Philosophy, Politics and Economics
UCAS code: L0V0
- Focus on values and beliefs to deepen your understanding of the specific needs of individuals and communities within local and global societies
- Benefit from opportunities for work placements in politics, field visits and face-to-face engagement with major political figures
- Gain specialist skills that equip you to work in politics, but also in journalism, business, and for NGOs and think-tanks
- Enjoy extra weekly talks and seminars by leading international thinkers across the campus on questions relating to your course
Understanding the fast-moving contemporary world with its financial crises, interminable wars, ecological catastrophes and culture clashes, may seem almost impossible. But a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Winchester gives you the strongest possible start to not only making sense of that world, but to finding a role in it where you can enact positive change.
On our comprehensive PPE programme, you wrestle with the big questions about humanity, the world, our history and contemporary society. What’s more, it equips you with the skills and understanding to play a part in shaping where our society is going.
The interdisciplinary PPE was first developed in Oxford in the 1920s to give politicians and civil servants the range of skills they needed to govern Britain. An astonishing number of today’s high-profile politicians, business people and journalists have studied PPE.
At Winchester, the backbone of our course is a three-year sweep of Western philosophy, tracing the development of democracy, freedom and responsibility from the Ancient Greek polis to the modern nation-state. You critically address metaphysical doctrines of freedom, idealism and the existence of God; political ideas of liberalism, democracy and property; and economic notions of growth, laissez-faire capitalism and Marxism.
Building on this, you study a wide range of political and economic modules focused on the modern world and debate contentious political issues. It’s an exciting course explicitly oriented towards how future global challenges demand that we learn to think differently.
In Year 1 you study introductory modules in each component discipline of Philosophy, Politics and Economics
In Year 2 you engage with the theories of heavyweight philosophers such as George Hegel, Karl Marx and Immanuel Kant and investigate key theories of politics, economics and governance. Optional modules are available in The War on Terror, Bioethics and the History of Economic Thought.
In Year 3 you produce your 10,000 word dissertation which can be on any one of the disciplines or a combination thereof. Optional modules are available in Contemporary Philosophy, the Politics and Ethics of the post-Crash Economy, and Populism and National Identity.
Armed with a range of specialist skills in communication, critical thinking and research, a degree in PPE sets you up for role in the political field at local, national, or global levels. A deep understanding of these three disciplines and how they relate to each other also opens up career paths in journalism and business, or working for international NGOs or think-tanks. You are well equipped to move into teaching, with increasing numbers of students taking PPE subjects in secondary schools.
Find out more about the Department for Applied Social Science, Forensics and Politics
A degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics gives students a range of specialist skills for working in the political field. These skills can open up opportunities to work in local and national government and in European and global politics. Furthermore, institutions that need to interact with local, national and international government find the knowledge of PPE graduates invaluable, allowing for careers paths ranging from journalism or business to working for international NGOs or think-tanks. Students also learn a wide range of transferable skills that employers value highly. These include critical thinking, gathering and analysing evidence, communication and IT skills, cultural awareness, collaboration and teamwork.
We build preparation for employment into the course in various ways, including the real-world experience offered in the Work Placement or Observation Module and the optional Volunteering module. Students are well equipped to move into teaching, with increasing numbers of students taking philosophy, politics and economics subjects in secondary schools.
Pre-approved for a Masters
University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.
ABOUT THIS COURSE
Suitable for applicants from:
UK, EU, World
Our BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA).
For more information see our Study Abroad section.
Learning and teaching
Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.
You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.
In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.
Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.
Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 192 hours
- Independent learning: 1008 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 168 hours
- Independent learning: 1020 hours
- Placement: 12 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 180 hours
- Independent learning: 1020 hours
*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.
Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.
All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed bydifferent assessment modes is as follows:
Year 1 (Level 4)*:
- 56% coursework
- 31% written exams
- 13% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
- 93% coursework
- 0% written exams
- 7% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
- 69% coursework
- 23% written exams
- 8% practical exams
*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures
2021 Entry: 104-120 points
A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.
International Baccalaureate: 104-120 points to include a minimum of 2 Higher level IB certificates at grade 4 or above.
If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components.
Course enquiries and applications
Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1962 827023
Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days
Year 1 (Level 4)
|Introduction to Global Politics and Political Philosophy||30|
This module introduces significant themes, theoretical perspectives and concepts in Politics and Global Studies, and aims to develop an initial understanding of the methodologies and practices of the discipline of Politics where it comes into contact with related subject areas such as international relations, economics, the environment and religion. This module – continuing in the second semester of Year 1 – aims to develop the understanding of Global Politics. This module covers the theory and practice of politics in terms of examining different political systems such as representative, parliamentary democracy and their institutions of government, the role of interest groups, electoral systems, voting behaviour, public policy, human rights, security studies, international economic relations, dictatorships and one party states to give a grounding in how political processes work. The course then goes on to examine the philosophical underpinnings of differing systems of government by looking at ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, communism and socialism that originated in the Western world and comparing and contrasting systems of government elsewhere in the world where such beliefs have been used, adapted or rejected.
|Principles of Micro- and Macroeconomics||30|
This module introduces students to the field of economics. The first semester focuses on Microeconomics, studying the behaviour of individual agents and their interaction in markets. The second semester focuses on Macroeconomics, the study of the economy at the aggregate level, and the fundamental policy choices that are associated with it.
Students will learn a range of vocabulary and concepts that allow them to model and understand economic situations, to predict the consequences of changing a particular variable, and to determine the best economic course of action for agents. During the semester, students will undertake a range of exercises to be held during seminars. These will contribute to develop those skills that will be tested in two assignments, due at the end of each semester, and the final exam, taking place during assessment week.
|Joining the Conversation||15|
In this module we will focus on a key debate, topic or dilemma in the Christian tradition to collectively develop your academic skills. These skills will include textual analysis, research, note taking and academic writing. This module will show how lectures, reading and independent work might be utilised for effective written assessment. Students will be trained to read primary and secondary texts, and work within the parameters of Higher Education with increased confidence. Important topics for your success at university such as what constitutes good essay structure, understanding assessment criteria and how your work is marks, along with how to reference texts and avoid committing plagiarism will be introduced through this module.
|God, Soul and World in Early-Modern Thought||15|
The Early-Modern period: a time when parts of Classical thought were being rejected while others were being rediscovered. We will look at how a renewed focus on epistemology along with developments in the natural sciences led to a new confidence in the power of reason against superstition and illusion. To develop our skills and knowledge of the diverging rationalist and empiricist traditions that succeeded medieval scholasticism, we will focus in particular on the conceptual accounts and proofs of the existence of God, Soul and World that developed in the succession of debates sparked by Descartes. By investigating their proofs for the existence of God, the immortal soul and the reality of the external world, their explanations for the existence of evil and their accounts of freedom, we will learn to analyse texts carefully and form persuasive arguments with and against them.
|Philosophy in the Ancient World||15|
In this module we will begin to study philosophy by looking at its establishment in a movement in Ancient Greece. We will focus particularly on the key figures of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. We will pay attention to what philosophy is and what characterises a philosopher, along with key questions relating to metaphysics, epistemology, politics and the polis. Beyond the core figure we will look at earlier Pre-Socratic philosophers and Sophists and ahead to the major Hellenistic schools of philosophy and the philosophers of the Roman Empire.
|Human Rights in the Global Political Economy||15|
Human rights have been called the ‘idea of our time.’ In the post-World War Two period this ‘idea’ has achieved a totemic status, associated with civility and modernity. Against this, however, are the widespread reports of torture, genocide, disappearances, ethnic cleansing, political prisoners, the suppression of trade unions and democracy movements, and wilful deprivation of access to the basic necessities of life. One of the causes for the apparent disjuncture between the optimism represented by the idea of human rights, and the pessimism engendered by media reports of widespread violation of human rights, can be found in what John Vincent has called ‘human rights talk’. Human rights is not a singular discourse, but three overlapping discourses: philosophy, law and politics. We will critically explore
these three discourses historically, culturally and in their contemporary form, and seek to gain an insight into the role of human rights under conditions of present-day globalisation.
Year 2 (Level 5)
|Kant and the Copernican Revolution||15|
This module focuses on one of the most important books ever written, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Beginning from the intellectual milieu it emerged from – Rationalism vs. Empiricism, Hume’s scepticism and Rousseau’s view of freedom – this module will focus on understanding the texts general relevance along with focusing in detail on a few portions of its argument. These might include the the notion of transcendental idealism and the thing-in-itself, Kant’s account of the nature of space and time, the limitations Kant imposes on our knowledge of metaphysical entities – such as God, freedom and the self – and the role of non-epistemic forms of assertion such as faith and hope in these domains. We will also place Kant’s first Critique in the context of some of his works, such as those on ethics, aesthetics, science, politics or religion.
|Hegel, Marx and Dialectical Thought||15|
With the publication of Phenomenology of Spirit in 1807, Hegel offered the world a radically different image of what was truly at stake in the historical development of philosophical thought, politics, art and religion through enacting a fundamental break with the system of logic first defined by Aristotle. The new understanding of history and progress that dialectical thought offered might seem arcane and mysterious, yet it proved itself incredibly powerful in offering new ways of seeing what was going on in our culture. Perhaps the most famous inheritor of Hegel’s method was Karl Marx, who claimed to be turning the dialectical method on its head with his materialist account of the inevitable coming of communism. In this module we will investigate how dialectical thought works, paying particular attention to those thinkers who have used it to understand political and economic development.
This module focuses on the workings of international institutions and the on-going debates that seek to reform them. Starting with the United Nations and other post-WWII institutions, the module moves on to cover a range of international institutions and non-government organisations that have a role in politics and global studies.
The module will assess the relations between international institutions and the state (and other actors) and the degree of cooperation, collaboration and harmonisation (or otherwise) that exists between various bodies in a global setting.
This module provides students with an overview of research methods employed in the Social Sciences and they will learn to use a variety of the basic quantitative and qualitative methods. Students will work with tutors to sharpen their skills in researching, collating, organising, assessing and presenting materials drawn from different primary and secondary sources such as monographs, articles, newspapers, speeches and national statistics. The module will critically explore the appropriate use of different techniques. The underlying debates about research methodology and directly provide students with concrete tools to conduct independent research. The module ultimately guides students towards an independent research proposal and prepares them for the dissertation in the final year.
|Global Political Economy||15|
This module introduces students to the academic discipline of Global Political Economy. The module will discuss a number of key issues in the global economy, and how these interact with international political processes. The module will present the different theoretical perspectives that constitute the field of Global Political Economy today, and how these perspectives are reflected in the dates about the major debates around the nature of the global economy. Students will therefore be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of the contemporary political and economic processes, through the lenses of an interdisciplinary perspective, standing between international politics and economics. This module builds on students’ level 4 modules in introductory global politics and economics.
Year 3 (Level 6)
In conversation with a member of academic staff, candidates must select an appropriate area of investigation. In 8-10,000 words, candidates must engage with their chosen topic using critical methodologies, evidence and argument. The topic chosen must be one which relates to the subject matter of the programme and which permits the demonstration of independent research, study and reflection.
The project and the research which underpins it are equivalent to two 15 credit rated modules and is to be completed over two semesters in the final year of study.
|Phenomenology, Existentialism and Identity||15|
A great deal of contemporary thought remains heavily focused on building on, responding to or critically rejecting the thought of the early-Twentieth Century. In this module we will look at a selection of the many important thinkers associated with the labels phenomenology and existentialism, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Levinas, Camus and Merleau-Ponty; along with a selection of thinkers outside of that tradition who played an important part in its critique, such as Bergson, Bataille, Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, Derrida and Foucault. We will see how the very notion of what it is “to be” and particularly “to be human” was put in question by these thinkers and by their critics. We will relate this to developments beyond philosophy, such as the role of such thinking in art, politics and religion, and the way it has responded to developments in science and logic.
In this module students will engage in detail with a particular philosopher whose works date from the late-Twentieth Century onwards. This module will be research-led, with the tutor presenting a thinker and theme that they are currently or recently engaged in writing research on. Students will be expected to engage with the tutor’s research work along with more general introductory material over the course of the module.
In this module we look at a range of economic issues from the perspective of the state and public finances. We will consider the benefits and problems associated with the state’s involvement in providing goods, the welfare state and the extent to which the state should engage with the market and in its regulation. We will also look at how effective government attempts at redistribution are and how these themes play out in our globalised world.
Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.
Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.
2021 Course Tuition Fees
|UK / Channel Islands /|
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland
|Optional Sandwich Year*||£1,385||£1,385|
|Total with Sandwich Year||£29,135||£42,785|
If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2021, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.
Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.
UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.
International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £115 and a 15 credit module is £1,725.
* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year. To find out whether this course offers a sandwich year, please contact the programme leader for further information.
**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.
As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.
There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:
Printing and Binding: The University is pleased to offer our students a free printing allowance of £20 each academic year. This will print around 500 A4 mono pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing. Our Reprographics team also offer printing and binding services, including dissertation binding which may be required by your course with an indicative cost of £1.50-£3.
Core Texts: Core texts are available from the University Library; however, students will be strongly encouraged in some modules to purchase a copy of a key work that the module focuses on. Some core texts can be bought second hand, or as an ebook which can often reduce this cost. Indicative cost £100 per academic year.
SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS
We have a variety of scholarships and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards page.
Key course details
- UCAS code
- 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
- Typical offer
- 104-120 points
- On campus, Winchester