Politics, Philosophy and Economics (3 Years) [BA]
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The BA(Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics programme - or PPE for short - is a structured, balanced, yet flexible programme of study, informed by current research, in which you study significant topics, problems and issues in contemporary politics, philosophy and economics. It enhances your capacity to analyse and evaluate competing arguments about political events, ideas and institutions; it gives you an understanding of economic systems and theories and places the study of economics in its broader institutional and political context; and it develops your ability to formulate rigorous arguments and philosophical positions.
Our PPE degree gives you an exceptional opportunity to join a vibrant community spanning three interrelated disciplines within the School of Social Sciences - where the PPE course finds its home. You will learn how key insights from different fields can be applied to pressing policy concerns and in doing so can gain an unsually broad and rich set of intellectual and critical skills.
If you are interested in studying abroad whilst on the PPE degree you can spend one semester of your second year studying abroad. You can find more information about this on the Study Abroad website.
You can find more information about the structure of the PPE degree and the courses that you will study on the 'Course details' tab above.
Teaching and learning
Most course units use a formal lecture programme and supporting tutorial or example classes. We issue study packs for course units, where appropriate, so you can learn independently and in groups and some course units require assessed essays or projects. You are assigned a personal tutor to whom you can turn to for general advice and support during your studies. Personal tutors take a friendly interest in your progress and can advise you on specific matters such as selecting course units and career opportunities.
Coursework and assessment
A variety of assessment methods are used. Course units tend to be examined by a combination of unseen examinations and assessed essay work, but you will also be assessed by means of weekly worksheets (in Logic). Increasingly, innovative methods are being piloted (including the assessment of oral presentations in seminars, and the assessment of tutorial performance). You complete a dissertation in the final year.
Course content for year 1
In your first year your studies are split equally across the three disciplines. The grounding you gain in each subject allows you to progress smoothly into your second year and gives you the requisite knowledge to make informed decisions about course choices. You would take 120 units overall (or 8 individual course units) from:
- Compulsory Unit: Introduction to Political Theory
- Optional Units: Introduction to Comparative Politics or Introduction to International Politics
- Compulsory Unit: Critical Thinking
- Optional Units: Philosophy & Social Science or Discovering Reality
- Compulsory Units: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Mathematics and Statistics
You can find more information about the courses that you would study and the content of these in the PPE programme structure.
Course content for year 2
In your second year you deepen your understanding of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Your studies are again split equally over the three disciplines and there are compulsory credits in each, but you have more freedom to choose courses reflect your developing interests.
- Compulsory unit: Freedom and Equality: Contemporary Debates
- Optional units include: Arguing about Politics, From Blitz to 'Big Society': Politics and Society in Britain since 1940, Chinese Politics Today and the Politics of Globalisation and Development.
- Units Include: Aesthetics, Ethics, Philosophical Logic, Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind.
- Units Include: Micro & Macroeconomics, Basic Econometrics, Business Economics, Alternative Perspectives on Developing Countries and Climate Change Economics
You can find more information about the courses that you will study in your second year in the PPE programme structure
Course content for year 3
In your final year you can choose to concentrate on two of the three disciplines, pursuing in depth the interests that you have developed over the preceding two years. There are two compulsory units: an interdisciplinary course designed specifically for PPE students and a dissertation on a topic of your choice.
- Topics in PPE
Optional Units include:
- Philosophy : Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Jurisprudence, Philosophy of Action
- Economics : The Chinese Economy, Natural Resource Economics, Economic Policy Analysis
- Politics : Politics of the European Union; Pluralism, Democracy and Citizenship, The Politics of Hate
These are just an example some of the units that you can choose as part of your final year. There are over 50 optional courses that you can choose from across the three disciplines. For a more comprehensive list of these and the topics that we teach at Manchester - please visit the final year programme structure for PPE.
What our students say
Catherine Boggild, current third year student
If you are looking for a broad and deep understanding of contemporary affairs then PPE at Manchester is for you. There is also a lot of flexibility on the programme so if you want to specialise in a particular discipline, two or all of the fields you can tailor what you do around your interests and future plans. Aside from the brilliant teaching there is also a really active and intimate student society which can really help when make friends at the university.
Matthew Fright, current third year student
- Extensive Library Facilities: With over 4 million books and manuscripts, as well as access to the largest collection of electronic resources of any UK institution students at the University of Manchester have access to one of the UK's largest academic libraries. Students can also take advantage of our extensive range of resources and services including provision for disabled and visually-impaired students.
- Accessible Computing Facilities: With over 10,000 PCs across campus the University has one of the largest academic computing facilities in Europe. Accessibility of our IT facilities to students is key, with 24/7 access to computer facilities on campus (including a 24-hour cluster in the Owens Park halls of residence) and optional internet access and access to the University network in most halls of residence.
- Arts, Culture and Sport: Our campus has a wide range of facilities that students can take advantage of to pursue their extra-curricular interests; these include Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum which has recently undergone a £20m extension. There are a range of sporting facilities nearby, including the Sugden Sports Centre, the Armitage site and the Manchester Aquatics Centre which are all available for students to use.
For more information about what is avaialable for our students, please visit our Services and Facilities webpage.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office. Email: email@example.com