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Home > Courses > Undergraduate > Politics, Philosophy and Economics
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Politics, Philosophy and Economics BA

UCAS code L0V0
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Economics »
Politics and International Relations »


Politics, Philosophy and Economics is an exciting new course providing students with the opportunity to study three disciplines that are crucial for an understanding of the complex dynamics of today’s world. Students study a common foundation in the first year, and an advanced seminar and dissertation unit in their final year that develops links across the three disciplines – a distinctive feature of the course.  There is the flexibility to vary your degrees in such a way as to graduate with one of three awards: BSc Politics, Philosophy and Economics; BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics; and BA Politics and Philosophy with Economics.

You will focus on the particulars of the each of the three key disciplines, while developing a link across the three. Your studies will introduce you to political ideas and processes in countries throughout the world, allowing you to examine issues fundamental to our times. You will gain a solid foundation in politics and government in Britain and abroad, with the option to study further subjects such as democracy in Britain, modern political thought, comparative European political institutions, migration, ethnicity, and multiculturalism.

The study of Philosophy will introduce you to key forms of philosophical enquiry, including logic, epistemology and metaphysics, which will in turn broaden your appreciation of why philosophical questioning is so important today. A wide range of options includes courses such as: ancient philosophy, contemporary analytic and continental philosophy.

You will also gain a complete education in the theories and methods of economics, with a strong focus on analytical methods. You will develop skills in mathematics and statistics and learn to tackle economic problems, and, should you proceed to advanced level courses, have the opportunity to study courses in labour economics, game theory, economic history and more.

  • Excellent career prospects; both politics and international relations and economics have an impressive employment record and graduates' starting salaries are also amongst the highest in the country
  • Distinct and very flexible course that will allow you to focus on particular areas of politics, philosophy and economics but also develop links across the three disciplines.
  • Quality research and teaching;one of only two Economics departments in the country placed in the top ten for both research and student satisfaction and our Politics & International Relations department is 10th in the UK for research intensity and Philosophy has 90% overall student satisfaction (Research Assessment Exercise 2014 and National Student Survey 2015).

Core modules

Year 1

Economics: Principles of Economics

You will gain an understanding of the basic theories of microeconomics (the behaviour of individuals and firms) and macroeconomics (the behaviour of the economy as a whole and relations). In macroeconomics you will learn about circular flow; the goods market; money, bonds, income, and interest; fiscal policy; monetary policy; aggregate demand and supply; the Phillips curve; and long term growth. Discussions will take place on the current financial / debt crisis and the inflation-unemployment trade-off. In microeconomics you will learn about supply and demand; elasticity; theories of the consumer and the firm; and market structures. 

Economics: Quantitative Methods of Economics 1

In this module you will become familiar with the basic mathematical, quantitative, computing and statistical tools for the study of Economics.

Politics and International Relations: Introduction to Politics
Philosophy: Epistemology and Metaphysics

Year 2

Philosophy: Kant to Hegel
Philosophy: Mind and World

Year 3

Advanced Seminar and Dissertation in Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Philosophy: Introduction to Logic

Philosophy: Mind and Consciousness

Philosophy: Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals

Year 2

Economics: Microeconomics

Economics: Macroeconomics

Politics and International Relations: International Relations Theory

Politics and International Relations: Introduction to Global Studies

Politics and International Relations: Democracy in Britain

Politics and International Relations: Contemporary Political Theory

Politics and International Relations: Politics of Migration

Politics and International Relations: Empire and Decolonisation

Politics and International Relations: War and Security in World Politics

Politics and International Relations: Modern Political Though

Politics and International Relations: Introduction to Political Communication

Year 3

Economics: Financial Economics

Economics: Economics of Warfare

Politics and International Relations: Units Exploring Political Theory

Politics and International Relations: Units Exploring Comparative Politics

Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics

Philosophy: Modern European Philosophy - Postculturalism and its Critics

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take twelve course units at the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the course units you choose to take. The first year is foundational and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second year and final year marks do count, with more importance being given to the final year marks in order to reward progress and achievement.

Typical offers

Typical offers


Required/preferred subjects Required: Mathematics GCSE Grade A or Mathematics A-level

The offer given will take into consideration: subjects taken at A level, the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained and whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken

Preferred subjects: History, Government & Politics, Law, Economics, Philosophy, RE, English Literature, Sociology, Geography, and Psychology

At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall. Applicants must achieve either 4 in Higher Level Maths, 5 in Standard Level Maths or 6 in Standard Maths Methods.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject area & grade A in GCSE Maths
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject area & 1 A-Level grade A in Maths or alternatively, A level grade A with GCSE Maths grade A
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A-Levels grade BB including Maths or if Maths not taken then GCSE Maths grade A
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Adv Level Core.
Scottish Advanced Highers AB plus Higher Level requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB Including Maths or Maths at GCSE plus Advanced Higher Level requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including Maths at Higher Level
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit PLUS Maths GCSE grade A. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in Writing and no lower than 5.5 in every other subscore. For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

A Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree at Royal Holloway, University of London will equip you with an enviable range of transferable skills which combined with the knowledge gained, will make you highly employable.  It can lead to a broad range of careers in both the private and public sectors and also for professional training in areas such as law, accountancy and management.  

We will help students to recognise their own strengths, skills and abilities so that they can make strong applications for their chosen job or further study.

  • Graduates are highly employable; between 85 and 93% of Philosophy, Economics and Politics graduates were in full time employment or further study within six months of graduation (Unistats 2015).
  • Politics and International Relations are ranked in the top ten UK university Politics departments for career prospects.
  • In recent years, graduates entered many different roles in the different roles including the Civil Service, accountancy, management, journalism, broadcasting, computing, higher education, teaching, and politics and diplomacy themselves.

Our outstanding record of success for work and further study puts Royal Holloway in the top 10 for graduate career prospects (Complete University Guide, 2015). It goes to show that our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.

Choosing a politics based degree at Royal Holloway provides you with a wide range of important transferable skills, enabling you to approach problems in a rigorous, analytical and critical way and to communicate clearly and concisely in both speech and writing. Our graduates leave us with skills and knowledge that not only makes them attractive to employers in a broad spectrum of careers, but prepares them for further advanced study and research.

Many of our graduates also go on to further study, entering postgraduate programmes both at Royal Holloway and at other prestigious institutions around the world. Graduates of this department have secured jobs in a wide range of professions, such as the law, the civil service, accountancy, management, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, international development and diplomacy. In fact, six-months after graduation, 90% of our most recent graduates are enhancing their skills with further study or forging careers in companies and institutions such as:

  • Bloomberg
  • The Church of England
  • Citigroup
  • The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  • The Conservative Party
  • Ernst & Young
  • The European Commission
  • Global Capital
  • HM Treasury
  • The Henry Jackson Society
  • House of Commons
  • Ipsos MORI
  • The Labour Party
  • NATO Headquarters
  • Oxford Business Group
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Quadrangle
  • Save the Children 

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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