BA PPE: Philosophy Politics and Economics

UCAS code: LV12

We aim not only to provide a grounding in the three subjects, but to give students the opportunity to connect the knowledge obtained in the different subjects to enrich their understanding of each. All three departments share the aims and objectives laid down for the Reading graduate in the University's Strategy for Teaching and Learning.

Outline Course Structure

The course is divided into 3 Parts (years). You must take 120 credits in each Part.

There are three strands, corresponding to the three subjects. In Part One, students must take modules from each strand. In later years, they may specialise, normally focusing on two of the strands.

There are three bridge modules---Contemporary Political Philosophy, International Ethics, and the Dissertation---which offer students an opportunity to draw together knowledge and skills from at least two of the subjects covered.

The programme provides a supportive learning environment with full access to welfare, pastoral and careers support.

Students can undertake a study abroad placement at one of our partner universities in Europe, USA, Canada or Australia.


The philosophy strand offers a grounding in the subject, enabling students to: examine critically fundamental beliefs about truth and reality, and right and wrong; to comprehend concepts essential for philosophical investigation; to develop an understanding of central philosophical problems, texts and figures; to develop an aptitude and enthusiasm for the subject; to engender a sense of belonging to a community of enquiry; and where appropriate, to prepare students for postgraduate study.

The Philosophy department has particular strengths in ethics, the philosophy of mind and language, and Wittgenstein. You can find a more detailed research profile here.


The politics strand aims to give students an appreciation of the normative, methodological and institutional issues involved in the study of politics in relation to the study of politics in relation to one of the three main subfields of the discipline: political philosophy, comparative government and international relations. Students focus on compulsory modules in international relations and associated optional modules.

Members of the Department of Politics and International Relations have direct experience of the world of politics and international affairs, acting as policy advisors to governments. The department has particular strengths in:

  • Climate justice - Catriona McKinnon, Keith Hyams
  • Electoral reform - Alan Renwick
  • Terrorism studies - Christina Hellmich, Andreas Behnke
  • War and conflict - Patrick Porter, Colin Gray, Beatrice Heuser, Alan Cromartie


The economics strand aims to give students an understanding of key economic principles and tools of analysis at parts 1 and 2. At Part 2 this begins to broaden out to a consideration of policy issues, and a further choice of applied or statistical study. Part 3 provides a wide range of options.

Students taking the degree will be expected to acquire a good knowledge and appreciation of the fundamental elements of economic theory and its applications, and the ability to apply their skills beyond the areas of specific study.

The Department of Economics has expertise in areas ranging from econometrics to macroeconomics, banking and finance to development economics and from emerging markets to spatial and housing economics. Particular strengths are:

  • Developing and emerging economies - Niaz Assadullah, Uma Kambhampati, Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Zahra Siddique, Samantha Rawlings
  • Energy economics - Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Christian Nygaard
  • International business, banking and finance - Mark Casson, Alessandra Ferrari, Alexander Mihailov, Nigel Wadeson
  • Monetary and macroeconomics - Mark Guzman, Alexander Mihailov, Fany Xu
  • Public economics and public finance - Nigar Hashimzade, Pascal Mossay
  • Urban and regional economics - Vivien Burrows, Geoff Meen, Pascal Modday, Christian Nygaard

Admission Requirements

Entrants to this programme are normally required to have obtained:

  • AAB at A Level.
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 points.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: BBBBB.

(We would also normally expect a C in Maths GCSE, or equivalent.)

Applications from international candidates are welcome! If you are not offering A levels we advise you to contact either the EU or international admissions tutor before applying in order to discuss the acceptability of your qualifications.

We especially welcome applications from mature candidates. A mature applicant is more likely to receive an offer of a place if he or she has undertaken recent study, for example 2 or more A levels or an Access course, but each case is assessed on its individual merits.

Admissions Tutor: Dr James Andow (Philosophy)

Careers and Destinations

In recent years graduates from this programme have entered a variety of careers in both the private and the public sectors. Examples include jobs in banking and finance, accountancy, the civil service, and universities. Students are given specific vocational training and orientation by means of Career Management Skills which are embedded within the Part 2 module PO2SOP.

PPE might be useful for people interested in market research or the finance divisions of major firms or social science research units such as the Institute for Public-Policy Research, Policy Studies Institute or Chatham House. A combined degree with a national curriculum subject is useful for students wishing to teach in schools and colleges or extra-mural departments and the WEA.


Things to do now

Philosophy Programme Administrators

Karin Mundt

+44 (0) 118 378 5648
Luisa Ciampi

+44 (0) 118 378 6257

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