The PPE Guide: Politics

If you are applying to study PPE at university, it is important that you understand the three subjects that make up the course. In this guide, we will look at Politics.

Last Updated: 19th April 2021

You are here:

Table of Contents

With three subjects making up a PPE course, you will likely have a preference for one of them. 

Studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) is a great opportunity for you to apply a wider variety of knowledge and academic skills to your studies. 

We look at the Politics aspect of a PPE course, and how it differs from university to university. 

How Much Of PPE Is About Politics?

Each university will have a different approach and therefore give a different weight to each subject. Out of thirty universities in the United Kingdom that offer PPE, only one of them – Royal Holloway University of London – gives less emphasis to the Politics subject. However, keep in mind that this information is only true for your first year of undergraduate.

This might be the reason why PPE is often thought of as a requirement for a career in Politics.

The table below includes every university in the UK and shows how much weight is given to a particular subject by each university.

Subject Weight
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%
New College of the Humanities50%25%25%
Open University50%0%50%
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%
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%

Our expert tutors are on hand to help guide you to a successful Oxford PPE application. 

We help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive TSA score and teach you how to Interview effectively.

Discover our Oxford PPE Premium Programme. 

is PPE the right course if i want to go into politics?

Yes. For most of the universities that offer PPE, you will find that Politics is either the dominant subject or it has the same weighting as Philosophy and Economics.

However, keep in mind that PPE will not go into as much detail as some other undergraduate courses. So, to reiterate, if you are exclusively interested in Politics and do not care for both Economics and Philosophy, then you should reconsider studying PPE.

Why do so many politicians study pPE at oxford?

Around 85 politicians have studied PPE at Oxford. The rationale behind such phenomena can be due to many reasons including:

However, it is important to note that the university you attend is not the most important about your degree. Not everyone can attend the most prestigious universities in the UK – for a multitude of reasons – and that is okay. You will have plenty of opportunities to prove yourself and become a successful graduate.

Claim Your FREE "What is PPE?" Guide

If you’re thinking about studying PPE but aren’t sure what the course is about, our free “What is PPE?” Guide os perfect for you. Discover what you’ll be learning, how you can apply and whether the degree is the right fit for you. Fill out the form below and gain instant access.

What is PPE Guide Image

What are the universities that give more emphasis to politics?

Contrarily to Royal Holloway, which gives Politics the least amount of “attention”, there are six universities that prioritise Politics. These include:

Some of these universities spend as much as 50% of the entire first year of the course focusing on Politics. So, if Politics is the subject you are most interested out of the three, we would recommend researching the above universities in more detail.

However, always bear in mind that if you are only considering PPE because of Politics then it is probably wiser to choose a course that focus strictly on Politics. You might spend less time focussing on Philosophy and Economics at some of these universities, but you will still be learning about these subjects so make sure you have some interest in them.  

Should I apply to PPE?

If what you have read in this article appeals to you, then yes. PPE is exciting and broad and you will have flexibility to choose optional modules, which means you will tailor the course to suit your interests and career ambitions.

It is definitely not an easy course since you will be studying three subjects simultaneously, but if you have a genuine interest for any of the subjects, it is worth considering.

Do your research and look at university websites or speak with our admission consultants. Is PPE appealing to you the more you read about it? Then the answer to ‘Should I apply to PPE?’ is yes! And if you need help with your personal statement, here is a great example.


We hope this article gave you an overview of the Politics side of PPE, and helped to give you a more solid understanding of what is in store.

PPE is a rewarding course, but you must be prepared to put the work in. You may find yourself enjoying the subject that was your least favourite – there are countless opportunities. 

With the ability to tailor the degree to your interests, PPE offers great flexibility that other degrees do not offer. 

Secure your dream place at Oxford to study PPE, with the guidance of our expert tutors. 

Applying to Oxford is immensely competitive and it is crucial that you give yourself the best chance of success. We help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive TSA score and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxford application.

Discover our Oxford PPE Premium Programme. 

0 +

UniAdmissions students placed at Oxford And Cambridge

0 +
UniAdmissions students placed
at Oxford And Cambridge