Our BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics is a joint degree with a rich history — this combination of subjects has been a well-known favourite choice for politicians and future prime ministers.
Studying philosophy at the University of Reading will equip you with the ability to think logically, to evaluate arguments critically, and to challenge your own ideas and those of other people. We will give you an understanding of the central principles, concepts, problems, texts and figures of philosophy. You will be taught by leading experts whose research strengths lie especially in moral philosophy and the philosophy of the mind and language. You will also have the chance to examine non-Western philosophies such as Indian philosophy.
In politics, you will acquire a strong grounding in fundamental elements of the subject such as political ideas and democratic processes. You can study a wide range of specialist core modules, which cover topics such as British government and politics, European political integration, and political thinking. In the National Student Survey 2021 we achieved an overall 91% satisfaction score for BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
In economics, you will study both applied and practical issues and focus on the relationship between economics and society. This course places less emphasis on mathematical and statistical content than some Economics courses do; instead you will focus on the relevance of these techniques to applied problems. You will still learn necessary maths skills in your core modules, but extensive support is available should you need it.
This course offers you the opportunity to study philosophy, politics and economics in the first year, and allows you to focus on two or continue with all three subjects in your second and final years. Most of your contact time will be spent in small seminar-style groups, allowing you to interact directly with staff and add your own voice to the discussion.
Placements are encouraged as they provide you with a chance to put your newly acquired knowledge and skills into practice as well as allowing you to gain valuable real-world experience.
You can undertake a placement at any point in your degree and work in a company or charity relevant to your final year studies. For example, a previous Philosophy student worked at a zoo to learn more about the ethical treatment of animals.
In Politics, you can undertake a two-week placement as part of our module on British Government and Politics giving you the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working with an MP, charity, pressure group, local councillor or media organisation.
Other students have chosen to study abroad for one term in their second or final year. Partner institutions include universities in Europe, the USA, Canada, Japan or Australia.