Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
1LV0
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

History and Philosophy of Science

Bringing together three disciplines, this degree provides you with skills in critical reasoning, analysis, and planning, as well as core insights across economics, politics, and moral philosophy. This will equip you with the knowledge and understanding needed to understand how human societies work, how they might be changed for the better, and how they might adapt in response to the global challenges that they face.

Compulsory modules will introduce you to key concepts and approaches in philosophy, economics and politics, plus enable you to develop the technical and mathematical abilities you’ll need to succeed in your future career or further study.

We offer an impressive range of optional modules across the three subject areas, so you can tailor your degree to suit you. This means you could develop your understanding of subjects as wide-ranging as the ethics of war, feminist philosophy, UK macroeconomic policy, economic development or African politics.

This diverse selection of modules means you’ll graduate with a remarkable amount of knowledge and be equipped with the skills needed to become a future leader.

Specialist facilities

The University of Leeds has world-class facilities for students of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. The University libraries are among the largest in the UK and offer a course of workshops and webinars to help you make the most of their collections, digital resources and databases.

Take a look around our libraries:

The Brotherton’s Library’s manuscripts are held in the Special Collections Research Centre, which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment and extension, after a generous bequest from the John Victor Bedford Will Trust.

This provides new working spaces for individuals or groups, and new teaching spaces that feature visualisers and projectors, enabling you to engage with sources using the latest techniques.

Prominent Special Collections include letters by Charles Dickens, manuscripts by the Brontës, a Shakespeare First Folio, and extensive archives of prominent contemporary poets including Simon Armitage and Tony Harrison. 

Skills@Library offers training courses to help you make the most of the library’s collections, digital resources and databases. In addition, it can provide one-to-one support to taught students on a wide range of topics, including academic writing, research skills, and data analysis.

Course details

Year 1

You’ll take compulsory modules in key areas such as economic theory and comparative politics, and you'll work towards the mathematical skills you’ll need for economic study. You’ll also take the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) First Year Seminar, which is offered only to PPE students. This will train you in analytical thinking and classic and contemporary philosophical texts.

Year 2

You'll develop your understanding of topics like macroeconomics and microeconomics. In philosophy, you’ll choose between modules on political and moral philosophy, and in politics, you’ll choose between a module on justice, community, and conflict and a module on 20th century political problems. You’ll also choose from a wide selection of optional modules across all three subjects. In addition, you’ll be able to explore discovery modules from across the University.

Year 3

You’ll be able to apply the critical, interpretive and research skills you’ve acquired when you undertake a final year project in any of the PPE disciplines. You'll also tailor your studies to your ambitions and interests to an even greater extent. You'll be able to pursue your interests in discovery modules outside of the three disciplines, and to focus more centrally upon two of the three disciplines in your final year of study where you might plan to specialise further.

Throughout your studies, you'll be developing critical, independent research, interpretation, and analysis skills, culminating in your final year project. You’ll have the opportunity to benefit from genuine research-led teaching throughout the degree, and especially at upper levels, where optional modules relate to the current research of our teaching staff.

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics in the course catalogue.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Economic Theory and Applications (30 credits) - This module gives an introduction to the economic understanding of the world of individual choice, business behaviour, national level economic systems and government economic policy. This module will introduce economic models and understanding of relevant data to understand economic issues. This module also introduces Microsoft Excel skills allowing for basic data manipulation and analysis.

Comparative Politics (20 credits) – This module features two separate yet connected components. It compares the nature of politics and processes across different political systems, and it studies how and why we make these comparisons. Featuring both theory and real-life examples, it uses case studies to put its ideas into context.

Freedom, Power and Resistance: An Introduction to Political Ideas (20 credits) - This module introduces Western political thought, establishing a grounding in key ideas and theories that have shaped modern politics. You will critically reflect on public life and gain a foundation for further study of political theory. You’ll focus on the work of five influential thinkers, investigating the historical context in which they wrote their ideas and theories, and the potential to apply these to the modern world. This enables you to develop essential study skills in reading and writing political theory.

PPE First Year Seminar (30 credits) - This module is open only to first year students admitted to the PPE programme. It develops important philosophical skills, including an understanding of philosophical methodology and of how to engage with philosophical problems and texts. The module invests students with a strong foundation in philosophical topics as well, introducing them to core concepts, ideas, and arguments in both Theoretical Philosophy (for example, in Epistemology and Metaphysics) and in Moral Philosophy (for example, in Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics). 

Year 2 compulsory modules

Intermediate Microeconomics (10 credits) - The module will consider a number of microeconomic problems and explain the approach that microeconomists take when attempting to solve these problems. Students will develop insight into how mathematical modelling is used to understand problems of consumer theory and producer theory.

Intermediate Macroeconomics (10 credits) - The module will consider a number of macroeconomic problems and explain the approach that macroeconomists take when attempting to solve these problems. Students will develop insight into how macroeconomic models and macroeconomic concepts are used to understand macroeconomic problems.

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Students must choose one of the following two philosophy modules:  

  • How to Live Together: Topics in Political Philosophy (20 credits) 

  • Do The Right Thing: Topics in Moral Philosophy (20 credits) 

Students must choose one at least one of the following two politics modules:  

  • Justice, Community, and Conflict (20 credits) 

  • Revolution and Reaction (20 credits)  

Alongside this, students have the freedom to spend their remaining credits on a wide range of optional modules listed below

Module Name Credits
Mathematics for Business and Economics 2 10
Economics Research Methods 10
Statistics and Econometrics 20
Labour Economics 10
How to be a Successful Policy Economist 10
Ethics and Economics 10
Past Thinkers: History of Modern Philosophy 20
How Do You Know? Topics in Epistemology 20
God, Thought and the World: Topics in Philosophy of Religion 20
Reality Check: Topics in Metaphysics 20
Politics and Policy in the EU 20
Contemporary China 20
State and Politics in Africa 20
United States Politics 20
Media and Democracy 20
Evolution of Economic Ideas 10

Year 3 compulsory modules

Choose one of:

Final Year Project in Philosophy (40 credits) - The module is designed to provide students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of a topic (or topics) of their choosing, subject to the approval of the School and to the availability of one or more appropriately qualified supervisors. The form of the assessment will normally be a long essay but may be negotiated with the student.

Final Year project in Politics (40 credits) - This module allows students to undertake a substantial piece of original research on a topic. Students will receive introductory lectures on the nature of the dissertation, how they should settle on a dissertation topic, and how they should organize their work on the dissertation. Each student will be allocated an advisor, who will help her/him to refine the topic and develop a research strategy.

Final Year Project in Economics (30 credits) - This module aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge to conduct a substantial research project within the discipline of economics, broadly defined to permit insights from other disciplines according to their programme of study, independently of detailed guidance from staff.

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Advanced Microeconomics 10
Economics of Development 20
Environmental Economics 10
Applied Econometrics 10
Behavioural Economics 10
Advanced Macroeconomics 10
International Economics: Integration and Governance 20
The Political Economy of Work 10
Feminist Philosophy 20
War, Terror and Justice 20
The End of British Politics? 20
The Politics of national identity in the UK 20
Violence and Reconciliation in Africa 20
Gender and Security in Global Politics 20
Philosophy of Human Rights 20
Radical Political Ideas 20
Reimagining Politics: Gender, Race, and Popular Culture 20
Video Games 20
Bioethics 20
Freewill 20
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20
Philosophy of Language 20

Learning and teaching

Our academics are at the forefront of research in their fields.

To enable you to benefit from their knowledge and experience, we use a range of teaching and learning methods including: lectures, seminars, tutorials, and workshops.

Independent study is also a vital part of this degree, since it allows you to form and test your own ideas while developing your skills in research, interpretation and analysis.

Academic staff have office hours for advice and feedback, and you’ll also benefit from academic personal tutoring schemes.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

We use many different types of assessment including: essays, exams, online discussion posts, group work and oral presentations.

At the upper levels, assessments may be student-led, with students selecting their own essay questions or designing their own independent research project.

You will typically have the opportunity to complete and gain ‘feed-forward’ on formative work undertaken during a module, that serves as a stepping stone towards your final graded assessment for the module.

There will also be support on hand – for example, our Library Skills Team provides exam skills training, there are module-specific sessions on essay writing, and your teaching staff will be available throughout term-time to talk to you one-on-one about how to get the most out of your assessments. New students will have a suite of study skills modules to help with the transition to University teaching and assessment.

Assessment is not just a way of testing you, but a key way to consolidate your learning on the degree. We always design our assessments to reflect the most valuable skills our subject can teach you – how to construct a well-developed argument, for instance, or explain complicated ideas clearly, or critically evaluate a passage of text while at the same time interpreting it in a way that allows you to get the most out of it.

Not only will these skills allow you to perform well in your degree, but they will also help you excel in your future lives and careers.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA

GCSE: 7/A in Mathematics is required as a minimum. Although it is not a formal requirement, many of the strongest applicants for PPE will also be taking AS or A level Mathematics. However, all applicants will be considered on their individual merits.

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be AAB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may be required. 7/A in Mathematics at GCSE is also required.

BTEC

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDD. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M2.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall including 17 at Higher Level with 5 in Mathematics at Standard Level or 4 in HL Maths

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR A in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers OR AAAAAA in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 85%.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: ABB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science Undergraduate Admissions team.

You can find out more about what it is like to be an international student by speaking to a Link to Leeds ambassador. They can’t help you with your application, but they can tell you how they have found living and studying in Leeds.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £26,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Students may be required to purchase core texts for some modules, but our policy is to provide as much as we can through the library and as online texts available to all students.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
School of Politics and International Studies
Leeds University Business School

Contact us

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions

Email: artsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

Gaining a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics requires you to study varied and challenging subjects. This course will equip you with impressively broad subject knowledge as well as transferable skills that are valued by many different types of employers.

You’ll learn to be an excellent communicator who can present and defend your views clearly, and you’ll be comfortable working independently or as a team. You’ll also have strong research skills and highly developed skills of analysis and interpretation.

All these qualities are attractive to employers, and graduates from all three schools involved in delivering the course have gone on to succeed in areas such as: politics, management, the civil service, journalism, the media, education and the charity sector. Many have also pursued postgraduate study.

We do everything we can to support your career ambitions. Our students particularly benefit from events which give you the chance to meet and learn from entrepreneurs in the world of business, charities or elsewhere in the third sector.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

All University of Leeds students can apply to spend a year studying abroad. It’s a great way to gain an insight into another culture, as well as gaining valuable experience that will look great on your CV.

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science has exchange links with universities in Denmark, France, Spain, and Greece, along with many other locations.

Some of these global opportunities are taught in English, whereas others require a level of language proficiency. In all cases, language support is available to students beforehand. There are also opportunities for a horizon year abroad and a summer abroad option.

Read more about Study abroad in Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Work placements

Gaining first-hand work experience can help you to decide on your career and help you to develop a range of new skills. On this course you can apply to take the Work Placement module which provides a structured and supported work experience which will develop and enhance your skills and awareness of work-place environments.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Student profile: Avigail Kohn

The interconnection between subjects is something that I really enjoy about my course.
Find out more about Avigail Kohn's time at Leeds