Policy, Politics and Economics BA

The PPE programme will give you opportunities to examine and evaluate a wide range of social, political and economic questions. At the broadest, these issues might include considering the role of financial markets and the distribution of wealth; investigating the different forms and function of government, or questioning what such concepts as society and citizen might mean in the 21st century.

If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices. Read more in our latest UG Social Policy course brochure (PDF).


Please be reassured that the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK university sector’s participation in EU programmes such as Erasmus and study abroad programmes. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

The Policy, Politics and Economics degree offers you the opportunity to critically engage with and consider a range of contemporary real-world issues. Unlike traditional single honours degrees, the PPE programme enables you to encounter a variety of concepts, approaches and methods from the three disciplines of social policy, politics and economics. This offers  students the opportunity to build a bespoke degree, drawing on the excellent research and teaching skills of three Schools within the College of Social Sciences.

Year 1

Students undertake compulsory introductory modules in all three of the social science disciplines: social policy, politics and economics. In doing so, students establish a good social sciences foundation upon which subsequent year modules build. Example modules include 'Introduction to Social Policy, 'Foundations of Politics' and 'Principles of Economics'.

Year 2

A compulsory module, 'Global Issues, Global Responses' is at the core of the second year of studies. This interdisciplinary module enables students to consider a range of important global issues and the responses to them at the international, regional and local levels. Indicative examples of such issues include risk and terror, ethics in policy and practice, climate change and technology amongst others. Alongside this, students are required to take one module from each of social policy, politics and economics. Students can also begin to tailor their learning to their developing interests, choosing from more than fifteen optional modules, including 'Comparative European Government', 'Business Law', 'Crime, Victims and Society', 'New Migration and Superdiversity' and 'International Politics of East Asia'.

Year 3

There are two key aspects to the third year of study: one is the dissertation, the opportunity to create a bespoke learning programme. For the dissertation, students will undertake a 10,000 word research-based project on a contemporary theme which includes elements of the three main disciplines of the programme. Students choose from a substantial range of optional modules whilst meeting the requirements to undertake at least one module from each discipline. The choice includes modules such as 'Employment and Business Development and Policy in the EU', 'International Ethics', 'Gender in World Politics', 'Knowledge, Innovation and Global Business', and 'Politics and The Media'. This flexibility enables the student to gain a broad education at the same time as developing in-depth knowledge in a specific discipline.

If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices.

Students undertake their dissertation and then choose from a substantial range of optional modules, whilst meeting the requirements to undertake at least one module from each discipline. The dissertation will offer the student an opportunity to undertake a 10,000 word research-based project on a contemporary theme which includes elements of the three main disciplines of the programme. This will encourage the student to have both a broad education and in-depth knowledge in a specific discipline.

Additional information

An undergraduate subject degree brochure is available by contacting Email: ugsocialpolicy@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Why study this course

The research-led teaching on our flexible degree courses ensures an inspirational and enquiry-based learning environment in the lecture theatre, sminar room and on placement. You will graduate as a highly employable, independent global citizen with a broad range of transferable skills.

You will study in one of the most attractive and heritage-rich campuses in the country, only a few minutes from the centre of Birmingham, the only UK city featured in the Rough Guide top 10 cities in the world to visit.

Modules

Modules in the first year

The compulsory modules in the first year are designed to provide students with a grounding in all three disciplines of Social Policy, Politics and Economics.

Optional modules


Modules in second year

Optional modules


Modules in final year

  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Students are required to take one optional module in each discipline (20 credits in each) which combined with the dissertation, secures 100 credits. Students can then choose one further module from any optional module available on the programme specification.

If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices.

  • 20 credits - Prospects for British Social Policy A + B
  • 20 credits - Your Money or Your Life
  • 20 credits - International Ethics
  • 20 credits - Contemporary International Political Economy
  • 20 credits - Modern European Political Thought
  • 20 credits - Comparative Social Policy
  • 20 credits - Politics and The Media
  • 20 credits - Gender in World Politics
  • 10 credits - International Business Management
  • 10 credits - LH Change Management
  • 20 credits - Strategic Management
  • 10 credits - Critical Analysis in Management
  • 20 credits - Knowledge and Creative Economies
  • 10 credits - Knowledge, Innovation and Global Business
  • 20 credits - LH Advanced Business Economics (for those with A-level Maths)
  • 20 credits - Employment and Business Development and Policy in the EU
  • 10 credits - Global Business Ethics
  • 20 credits - Applied Economics of the European Community A + B (pre-requisite Macroeconomics)
  • 10 credits - Economic Policy and Political Economy (pre-requisite Macroeconomics)
  • 10 credits - Introduction to International Trade (pre-requisite Macroeconomics)
  • 10 credits - International Trade Theory and Policy for Europe (pre-requisite Macroeconomics)
  • 20 credits - History of Economic Thought A + B
  • 10 credits - Economics of Financial Markets (pre-requisite Macroeconomics)
  • 10 credits - Health Economics
  • 10 credits - Monetary Policy (pre-requisite Macroeconomics)
  • 10 credits - Open Economy Macroeconomics (pre-requisite Macroeconomics)

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

The Government has announced that it will raise the cap for undergraduate fees in line with inflation. Assuming that the relevant regulations are passed by Parliament, which is expected to happen in Autumn 2016, the University of Birmingham will increase fees to the revised amount, expected to be £9,250 for home/EU students. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Learn more about fees and funding.

Home/EU students

Undergraduate Home/EU student fees 2017-18
Fee Band Full-time
Undergraduate £9,250 - TBC

Overseas students entering in 2017-18

Overseas students entering in 2017-18
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 1 (Classroom) £15,570

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of bursaries, grants and scholarships.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards. 

Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

We encourage applications through the University’s
Access to Birmingham (A2B) Scheme

Entry requirements

Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
GCSE Maths Grade B
General Studies:
Accepted

Additional information:

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are all accepted but subjects are considered on a case by case basis - contact us for further guidance.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,6,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall to include English  

Standard English language requirements apply 

Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com

Learn more about applying

UCAS

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Learning settings

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates).

Personal tutors

You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Welfare tutors

We have dedicated welfare tutors who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.

During your first year, it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions to workshops on a range of topics including note taking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Contact hours

Depending on the modules you select, each week you will have between 12 and 15 hours of lectures and classes, with lecturers on hand to answer additional questions outside of this timeframe.

Assessment methods

Studying at a degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the new essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations, laboratory-based work (depending on your chosen degree) and formal exams.

During your first year you will undergo a formal 'transition' review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

At the beginning of each module, you'll be given information on how and when you'll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You'll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You'll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV's and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Your Birmingham degree

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends.If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

The Policy, Politics and Economics BA will enhance your employability through the development of critical and analytical thinking, enquiry-based blended learning, oral and written presentation skills, as well as time management and group/team working skills.


For more information visit our Careers section