BA Policy, Politics and Economics

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
L990
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

£9,250 (Home/EU students) 
£17,040 (International Students) 
More fees and funding details.

The combination of Social Policy, Politics and Economics is unique to Birmingham, allowing for a more applied, ‘real-world’ academic experience.

The Policy, Politics and Economics (PPE) degree at Birmingham is an innovative, interdisciplinary programme.

PPE at Birmingham brings together the study of Social Policy, Politics and Economics to examine and evaluate the arguments, ideas and evidence associated with some of the most pressing global issues. The programme gives equal weight to all three disciplines for the duration of the course, while at the same time allowing you to tailor your degree to your strengths and interests. 

It will enable you to develop the skills necessary for a wide range of careers across the private, public and third sectors. 

  • The combination of Social Policy, Politics and Economics is unique to Birmingham, allowing for a more applied, ‘real-world’ academic experience.  
  • We offer a specially designed, interdisciplinary module in the second year and the option to study abroad in the third year.
  • There is an opportunity to undertake a work placement in the final year via the ‘Professional Development’ module.
Download our course brochure (PDF - 1.93MB)

 

Be part of a vibrant community of world‐leading academics who will challenge you to think independently and support you to reach your potential.

Our research-informed approach to teaching ensures you will graduate with the skills and qualities needed to succeed in the global workplace. 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.

Year 1

On the PPE course you will undertake core introductory modules in all three of the social science disciplines - Social Policy, Politics and Economics - to establish a solid foundation in the three subjects before building on these in the second and third years. Example modules include 'Introduction to Social Policy, 'Understanding Politics' and 'Principles of Economics'.

Year 2

A core module which is at the heart of the Policy, Politics and Economics programme in the second year is 'Global Issues'. This interdisciplinary module will enable you to consider a range of important global issues and the responses to them at international, regional and local levels. Indicative examples include risk and terror, ethics in policy and practice, climate change and technology. Alongside this, you will take one module from Social Policy, one from Politics and one from Economics. You can also begin to tailor your degree to your developing interests, choosing from more than fifteen optional modules, including 'China and the World Economy', ‘International Political Economy’, ‘Comparative Social Policy’ and ‘Environmental Economics’.

Year 3

The central component of your third year of study on the PPE course is the dissertation, where you will undertake a 10,000 word research-based project on a contemporary theme. You will also 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 ‘Harmful Societies’, 'Gender in World Politics', 'Money and Your Life' and ‘Behavioural and Experimental Economics’.

I have enjoyed how flexible and diverse the course is. It covers three different departments, which enables me to explore different subject areas and interlink them.

Atinuke, 2019 Graduate

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.

Modules

Modules in the first year

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

  • Introduction to Social Policy
  • Understanding Politics
  • Social Research I
  • Principles of Economics
  • Introduction to Mathematics for Economics OR Mathematics for Economics (for students with A level Mathematics grade A or A*)

Optional modules

Select one of the following:

  • Introduction to International Relations Theory
  • Introduction to Political Economy
  • Social Science, Social Problems and Social Policy
  • Widening Horizons Module: an opportunity to take an introductory module from other disciplines across the University

Modules in second year

Core modules

  • Global Issues: Perspectives from Policy, Politics and Economics
  • Social Research II
  • Analysing Political Worlds
  • Macroeconomics or Microeconomics 

Optional modules

You must select at least one module from the Politics modules offered on this programme (20 credits) and a further 40 credits from any of the three disciplines:

Social Policy

  • Policy Analysis
  • Managing Health and Social Care
  • Housing and Communities
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Poverty, Class and Inequality
  • Terror, Threat and Security 

Economics

  • Macroeconomics (if not already taken as compulsory subject)
  • Microeconomics (if not already taken as compulsory subject)
  • Development Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • China and the World Economy
  • Contemporary Issues in the UK Economy 

Politics

  • British Politics
  • Comparative European Politics
  • International Political Economy
  • Institutions, Politics and Policies of the European Union
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Public Policy Blunders, Stagnation and Bad Decision Making
  • International Politics of East Asia
  • International Security
  • Comparative Foreign Policy
  • Islam and Politics in Europe
  • Politics and Policy

Modules in final year

Core module

  • Dissertation 

Optional modules

You should select 20 credits from each discipline and 20 credits from across the range of optional modules.

Social Policy

  • Drugs: Policy and Society 
  • Money and Your Life
  • New Migration and Super-Diversity
  • Harmful Societies
  • Prospects for Social Policy in the UK
  • From Beveridge to May: The Political History of the Welfare State from the Second World War to the Present Day
  • Political Sociology
  • Technology and Society
  • Quantitative Data Analysis I and II

Economics

  • Economy Policy & Political Economy
  • International & European Monetary Issues
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Economics of Financial Markets
  • Health Economics
  • Monetary Policy
  • Open Economy Macroeconomics
  • Behavioural & Experimental Economics
  • International Trade Theory
  • International Trade Policy
  • Economics of the EU

Politics

  • Contemporary International Political Economy
  • Gender in World Politics
  • The Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • Varieties of Capitalism and Welfare State Models
  • Law, Politics & the International System
  • Intelligence Services & US Foreign Policy
  • New Media, Social Media & International Politics
  • Contemporary Political Theory
  • Power in Britain
  • Contemporary US Foreign & Security Policy
  • Topics in British Politics
  • Professional Development

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Learn more about fees and funding.

Home/EU students

Undergraduate Home/EU student fees 2019-20
Fee Band Full-time
Undergraduate £9,250

Overseas students

Overseas students entering in 2019-20
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 1 (Classroom) £17,040

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

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.

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

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.

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the Policy, Politics and Economics programme, you will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

Learning settings

Learning on this Policy, Politics and Economics course 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 peers).

Personal tutors

You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through the PPE Course. The tutor 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.

Our Academic Skills Centre will also offer 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 within your PPE course, 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 degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to 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 skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

Assessment takes a variety of forms including coursework (such as essays, group and individual presentations), laboratory-based work (depending on your chosen degree) and formal exams. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed for that particular programme of study.

Our PPE degree is highly sought-after by employers. 84% of graduates go on to graduate employment or further study within 6 months of completing the programme (Based on data collected from 2016/17 leavers in the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey).

Our PPE graduates go on to work in a wide range of fields including:

  • Banking and finance
  • Civil Service and local government
  • Journalism
  • Consultancy 
  • The positions of our recent PPE graduates include:
  • Senior Policy Advisor
  • Graduate Analyst
  • Regional Political Officer
  • Account Executive
  • Research Executive
  • Graduate Insurance Broker
  • With organisations such as BT, DEFRA, KPMG, Ofsted, Fidelity, UBS, Marsh Insurance. 

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.

For more information visit our Careers section