Politics, Philosophy and Economics: PPE

Study politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) and graduate with a university degree

Are you considering a career as a politician, civil servant or journalist? Keen to study both humanities and social sciences?

With roots in three separate disciplines, this is the course for you. It combines intellectual stimulation with understanding what makes the world tick and is the first degree of its kind in Scotland. As befits this, you can even choose specifically Scottish options in all three areas.

Our supportive and friendly team has received the highest possible rating for its teaching. In your final year, you’ll bring together the different skills you’ve acquired in a dissertation, which covers at least two of the subject areas.

Entrance requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points.

Other qualifications


Year one entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.

Advanced entry
Not possible.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply.
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), Intermediate 2, GCSE (C) or equivalent required.

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those students who do not meet the required criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language skills

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).

Course contact

Dr Matias Margulis History and Politics
School of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling
+ 44 (0) 1786 467585 www.stir.ac.uk/arts-humanities

Find out more


Degree course

Semesters 1 - 3

In Semesters 1 - 3 you will study the following modules:

  • Politics: Politics of the British Isles - This module explores major institutions and processes in British politics
  • Philosophy: What is it all about? - An introduction to central philosophical problems concerning, for instance, knowledge, mind and body, freedom and determinism, morality and justice, the meaning of life
  • Economics: Introductory Microeconomics - A broad introduction to microeconomics, which analyses how prices are set and resources are allocated in an economy
  • Politics: Political Concepts and Ideas - This module offers an introduction to political theory by exploring ideas and concepts central to the political debate
  • Philosophy: Mind, Value and Reality - An introduction to key metaphysical and ethical issues. What is it to be a person? Are we responsible for what we do? Can we be motivated by anything other than our own self-interest? These and other topics will be considered and some ethical implications explored
  • Economics: Introductory Macroeconomics - Factors affecting the level of national income, unemployment and inflation, the balance of payments and the scope and limitations of government policy on these matters
  • Politics: Introduction to International Politics - This module covers mainstream theories of international relations, analyses key international organisations (e.g. the UN and NATO) and explores contemporary issues and debates in world politics after the Cold War and 9/11
  • Philosophy: From Plato to Existentialism - A philosophical examination of the relationship between the individual and society, looking at the works of Plato, Hobbes, Mill and Sartre
  • Economics: Intermediate Microeconomics - A more formal treatment of the foundations of microeconomic theory - consumer choice and the theory of the firm


Semesters 4 - 8

In Semesters 4 - 8 you will study the following core modules:

  • Politics: Great Political Thinkers - This explores some of the key issues in political theory by focusing on five influential writers: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill and Marx
  • Philosophy: Moral Theory - An examination of the principal theories of normative ethics; or Logic: An introduction to the two formal languages of elementary logic and the logical concepts that they employ
  • Economics: Intermediate Macroeconomics - A more formal treatment of the foundations of macroeconomic theory, including alternative theories of aggregate output, price, interest rates, inflation and unemployment

In Semester 5 you will take modules in each of the three disciplines. In Semester 6 you can either continue to study in each of the three subjects or you can choose from only two subjects. Semester 7 and 8 have further specialisation. (See entries below)


A supervised project (equivalent to two modules) on a topic that combines elements from at least two of the disciplines.

Teaching and assessment

Honours degree classification is based on those advanced modules undertaken in the final two years of the course. In general, (but with the exception of the dissertation) examination and coursework are weighted equally in each module.

Related degrees

Study abroad

You have the opportunity to study abroad through Stirling's well-established connections with several international universities.


Teaching provision in Politics and Economics has been assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and achieved the highest possible rating of ‘commendable’ in all aspects.

Philosophy was ranked 2nd in Scotland and top ten in the UK, and Economics was ranked 4th in Scotland in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

This degree is the first of its kind in Scotland.

94% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education, 2012/13).

Career opportunities

You will graduate with these advantages:

  • Skills in evaluating arguments
  • Knowledge of how private and public enterprises function
  • Understanding of how resources are allocated
  • Insight into the cultural, intellectual and moral pressures on decision makers
  • Ability to express your own viewpoints clearly and effectively

Graduates are thus equipped for a wide range of careers including:

  • The public service sector
  • Private companies
  • Voluntary organisations
  • The media

Fees 2016/7

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,555.00
Scottish and EU students TBC
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Fees 2015/6

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,275.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.

Please note: Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

Politics, Philosophy and Economics: PPE
  • Degree award BA (Hons)
  • UCAS Code L0V0
  • Type Campus based, Full-time
  • Start date September
Course leaflet UCAS Application Make an Enquiry Course Directory UG Prospectus