life
|Stage 2||You will take three core interdisciplinary modules designed specifically for PPE students to show how politics, philosophy, and economics are deeply intertwined:|
• Democracy, Ethics and Economics
• Politics and Economics of the Devolved UK
Macroeconomic Policy and Performance
• Moral Theories
• History of Philosophy
And two optional modules from this list:
• Data analysis and optimisation
• American Politics
• British politics in crisis?
• Studying Politics
• Identity Politics and Diverse Societies
• Managerial Economics
• Modern Political Thought
• Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
• Security and Terrorism
• Irish Politics
• Knowledge and Reality
• Mind and Language
|Stage 3||In your final year, you can specialise more, building on your studies in years 1 and 2. |
You can choose to
1) take 6 taught modules (at least one for each subject),
2) take 5 taught modules and do a placement (at least one module from each subject),
3) take 4 taught modules (from at least 2 subjects) and do an internship, or
4) take 4 taught modules (from at least 2 subjects) and write a dissertation.
Here are some of the modules available at level 3:
• Earth, Energy, Ethics and Economy
• Politics of the Global Economy
• Challenges to Contemporary Party Politics
• Global Political Economy of Energy
• Far Right in Western Europe and North America
• Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
• Issues in the Philosophy of Science
• Topics in Epistemology
• Philosophical Theology
• Applied Ethics
• Contemporary Political Philosophy
• Philosophy for Children
• Public Economics
• Labour Economics
• International Economics
• Environmental Economics
• Economic History
People teaching you
Dr Cillian McBride, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory
School of History, Anthropolog
Additional Info: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org School Office: +44(0)28 9097 5028
Contact Teaching Times
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||2 (hours maximum)|
2 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
|Large Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of lectures
|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.
|Medium Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
3-6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable our students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. We create a supportive environment in which we get to know each of our students individually.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- E-Learning technologies
Information associated with lectures and assignments is normally communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. This means that each course has its own mini-website containing all of the relevant course information, essential readings, recordings, discussion boards, etc. E-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials, podcasts and web-based learning activities.
These introduce foundation information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. As the module progresses this information becomes more complex. Lectures, which are normally delivered in large groups to all year-group peers, also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
A significant amount of teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 8-15 students). These sessions are designed to explore, in more depth, the information that has been presented in the lectures, and reading material that has been set for the course. These sessions provide students with the opportunity to engage closely with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of their peers. During these classes on some courses, students will be expected to present their work to academic staff and their peers.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. Modules are typically assessed by a combination of different forms of assessment: academic essays exploring and critiquing specific economic issues; class tests; case study research and analysis of particular political, philosophical, or economic issues; computer generated practical exercises where students have to manipulate real-world political/economic data; small group projects; presentations; unseen written examinations; and “learning logs” based on weekly reading.
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:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, or during a seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. All students are required to meet with their Personal Tutor to discuss their overall academic progress and performance at least once a semester. They are encouraged to bringing assignment mark-sheets to these meetings to help with discussing ways of improving assignment performance and preparing for exams.
In philosophy, every lecture, tutorial and seminar is a ‘feedback’ session, where students get a better sense of their academic progress by being actively encouraged to discuss anything they do and don’t understand with each other and their class leader.
|A level requirements|
AAA + GCSE Mathematics grade B/6
A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award or AQA Extended Certificate will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to grade A at A-Level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.
|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 BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with overall grades of D*D*D*
RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 GLH at Level 3) with overall grades of D*D*D*
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.
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 (or equivalent), 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. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from 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 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 Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Junior Certificate is taken into account. Last year the initial Junior Certificate profile to qualify to be made an offer was 3A/3 Distinctions and 3B/3 Higher Merit grades. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied. 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.
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. Some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in 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 (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
English Language Requirements
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.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
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.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
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)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
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.
Fees and Funding
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1||£4,710|
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2||£4,710|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1||£9,250|
|EU Other 3||£18,800|
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published soon. International fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here: www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-tuition-fees
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.
Additional course costs
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.
A limited amount of funding may be available to contribute towards these additional costs, if the placement takes place through a government student mobility scheme.
How do I fund my study?
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 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 www.qub.ac.uk/Study/international-students/international-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
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 2023 from 1 September 2022.
Advisory closing date: 25 January 2023 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) 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 2023) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2023. If you apply for 2023 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: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
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.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2023.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding