BA (Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Boost your career opportunities with a PPE degree from the University of Stirling. Gain insight into politics, business and the big ideas underpinning society.

Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September 2022
  • Duration 48 months or 36 months
  • Mode of study part time, full time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code L0V0
  • Study abroad opportunities

Overview

Our Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) degree course was the first of its kind in Scotland, and combines three complementary subjects that give you a unique perspective on how the world works.  

If you’re intellectually curious and passionate about understanding the complex challenges facing modern societies and economies, our PPE course is made for you. As you study, you’ll gain a broad insight into what makes the world tick, and also explore the big ideas that have helped shape Western society. 

The course brings together highly-regarded teaching staff from across our faculties. You’ll benefit from the industry insights of our multi-accredited Stirling Management School –where 80% of our research impact in Business and Management Studies was classed as world leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021). You’ll also learn from experts in Politics and Philosophy from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, who will help to ensure you graduate with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of intellectual ideas, politics and business.

Top reasons to study with us

Prizes or awards

Our final year PPE students qualify for nomination for the following prizes:

The Murray Learmonth Prize

A prize of a £75 book token for the best dissertation in Single or Combined Honours Politics/ International Politics and PPE.

The Stephen Ingle Award

A prize of a £75 book token for best overall performance in Politics, International Politics and PPE Honours.

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
AABB - by the end of S5
AABBB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels
BBB

IB Diploma
30

BTEC (Level 3)
DDM

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

SQA Advanced Highers
ABB

GCE A-levels
ABB

IB Diploma
35

Essential subjects
To include Politics, Philosophy and Economics 

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Advanced entry is not available for this course.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply

If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

Other routes of entry

If you’re an international student and don’t meet the required academic and English-language criteria for entry onto this degree, there are other options. You could take our International Foundation programme, which prepares you for entry onto our degrees. Delivered by INTO University of Stirling on our Stirling campus, you can benefit from excellent teaching and supportive English language training. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences  provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with 5.5 in each skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 95 overall with a minimum of 90 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator -  Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 24 March 2022

You must also check the specific English language requirements for your country.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

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.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

From semester 5 onwards you will choose one of our three PPE streams, which will enable you to progressively specialise in two of the three subject areas. See detailed module information below.

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2021). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details

Teaching

Throughout this course, you’ll be taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials. You will study nine modules in Semesters 1-3, including: Politics of the British Isles; Introductory Microeconomics; and Philosophy – What’s it all about?

Semesters 4-8 will cover core modules in: Politics – Great Political Thinkers; Philosophy – Moral Theory; and Economics – Intermediate Macro economics.

From Semester 5 onwards you will choose one of our three PPE streams. Each stream comprises a range of optional and core modules which will enable you to progressively specialise in two of the three disciplines.

Semesters 7-8 offer further specialisation. In your final year, you will bring together the different skills you have acquired in a dissertation that covers two of the subject areas.

Assessment

Assessment for the modules on the course is either through coursework and or a combination of coursework and examinations. Coursework includes essays, tutorial presentations, participation in tutorials, role play exercises, case studies and book reviews. Your final Honours degree classification will be based on 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.

Study abroad

As a University of Stirling student, you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your horizons and study abroad through our well-established connections with several international universities.

Find out more about studying abroad.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2021/22 2022/23
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820 *
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
European Union students £15,100 £15,900
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,100 £15,900

Scottish students

* This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you’ll be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland who are living in the Common Travel Area of the UK, Islands or Ireland and are starting a course of study in Scotland in session 2021/22 will be entitled to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. See more information on the SAAS website.

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities below for more information.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students from the Republic of Ireland should see the fee and funding information under England, Wales, NI and Republic of Ireland.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Funding opportunities

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students domiciled in Scotland

The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

EU students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students domiciled in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

In addition, students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

Students domiciled overseas

The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

What jobs can you get with a Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree?

Our PPE course offers a high level of intellectual stimulation with a down-to-earth understanding of the interface between political institutions, societal values and the economy. Whether you’re aiming for a career in business, politics, the civil service, the voluntary sector or in journalism, a leading background knowledge in the humanities and the social sciences will be of great value and unlock a huge range of professional possibilities.

Jobs directly related to a PPE degree include:

  • Public Affairs Consultant
  • Civil Service Fast Streamer
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Politician’s Assistant
  • Business Consultant

As a PPE student, you’ll graduate with an in-depth knowledge of political institutions and the policy making process; a comprehensive understanding of the big ideas that have shaped Western societies; and a firm grasp of how the economy works. You’ll be skilled in argument evaluation, while also enjoying the ability to effectively express your own viewpoints. You’ll also develop valuable insight into the cultural, intellectual and moral pressures on decision-makers – which will make you a valuable asset to a wide range of companies.

  • Graduate with a unique, well-rounded insight into how the world works – and how you can make your mark on it.
  • Learn from visiting speakers who bring industry insights directly to you.

Employability skills

Your employability is one of our highest priorities, and we want to make sure you have every possible advantage when you enter the job market. We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at Stirling and develop the attributes required by employers. We also have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer and a Careers and Employability Service that work in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your University experience, and are given the right opportunities to make you ready for the world of work.

Your studies will equip you with skills in the following areas, plus many more:

  • Critical analysis
  • Communication and presentation
  • Flexibility
  • Team working
  • Intellectual independence
  • Research

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Flexible study

This course is not available as a combined degree.