- 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 core introductory modules in each discipline as well as Introduction to Ethics and Values in the Modern World.
In Year 2, you go head to head with big thinkers such as Hegel, Marx and Kant, and investigate power and economic theories. Possible optional modules range from Global Governance to The War on Terror, and from the Axis of Evil and Beyond to Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding.
In Year 3, you produce your dissertation and study Debates in Globalisation and Contemporary Philosophy among other options. Optional modules may include Alternative Economics; Politics, Energy and the Environment, and Geographies of Inequality.
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.
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.
94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course.
The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.
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: 192 hours
- Independent learning: 996 hours
- Placement: 12 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
- Independent learning: 960 hours
- Placement: 12 hours
*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.
Taught elements of the course take place on our King Alfred Campus (Winchester) or at our West Downs Campus (Winchester)
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
- 38% written exams
- 6 % practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
- 87 % coursework
- 11 % written exams
- 2 % practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
- 87 % coursework
- 7 % written exams
- 6 % 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
2018 Entry: 104-120 points
A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.
International Baccalaureate: 26 points
If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing
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 Classical and Early Modern Philosophy||30|
In this module we will begin to study philosophy through looking at its two great foundational moments, commonly attached to the names Socrates and Descartes. The first inaugurated the flowering of philosophical thought in Ancient Greece and the second beginning the European Enlightenment. Throughout both semesters students will also engage in a range of activities and classes based on developing their philosophical skills.
In the first semester we will be concerned with key thinkers, ideas and arguments from the Classical period. Our primary focus will fall on the still highly influential works of Plato and Aristotle, particularly as they relate to what philosophy and the philosopher are, along with key questions relating to metaphysics, epistemology, politics and the polis. However, we will also offer a chronological sweep of the Classical period that looks from the Presocratics to the Sophists, onwards to the major Hellenistic schools of philosophy and then to the philosophers of the Roman Empire. Along with telling this standard story we will look at contemporary attempts to put in question the narrative that philosophy begins in Ancient Greece.
In the second semester we will turn to 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, the self 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.
|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.
|Introduction to Ethics and Values in the Modern World||30|
In this module students have the opportunity to articulate their philosophical, political and economic studies around ethical and value-focused questions at stake in a variety of real-world debates.
In the first semester, we will explore a range of current moral issues and debates in some or all of the following areas: science, technology and medicine; animals and ecological concern; gender, sexuality and intimate relationships; political, economic and social life. Students will develop skills in analysing such debates through the study of selected philosophical, theological and/or religious approaches to moral reasoning. The module gives students an opportunity to develop a critical understanding of key historical and contemporary thinkers and traditions in ethics, and will explore some of the ways in which philosophical, theological and religious forms of moral reasoning have interacted in different times and places.
In the second semester, we will focus on questions about value. The specific aim of the classes is to discuss some of the fundamental philosophical issues and ideas that have shaped discussions about values in ethics, politics and economics since the second half of the 19th century. A red thread throughout will be questions about value conflict and possible responses to it. Are values 'relative' and what might that mean? What, if any, is the difference between relativist and pluralist theories of value? Is it possible to hold on to unified theories of value in the face of conflicts? And how do these theoretical differences play a role when we engage with everyday questions about ethics, politics and economics.
Year 2 (Level 5)
|Work Placement Module||15|
This module allows students to take up a placement in a NGO, trade union, think-tank or similar organisation involved in the creation or assessment of policy or some other related activity. Students might engage in a campaign, research, lobbying or the development or analysis of a policy. This policy may be at a Government level, though it could also be at the level of local government, EU or international policy. Engaging in the placement will form the primary focus of the module, which is assessed through the production of reflective portfolio recording and analysing the specific policy activity the student has been practically involved in. If the student is unable to take up a placement in a suitable organisation it will be possible to devise alternative forms of experience that meet the requirements of this module.
|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.
|Theories and Applications||15|
This module explores both historical and contemporary evolutions in the conceptualisation of power within International Relations and global politics. Through a series of case studies, it offers students various perspectives on one of the oldest and most studied concepts. It also makes reference to key notions of justice, commercial uses of power and decision-making processes in order critique the applications of power within different contexts.
In this module students will have the opportunity to engage critically with the history of economic thought through studying the ideas and major works of a range of the discipline’s pioneers. Students will be expected to develop an understanding of the context in which economic modes of analysis were established and to be able to evaluate the extent to which these theories are still applicable to modern day economic systems and contemporary problems. The thinkers engaged with in the module might include Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.
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.
|The Politics and Ethics of the Post-Crash Economy||15|
This module aims to demonstrate the integration of the three programme disciplines – philosophy, politics and economics via study of the performance of global, regional and national economies post- 2007-8 financial crash. The module poses the question of the extent to which the crash indicates the failure of the westernised, or Anglo-Saxon, free market capitalist model, based on rational markets. Are the assumptions for such rationality, via consumer choice models, incorrect? If so, are there viable alternative models? Can this perception of market failure give rise to a new ‘ethical’ model of political economy, one which pre-supposes that capitalism can provide public goods and that this can be achieved through a regulated, mixed, or public-private sector model? However, if market failure is so evident, why has this not translated into electoral success for parties of the centre-left post-crash? Does this failure indicate the essential robust nature of capitalism? Should parties of the modern centre-left begin to consider more radical critiques of the Anglo-Saxon model? Is there a place for a Marxist critique of political economy that goes beyond the fringe, to become a more ‘mainstream’ approach to running nation-state and global economies? What role do central global economic institutions such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund play under these dynamics? At regional levels what role should be played by the European Union? Are there viable alternative economics models to be found in the developing world, for examples amongst the G-20?
|Debates in Globalisation||15|
The term globalisation is often recognised as 'Americanisation' due to America's economic and cultural dominance in the world order. This module examines this view, providing a critical analysis of its legitimacy as a 'global' trend by looking at the winners and losers of globalisation and examining contingent issues of global poverty and Third world development. The cultural aspect to globalisation will also be examined in the module, again involving aspects of the so-called Americanisation of global culture. Exploring these issues allows for a greater understanding of globalisation in theory and then in practice. Both advocates and critics of globalisation will be introduced throughout the module so a critical understanding of these issues can be realised.
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.
Course Tuition Fees*
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man
If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, 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 and EU 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.
Full-time £9,250 p/a
Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)
UK/EU 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 £6,938.
Full-time £12,950 p/a
Total Cost: £38,850 (3 years) | £39,550 (sandwich option)
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 £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.
*After changes made in Parliament, all higher education providers must now register with a brand new HE Regulator (the Office for Students) for their students to be eligible for student support in the 2019-20 academic year. The OfS will start publishing providers on its Register from July 2018. We have made an application to register and expect a decision by September 2018. Whilst we don't anticipate any issues with our registration, no provider will be able to confirm whether student finance is available until it has a decision from the OfS. Visit www.officeforstudents.org.uk for more information.
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:
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. Cost approximately £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
- King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester