For more information about Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Queen's University Belfast, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BA

How long you will study
4 years

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Queen's University Belfast

The Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) degree is based on the view that, to understand public phenomena, one must approach them from several disciplinary directions. This degree illuminates how these three areas complement one another:
• Politics acquaints students with the institutions and processes that produce decisions governing our lives
• Philosophy develops analytical rigour, the ability to reason logically, critically and ethically
• Economics helps in understanding government policy and the choices facing businesses, governments and society

Politics, Philosophy and Economics Degree highlights

Although the PPE degree only began at Queen's in 2009, it has already been successful in placing graduates in top positions in business and government. This includes one currently serving minister in the Northern Ireland Executive.

Global Opportunities

  • Study Abroad: students have study opportunities in other European universities through our Erasmus programme, and also in the USA and Canada.
    http://www.qub.ac.uk/Research/GRI/mitchell-institute/

Professional Accreditations

  • Although practicing politics, philosophy, or economics does not usually require professional accreditations, many of our staff and students are members of many of the key professional associations in these subject areas. This includes the Political Studies Association, the British Philosophical Association, the Political Studies Association of Ireland, the American Political Science Association, and the Royal Economic Society.

Industry Links

  • The School offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real world work experience which is invaluablein terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer studentsplacements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman's Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.

Career Development

  • Queen's is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Studying for a Politics degree at Queen's will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers and academic institutions.
  • PPE graduates from Queens have moved into areas such as further postgraduate study (internationally and in Britain and Ireland), teacher training, banking, consultancy, the civil service, and politics. Recent graduates have gone on to work for employers such as the Bank of England, major companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers, and major political parties (including an MLA at Stormont).
  • The School offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real-world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for example, in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman's Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.

World Class Facilities

  • Research-led Teaching: cutting-edge research drives our externally commended teaching, most recently evidenced in the latest student satisfaction survey.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • The Head of School, Professor Yvonne Galligan, OBE, is an internationally recognised expert in the politics of gender. She was a member of an Independent Commission of Inquiry on The Consequences of Devolution for the UK House of Commons (the McKay Commission), in 2013. She was also independent chairperson of the Markievicz Commission in Ireland on measures to implement the candidate gender quota of 30%, in 2014. She was awarded an OBE in the Birthday 2014 Honours List. Prof. Beverley Milton Edwards has advised various governments in her role as an expert on the Middle East, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Brooking Institution. Professor David Phinnemore is an expert on EU Treaty reform and EU enlargement, which led to his secondment as an advisor to the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Student Experience

  • Our uniquely supportive pastoral care/ personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available. Our vibrant PPE Society provides a welcome and stimulating environment for newstudents. We have students from around the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world, ensuring a rich mix of students withdifferent experiences and backgrounds.
 'The School is of not too large a size as to be impersonal, and therefore the relationships between the students and with the staff were strong and highly inclusive. The relatively small intake of the PPE programme meant that across all three years there were plenty of opportunities to interact with the other students, and the PPE society always had great socials as well as academic events.'
Ed Livingstone, BA Politics (2013), Philosophy, and Economics

Careers

Career Prospects

Introduction
Studying PPE at Queen's has several unique advantages:

• Studying in Belfast, a regional political and economic capital city, allows for one to interact directly with key decision makers in the area
• Situated on the island of Ireland, the PPE degree at Queen's offers a unique international setting
• Studying politics, philosophy, and economics in a divided society allows one to explore how these subjects work to shape conflict
• Small class sizes promote the building of close friendships and networks

Employment after the Course
A PPE degree provides a stimulating programme of study and intellectual training useful in many walks of life and future career paths. Graduates are equipped with the necessary attributes for graduate employment or postgraduate education and training, and are able to make a difference in whatever future career they choose. PPE graduates enter careers in areas such as marketing, journalism, broadcasting, education, the Civil Service, equal opportunities, banking, business, public relations, local government, and even politics itself.

Employment Links
The School also maintains an Employers Forum - a direct link to businesses and organisations who look to recruit from among our school's graduates.

Placements: Students have the opportunity in the final year to undertake a part-time placement within a local organisation to gain direct experience of policy-making and political decision-making.

Professional Opportunities
The diversity of interests and topics covered in the discipline, plus the wide range of skills it equips you with, means that our students enter a wide range of careers on graduation. These include the public sector (e.g. social services, education, civil service), private sector (e.g. market research, policy analysis, human resources, banking), and third sector (e.g. policy analyst, researcher, charity fundraiser). A number of our students also go on to postgraduate study, on a full or part-time basis.

Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen's. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen's Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

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Study options for this course

Notes about fees for this course

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2019-20 will be based on 2018-19 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI)£4,160England, Scotland or Wales (GB)£9,250Other (non-UK) EU£4,160International£15,550

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student's tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Politics, Philosophy and Economics costs

In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000. Students who undertake a period of study or work abroad, are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students should be aware that placement and internship modules do not normally involve payment or financial support from either Queen's or the placement/internship provider.If the placement is undertaken under the European Erasmus programme, students are normally eligible to receive a top-up grant to contribute towards these costs of approximately €300 per month. A limited number of Erasmus grants are available. 

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.

Scholarships

Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A level requirements
AAA + GCSE Mathematics grade B

Irish leaving certificate requirements
H2H2H3H3H3H3 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O3

Access/Foundation Course
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 75% + GCSE Mathematics grade B or equivalent in Access Course.

All applicants
There are no specific subject requirements to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

How we choose our students

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
Applicants must meet the subject specific requirement of GCSE Maths grade B. GCSE English Language grade C is also required.

Demand for places differs from course to course and for PPE, past performance at GCSE and / or AS level is taken into account when deciding whether or not to make conditional offers. For last year's entry, we started making offers to applicants with 3A and 3B grades at GCSE or ABB at AS-Level, however, at the end of the application cycle, the final threshold was a minimum of 2A and 5B grades at GCSE or average BBB at AS-level, in order to be made a conditional offer, however, please note that this threshold may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The final threshold is not usually determined until late in the cycle, around March/April, so there may be a delay in processing candidates. Where applicants do not cash-in AS-level examinations results at the end of year 13 (Year 12 England and Wales), it is helpful if the equivalent grades are given in the personal statement or academic reference, since this will speed up the decision-making process.

Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering two A-Levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-Level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.

Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.

The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those applicants taking a BTEC Extended Diploma qualification or a Higher National Certificate (HNC).

The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 160 credits at Distinction and 20 credits at Merit. For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 4 Distinctions and remainder Merits. In both instances, applicants must also have the appropriate qualification to fulfil the entry requirements for GCSE Mathematics.

For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, a minimum of 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits is necessary in the year 1 performance. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with 4 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only and applicants must also have the appropriate qualification to fulfil the entry requirements for GCSE Mathematics.

Applicants offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and for last year the standard required was an overall average of 75% in Level 3 modules, with an average of 70% in relevant maths modules in the Access Course, where the GCSE Mathematics requirement had not already been met.

For applicants offering the Irish Leaving Certificate please note that performance at Junior Certificate is taken into account and at the end of last year's application cycle, the Junior Cert profile was a minimum of 3A and 3B grades.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted however, these are not the final deciding factors as to whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.

If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES

INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

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