The PPE Guide: Philosophy

What is PPE? Due to the extensive topics you will cover during the course, studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) can lead to various careers paths. And although it is commonly associated with politics, prospects go beyond that. The course is usually offered on a flexible basis which means you will be able to choose which topics you’d prefer to focus on.

Author: Rob Needleman

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Table of Contents

What is PPE?

Due to the extensive topics you will cover during the course, studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) can lead to various careers paths. And although it is commonly associated with politics, prospects go beyond that. The course is usually offered on a flexible basis which means you will be able to choose which topics you’d prefer to focus on. 

 

We have written a fairly extensive article on PPE, so if you would prefer to read a bit more about the course in general here is the link

 

How much of PPE is about philosophy?

You will find that each university will have a slightly different approach when it comes to course content. Universities such as Oxford or Sussex (amongst others) will give each subject the same weight. In other words, your study will be equally split between Philosophy, Politics and Economics. This is, however, not the case for every university in the UK.

There about 30 universities in the United Kingdom that offer a PPE course; three of these do not give Philosophy the same weight:

For a full breakdown of the weight given to each subject at every university in the UK (that offers PPE) see the table below. 

  Subject Weight
PoliticsPhilosophyEconomics
Durham University33%33%33%
Goldsmith's, University of London40%20%40%
King's College London33%33%33%
Lancaster University33%33%33%
Loughborough University50%25%25%
LSE33%33%33%
New College of the Humanities50%25%25%
Open University50%0%50%
Oxford33%33%33%
Queen's University Belfast25%25%50%
Royal Holloway, University of London20%40%40%
Swansea University33%33%33%
The University of Liverpool33%33%33%
The University of Manchester25%25%50%
UCL33%33%33%
University of Aberdeen33%33%33%
University of Buckingham33%33%33%
University of Essex33%33%33%
University of Exeter30%30%40%
University of Highlands and Islands33%33%33%
University of Hull33%33%33%
University of Leeds50%0%50%
University of Nottingham40%30%30%
University of Reading33%33%33%
University of Southampton30%30%30%
University of Stirling33%33%33%
University of Sussex33%33%33%
University of Warwick33%33%33%
University of Winchester25%50%25%
University of York33%33%33%

What will i learn about philosophy?

Philosophy is an extensive discipline that covers the underlying natures of reality, existence, and knowledge. Your modules will cover various topics such as Religion, Ethics and War, or Kant and the Copernican Revolution.

 

The modules can also be across subjects for example Ethics and Economics of Environmental Protection; The Politics and Ethics of the Post-Crash Economy; or Political Philosophy: Conservatism.

 

In general, you will be studying Philosophy as part of the world around you. You will explore controversial topics such as human rights and discuss more philosophy 101 topics such as the great philosophical texts. Nevertheless, the important thing to retain is that you will be able to choose – so make sure you check the module information pages.

 

By studying philosophy, you will develop your analytical and critical mindset and question the world around you. This type of attitude will help you develop your awareness which ultimately benefits you regardless of the career path you choose to follow.

pPE philosophy career prospects

As mentioned extensively, one of the main benefits of PPE is that you have more career paths to follow. If you choose to focus more on the philosophical side of PPE and pursue a career in this area, these are the types of areas you might expect to get into:

This is not, of course, an extensive list and you will be able to branch into different avenues depending on your interests.

Should i still study PPE if i don't want to go into politics?

Yes, of course! Just because PPE is commonly associated with politics this does not mean it’s the only career path. As shown above, there are various areas to get into with a PPE degree, politics being one of them (but not the only one).

 

Rather than thinking about the name of the course, think about what you will learn. Philosophy will help you develop your critical mindset which is a useful skill for any job. These are the things you should consider when choosing a course.

Should I apply to PPE?

If you have been reading in this article appeals to you, then yes! Because you are given a lot of flexibility to choose the modules you will enjoy studying, PPE can an exciting course. You can tailor it to reflect your career ambitions and make sure none of your time is wasted.

 

It is not, however, an easy course so bear that in mind. You will still have to cover two other subjects (on top of philosophy) which can easily become frustrating if you’re not invested in them.

karl-max
Karl Max & Friedrich Engels

 

Research, research, research! If you have already decided to pursue PPE then well done, but now you will have to choose the university. Even core modules change across universities, so make sure you’re aware of what you will be “forced” to study.

 

If you need help, our admission consultants will be happy to assist you and recommend the necessary preparation to ensure you get into your chosen university.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article will have helped you get some clarification on the Philosophy side of PPE. Remember: universities websites are the best source of information when it comes to knowing exactly what you will study. Do your research and have fun applying to PPE!

Thinking about applying to PPE?

At UniAdmissions, we can help you maximise your potential and get a place at your dream university. We provide PPE specialised support to help you craft the perfect application. 

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