Politics, Philosophy and Economics: PPE

BA (Hons)


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.

Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree.

  • UCAS: L0V0
  • Qualification: BA (Hons)
  • Study methods: Campus based, Full-time
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Matias Margulis
  • Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Download course leaflet
Download undergraduate prospectus

Dr Sossie Kasbarian


History and Politics
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling

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What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points.

BTEC (Level 3):

Essential subjects: To include Politics, Philosophy And Economics

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.

Foundation Apprenticeships:

Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply.
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), 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 international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language 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 requirements

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

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

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.

Fees and costs

Fees 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 12,140.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

If you plan to commence your studies at the University of Stirling in January 2018, please note you will be subject to our 2017/18 fees. Please contact us for more information.

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. 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.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

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.

Delivery and assessment

Honours degree classification is 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.

Related degrees

Economics; Philosophy; Politics.

Modes of study

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

Find out more


Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

Why Stirling?



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.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.

Study abroad opportunities

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

Our students

"Each subject provided a wide range of modules and yet they all somehow linked together. The setting of Stirling University campus was a joy and unique place to study and live."

Amy Porter, BA (Hons) PPE, Graduated 2017

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

With roots in three different disciplines this degree programme combines intellectual stimulation with and understanding of what makes the world tick. This degree provides an excellent basis for those who want to pursue careers in industry, journalism, politics, management, intelligence, marketing, industrial organisation to name but a few career areas that are open to PPE graduates.

A degree in PPE develops many useful transferable skills including:

Expand your horizons

As part of this degree you will be able to undertake a range of modules which provide activities and skills to help you get the most from your degree and your future career.

  • Receive talks from visiting speakers from industry and alumni
  • You will also be encouraged to take part in clubs and societies e.g. Politics Society, Philosophy Society and the Economics Society.



We’re here to help

We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes required by employers. We have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer and a Career and Employability Service who 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.

Career options

Graduates from this degree subject area are equipped for a wide range of careers. A degree in PPE opens up a broad range of career opportunities.


  • The Public Service Sector
  • Civil Service
  • Law
  • Financial Sector
  • Private companies
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • The media
  • Politics


Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict research or imagination to the jobs listed here.


Work experience

Look for volunteering or work experience opportunities with organisations and businesses that you are interested in working for, or that will help you develop the skills relevant to your career interests. Aim to get an internship during your summer vacations and use any opportunities to build up a network of contacts. This is a useful way to test your suitability and interest in a range of roles.


Further study
Some PPE graduates continue with further study of their discipline, possibly with the intention of pursuing a career as a lecturer, but often to develop their knowledge of the subject further to improve their career prospects. Other graduates chose to study something vocational at postgraduate level - common areas have included law, publishing and journalism. For careers such as law, lecturing and teaching, further qualifications are essential. For other careers such a postgraduate qualification may be useful, but it is relevant work experience that is essential.


Relevant further study available at Stirling include:



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