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Philosophy, Politics and Economics

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Course details

  • UCAS code: L0V0
  • Study mode: Full-time
  • Length: 3 years

Key dates

  • Starts:

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Bachelor of Arts

A Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

Philosophy, Politics and Economics unites three disciplines that are foundational to public life and policy. Nowadays, anyone hoping to understand or advance in politics has to be proficient in economics, and an understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of the various political views that jostle on the public stage has long been recognised as hugely important.

Introduction

This degree provides the opportunity to master the overlap of these three disciplines, to come to grips with some of their specialisms, to attain a very thorough grounding in mathematical economics, and to develop skills in identifying and evaluating the principles and values that underlie debates. The combination is highly sought after by employers, who appreciate the breadth of knowledge and variety of skills that it provides.

Year one will comprise entirely of compulsory modules: four from Economics, and two each from Philosophy and Politics. In year two, you will take compulsory modules in Economics, one compulsory Philosophy module, and choose from a range of Philosophy and Politics options, which will give you some flexibility in the direction of your studies. For your final year, you will choose between a PPE-focused work placement or dissertation, and then optional modules from each of the three subjects.

Year in Industry

This programme can also be studied over four years, with the third year spent on a relevant, salaried work placement (UCAS code: L0V1). Visit the BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a Year in Industry course page for further information.

What you'll learn

  • Advanced numeracy and literacy skills
  • Creative, critical and independent thinking
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Efficient time and information management
  • The ability to organise and present a persuasive case
  • The ability to devise and sustain arguments, and solve problems
  • Systematic knowledge and critical understanding of key aspects of Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded a Gold rating for educational excellence.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

You will take compulsory modules in each of the three subjects, which will give you the mathematical, philosophical and political foundations for the rest of you degree.

Compulsory modules

FOUNDATIONS IN POLITICS (POLI109)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides students with a critical introduction to a number of political concepts such as power, the state, legitimacy of sovereignty and gender through engaging with political thinkers such as Weber, Dahl, Tilly, Hooks and Rousseau. It also aims to establish a grounding in a number of areas that will benefit the students in the academic study of politics. For example, essay writing, debating in seminars, and an introduction to academic research. In so doing the module develops on the skills gained at A-level to ensure students are fully prepared for degree level study in Politics. Principally this will be accomplished through interactive lectures and seminars, as well as detailed feedback on their assessments. This module provides students with the tools they require to master different forms of assessment and course work. It also lays the foundations for the development of research confident students by making them active learners with a responsibility for their own academic study.

FOUNDATIONS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (POLI104)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module provides an introduction to the main schools of thought and key issues in the field of International Relations (IR). It starts by offering an outline of these schools of thought and introduces students to important thinkers and theories within them. It then moves on to applying and comparing and contrasting different theories to a range of important contemporary issues, from the persistence of war to the environment. It concludes with a discussion of possible futures.

MATHEMATICAL ECONOMICS (ECON113)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces students to techniques of proof and mathematical methods that will be assumed elsewhere in the programme.  It prepares students for the Year 2 Mathematical Economics II option, which is a prerequisite for certain Year 3 modules.

PHILOSOPHY TOOLKIT (PHIL105)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Students taking this module will develop key skills which are essential for studying philosophy. Students will learn how to approach philosophical texts written in a variety of styles – how to identify arguments, how to distinguish arguments from rhetoric, and how to evaluate arguments. They will also learn how to summarise views accurately, clearly and concisely, and how to write persuasively when presenting their own analysis of the philosophical topics covered. This module also includes lectures on successful presenting, and how to conduct fruitful philosophical discussions. Students will also be advised on understanding and learning from feedback. Students will gain skills in conducting their own independent, enquiry-led research, which is facilitated by a two-hour information and research skills workshop provided by the Library.
The seminar readings will cover three engaging philosophical topics. Since the lecture content is primarily devoted to developing the skills involved with philosophical practice, this module also features three podcasts which serve as introductions to the readings for the three seminar topics.

The module is assessed as follows: seminar participation counts for 10% of the overall grade, a 1,000-word executive summary of any two of the seminar readings counts for 30% of the module result, and a 2000-word essay counts for the remaining 60%. Feedback on the executive summary and the essay is provided online using the VLE. It specifically relates the assessed work to the marking descriptors (which are published online in advance). Feedback on seminar participation is provided informally by the seminar leader (and by the students’ peers). Students will also have the opportunity to discuss their participation by making use of their seminar leader’s feedback and advice hours.

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (PHIL102)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to the main arguments and theories in the history of Western political philosophy. Taking this module will enhance students’ abilities to analyse political arguments and claims and to identify the philosophical assumptions that underlie them. The module is taught by lecture (2 x 1 hour per week in person, or pre-recorded mini-lectures available online, depending on the circumstances) and seminar (1 hour per week). Assessment is via a take home exam (2 hour equivalent, weighted at 90% of the module mark) and a 5-10 minute seminar presentation (weighted at 10% of the module mark). Seminar presentations may be recorded by students, if in-person presentation is not possible.

PRINCIPLES OF MACROECONOMICS (ECON123)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module complements and builds on Principles of Microeconomics and provides a foundation for further studies in macroeconomics. It introduces concepts and theories of economics which help understand changes in the macroeconomic environment and enables students to explain and analyse the formulation of government macroeconomic policy.

PRINCIPLES OF MICROECONOMICS (ECON121)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module acquaints the student with a foundation in neo-classical microeconomics. The module equips students with the knowledge and mathematical tools to approach fundamental problems in microeconomic analysis. Students are introduced to the importance of theoretical models and their role. The module is supported by a customized textbook. Students who engage fully with this course will receive a solid foundation in microeconomics, which forms the foundation of all future courses in microeconomics and related subjects.

Statistics & Data Analysis for Economics and Business (ECON112)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of how statistics operates in Business and Economics. This module serves both as a foundation for further study and as a broadly based introduction to statistics and data analysis. It is practically based and will teach the foundations of statistical analysis including calculating and presenting statistics from sample data and inferential techniques for making inferences about variable parameters from these as well as a good understanding of probability and variables as probability distributions.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Year in industry

Year in industry placements give you an in-depth workplace experience where you can develop your skills and apply your learning.

  • Develop key employability skills that graduate employers are looking for
  • Experience and understand workplace culture and disciple
  • Understand the relationship between academic theory and real world application
  • Begin your professional network
  • Gain industry insight and insight into potential career options.

If you'd like to undertake a year in industry, you can transfer to Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a Year in Industry BA (Hons) during your studies, subject to meeting the academic requirements of your course.

View Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a Year in Industry BA (Hons)

To spend a year in industry, you'll need to secure a placement with an organisation. If you're unable to find a placement, you'll continue with the standard version of the course without a year in industry.

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Your experience

The Department of Philosophy is based in the School of the Arts, although teaching will take place across the campus, including the Department of Politics and University of Liverpool Management School. Our staff and students have created an environment where critical, independent thinking flourishes, in a city that has a long tradition of welcoming radical thinkers and philosophers. Our friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere makes the exchange of ideas enjoyable, as well as intellectually stimulating.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Why study Philosophy at Liverpool?

  • Our students’ study some of the most profound questions facing humankind, in a city renowned for its rich history of culture, protest and philosophical debate
  • Our friendly, down-to earth atmosphere makes the exchange of ideas enjoyable as well as intellectually stimulating
  • We have a long history of combining research excellence in core areas of philosophy with innovative work at the frontiers of the discipline: from literature to spirituality, Chinese philosophy to animal ethics, neo-Platonism to feminism
  • Ranked 4th in the sector for outstanding (4*) research impact (REF 2021)
  • PHILOS-L. Established in 1989, PHILOS-L is the largest Philosophy mailing list in the world. The list boasts over 13,000 members in over 60 countries
  • We work as part of our amazing city; working with partners in the Bluecoat Gallery, Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool, NHS and more to inspire our thinking and the practices of our communities

What students say...

The interdisciplinary nature was really appealing to me. It provided me with a wide range of angles to approach both my modules and the wider world. Specific modules such as Political Philosophy and International Political Economy really take advantage of those opportunities to apply knowledge across subjects.

, BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Careers and employability

Graduating with a degree in philosophy will empower you to delve into the profound questions that shape human existence but also position you as a valuable asset in today’s competitive job market.

The School has its own placements and employability officer, and you will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement or a year in industry as part of your programme.

Graduates in Philosophy obtain work in fields such as:

  • advertising and marketing;
  • the arts, broadcasting, and journalism;
  • commerce and management;
  • the civil service, law, and politics;
  • teaching.

3 in 4 philosophy students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Meet our alumni

Hear what graduates say about their career progression and life after university.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £11,200
Fees are correct for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that the Year Abroad fee also applies to the Year in China.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.

Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.

Discover our full range of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

 

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Clearing 2024

Please see our Clearing course information for details of the qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course for 2024 entry.

View the Clearing entry requirements for this course.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 5.5
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 17, writing 17, reading 17 and speaking 19
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 95 
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 60
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0500 Grade C overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking and listening. Speaking and listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate.
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0990 Grade 4 overall, with Merit in speaking and listening
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0510/0511 0510: Grade B overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0511: Grade B overall.
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0993/0991 0993: Grade 6 overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0991: Grade 6 overall.  
International Baccalaureate Standard Level grade 5 or Higher Level grade 4 in English B, English Language and Literature, or English Language
Cambridge ESOL Level 2/3 Advanced 176 overall, with no paper below 162

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 6 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 5.5, for further details.

Changes to Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.

28 February 2023: Entry requirements update

Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher entry requirements updated.

AAB including A in Maths, changed to Advanced Highers AAB including A in Maths.