Why do philosophical and economic ideas matter so much to politics? Why is the state of the economy so important for the outcome of elections? Why do governments try to regulate markets, and how? How should we respond to pressing global issues and trends?
PPE covers the areas of philosophy, political science, and economics, including political theory and political behaviour, macro- and microeconomics, and major philosophical approaches. It provides you with a context in which to appreciate and develop insights into important national and global questions, and encourages you to reflect critically on these questions from a theoretical, practical, and ethical point of view.
The Essex BA in PPE should interest you if you want to develop a critical and interdisciplinary perspective on what makes the world tick. It offers you a solid grounding in three foundational disciplines, and provides you with opportunities to explore topics including:
- Globalization and international relations
- Philosophy and political theory
- Democratic and comparative politics
- Political economy
- Ethics and public policy
Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began.
Meanwhile, our Department of Economics is Top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% of their research rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and our Department of Philosophy is ranked Top 10 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014).
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university
Alternatively, on a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry.
A Placement-Linked Project module is also available as an alternative to the dissertation module in your third year. You attend shorter placements (a minimum of 150 hours in total), and use your learning on placement to inform a research project; fantastic work experience for your CV.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.
Our economics researchers are also at the forefront of their field have even received MBEs. Many of our academic staff also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today’s society as well as informing our teaching for the future.
Within Philosophy, our open-minded and enthusiastic staff have an exceptionally broad range of research interests, so whatever questions in philosophy catch hold of your imagination, there is certain to be someone you can approach to find out more.
Take advantage of our extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:
- Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
- ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
- Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
- A dedicated study skills advisor in your first year for one-to-one advice
- A personal tutor and peer mentor for every student
- We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
- Extensive software for quantitative analysis is available in all computer labs across the university
- Join our lively Economics Society, an active and social group where you can explore your interest in your subject with other students
- An exciting programme of research seminars, reading groups and mini-courses that help you expand your philosophical knowledge beyond what you learn on your course
- A comprehensive student support system which will direct you to the best source of advice and support in the case of personal or academic difficulties
All Essex, politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.
Politics students are in demand from a host of employers, in politics, the civil service fast stream, management, journalism, police, armed forces, commerce, business, finance, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), teaching and graduate research.
Our notable alumni include the former President of Costa Rica and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr Oscar Arias, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:
- The World Bank
- Houses of Parliament Research Unit
- United Nations Development Program
- ICM research
- IMG Media
We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We focus on the existential questions of human life, and provide a critical perspective on the social, political and economic challenges we are facing today.
- Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication.
- We’re top 25 in the UK for politics (Guardian University Guide 2021).
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
- Teaching is arranged to allow a lot of freedom in how you organise your learning experience
- Lab sessions allow you to improve your technical research skills
- Optional support classes in economics
- We believe that discussion is the lifeblood of philosophy, and we try to keep our classes as small as we can for this purpose
- Opportunities to gain work experience on placements and internships
- Assessed through a combination of written coursework, presentations, class participation, and end-of-year examinations
- If you undertake a placement, you will prepare an assessed report on this experience
- Complete your final year project in consultation with a personal supervisor