BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

The BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics course will provide you with the knowledge of significant topics, problems and issues in all three disciplines. You will also join a vibrant intellectual community.

You will learn how key insights can be applied to pressing policy concerns, to gain a rich set of intellectual and critical skills.

You will critically evaluate competing arguments about political events, ideas and institutions. The PPE degree will give you the ability to effectively evaluate economic policies, and economics in its broader institutional and political context.

In Politics, you will analyse the behaviour of government from local, national and international perspectives, providing an understanding and rationale behind policy decisions that affect all of us.

Studying politics shows that you can research and reference your argument and use arguments from political theory to reinforce your position in a debate.

In Philosophy, you learn to develop and express rational arguments and use logical reasoning and critical analysis to defend your position and critique opposing viewpoints.

Economics gives you the tools to analyse the economic environment around us.

You gain a grounding in quantitative methods such as mathematics and statistics or econometrics.

You will develop an understanding of the wider economy from the reasoning behind macroeconomic government policy to the microeconomic behaviour of individual firms.


 You will: 
  • learn how to analyse and evaluate competing arguments about political events, ideas and institutions;
  • gain an understanding of economic systems and theories, and place the study of economics in its broader institutional and political context;
  • develop the ability to formulate rigorous arguments and philosophical positions.

Special features

Leading research

We are proud to be a leading centre for research in all three disciplines of PPE: politics, philosophy and economics. We have expertise in all major areas of these topics, so you will be taught by academics at the cutting-edge of each discipline.

World-leading research and teaching in economics has been at the heart of higher education in Manchester since the early days of the University.

William Stanley Jevons (1835 to 1882), who helped build the foundations of modern economics, was one of the first professors at Manchester.

Connect with like-minded students

We have a very active student association, the PPE Society, which brings together students from all year groups, including alumni.

It is a very supportive community that hosts regular socials, as well as academic and career events.

Study abroad

If you would like to broaden your horizons and your degree, you can apply to study overseas for a year at one of our partner universities.

You apply in Year 2 to spend a year abroad in Year 3. If successful, you will put together a programme of study at the host university in consultation with your Academic Exchange Advisor, to complement your studies at Manchester.

You will then come back to Manchester to study for a fourth year and graduate with a degree title including ‘with International Study'.

See The University of Manchester Study Abroad pages for more information, including eligibility criteria, destinations, costs and funding.

Paid placement opportunity

You can apply for a paid Q-Step internship during the summer between Years 2 and 3.

Teaching and learning

Course units feature formal lectures and smaller tutorials or seminars where you explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth.

Tutorials and seminars are key to improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing, and presentations.

You are assigned an Academic Advisor who can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

Methods are designed to promote in-depth learning and understanding, including:

  • essays, coursework and other mid-term evaluations;
  • dissertations;
  • presentations and group projects; and
  • exams.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 gives you a solid foundation in each of the three disciplines of PPE.

In addition to 40 credits from the following Econ units in year 1, you will be able to take other units as listed below.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Critical Thinking PHIL10041 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Mandatory
Issues in PPE SOCS10121 20 Mandatory
Introductory Mathematics ECON10061 10 Optional
Principles of Microeconomic Theory 1: Consumers, Welfare, Production and Costs ECON10171 10 Optional
Macroeconomic Analysis 1 ECON10181 10 Optional
Microeconomics 1 ECON10221 10 Optional
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10252 10 Optional
Introduction to Ethics PHIL10021 20 Optional
Philosophies of Resistance: Philosophical Reflection on Movements for Social Justice PHIL10101 20 Optional
Ancient Greek Philosophy PHIL10122 20 Optional
Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology PHIL10622 20 Optional
Introduction to Philosophy of Mind PHIL10631 20 Optional
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10202 20 Optional
Making Sense of Politics POLI10302 20 Optional
British Politics: Power and the State POLI10401 20 Optional
Politics of the Global Economy POLI10502 20 Optional
Introduction to International Politics POLI10601 20 Optional
Introductory Statistics for Economists SOST10062 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Year 2 continues to develop your training in each of the three disciplines of PPE, so you become an expert in each subject.

In addition to 40 credits from the following Econ units in year 2 (which could be 20 credits if undertake a UCIL or language unit), you will be able to take the units as listed below:

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Managerial Economics I ECON20001 20 Optional
Advanced Mathematics ECON20071 10 Optional
Advanced Statistics ECON20072 10 Optional
Econometrics ECON20110 20 Optional
Principles of Microeconomic Theory 2: Markets, Prices and Strategy ECON20172 10 Optional
Macroeconomic Analysis 2 ECON20182 10 Optional
Introduction to Mathematical Economics ECON20192 10 Optional
Economic History ECON20212 10 Optional
Quantitative Methods ECON20222 20 Optional
Microeconomics 2 ECON20232 10 Optional
Macroeconomics 2 ECON20262 10 Optional
Development Economics: Growth, Capital Accumulation and Structural Change ECON20321 10 Optional
Development Economics: Understanding Poverty ECON20332 10 Optional
Economics for Public Policy ECON20431 10 Optional
Islamic Philosophy PHIL20001 20 Optional
Philosophy of Religion PHIL20021 20 Optional
Applied Philosophy PHIL20032 20 Optional
Philosophy of Race PHIL20042 20 Optional
Formal Logic PHIL20141 20 Optional
Ethics PHIL20231 20 Optional
20th Century Analytical Philosophy PHIL20242 20 Optional
Philosophy of Science PHIL20261 20 Optional
Philosophy of Mind PHIL20272 20 Optional
Phenomenology PHIL20612 20 Optional
Politics by Numbers POLI20311 20 Optional
Security Studies POLI20332 20 Optional
Questions About International Politics POLI20521 20 Optional
Politics & Society in Britain Since 1940: From Blitz to Brexit POLI20531 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
The Politics of Globalisation POLI20711 20 Optional
The Politics of Development POLI20722 20 Optional
Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective POLI20742 20 Optional
The Politics of Policy Making POLI20802 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional
Injustice and Resistance POLI20961 20 Optional
Environmental Politics POLI20982 20 Optional
Comparative West European Politics POLI21001 20 Optional
Southern European Politics POLI21012 20 Optional
Asia-Pacific Security POLI21041 20 Optional
Market Research SOST20042 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 40 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

In Year 3 you can specialise in the areas of PPE that you are interested in.

As well as studying taught courses, you also do a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Topics in PPE SOCS30001 20 Mandatory
Microeconomics 3 ECON30021 10 Optional
Microeconomics 4 ECON30022 10 Optional
Macroeconomics 3 ECON30031 10 Optional
Macroeconomics 4 ECON30032 10 Optional
Topics in Inequality & Poverty ECON30042 20 Optional
Dissertation in Economics ECON30100 20 Optional
The Chinese Economy ECON30102 10 Optional
Natural Resource Economics ECON30232 10 Optional
Mathematical Economics I ECON30320 20 Optional
Micro Econometrics ECON30342 10 Optional
Econometrics ECON30370 20 Optional
Topics in Development Economics ECON30451 20 Optional
Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 1: Consumers, Producers and General Equilibrium ECON30501 10 Optional
Topics in Economic History ECON30511 20 Optional
Microeconomic Analysis 4 ECON30512 10 Optional
Macroeconomic Analysis 3 ECON30521 10 Optional
Macroeconomic Analysis 4 ECON30532 10 Optional
Money, Banking & Financial Markets ECON30852 10 Optional
Managerial Economics II ECON31002 20 Optional
Advanced Econometrics ECON31031 20 Optional
Climate Change Economics and Policy ECON32111 10 Optional
Health Economics ECON32202 10 Optional
Applied Economics Dissertation A (Semester 1) ECON32211 20 Optional
Applied Economics Dissertation B (Semester 2) ECON32212 20 Optional
Topics in Economic Growth ECON32221 20 Optional
Topics in Labour Economics ECON32242 20 Optional
Dissertation Semester 1 PHIL30001 20 Optional
Dissertation Semester 2 PHIL30002 20 Optional
Dissertation (40 credit) PHIL30030 40 Optional
Founding Mothers: Women Philosophers and their Role in The Development of Analytic Philosophy PHIL30352 20 Optional
Philosophy of Action PHIL30552 20 Optional
Phenomenology PHIL30612 20 Optional
Advanced Topics in Aesthetics PHIL30621 20 Optional
Language & Oppression PHIL30811 20 Optional
The Politics of the European Union POLI30032 20 Optional
Morality and Markets POLI30112 20 Optional
The Politics and Philosophy of Nationalism POLI30191 20 Optional
Gender, Sex and Politics POLI30231 20 Optional
Elections and Voters in Britain POLI30242 20 Optional
Liberalism and Empire POLI30252 20 Optional
Dimensions of Peace and Conflict: Disciplinary and Regional Approaches POLI30262 20 Optional
Political Morality and Dirty Hands POLI30271 20 Optional
Chinese Politics POLI30282 20 Optional
Public Policy Problems POLI30292 20 Optional
Dissertation A POLI30300 40 Optional
Ethical Issues in World Politics POLI30321 20 Optional
Using Nudge to Change Lives POLI30331 20 Optional
Dissertation B POLI30380 20 Optional
Introduction to International Political Economy POLI30721 20 Optional
Gender, War & Militarism POLI30791 20 Optional
Africa & Global Politics POLI30862 20 Optional
War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia POLI31011 20 Optional
Intimate Geopolitics of Global China POLI31021 20 Optional
Children, Family and Social Justice POLI31032 20 Optional
Understanding Political Choice in Britain POLI31041 20 Optional
American Politics: Why Do They Do That? POLI31061 20 Optional
Knowledge Production in Peace-building: Practices and Processes POLI31082 20 Optional
Global Capitalism, Crisis and Revolt POLI31091 20 Optional
Contemporary Parliamentary Studies and the British Political Tradition POLI32041 20 Optional
Postcolonial Politics POLI32062 20 Optional
Sex, Bodies and Money: Feminist, Queer and Intersectional Political Economy POLI32091 20 Optional
United States Foreign Policy: Dominance and Decline in a Complex World POLI32132 20 Optional
United Nations Security Council in Practice POLI32151 20 Optional
Race, Ethnicity, Migration POLI32162 20 Optional
Ukraine Rises: Democracy, Protest, Identity and War in Comparative Perspective POLI32171 20 Optional
Capitalism and Sexuality POLI32182 20 Optional
Indian Politics in Comparative Perspective POLI32192 20 Optional
Theory & Method in Demography SOST30012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 69 course units for year 3

Course content for year 4

If completing a year abroad, you will take the Year 3 course content in Year 4.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: