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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 2018
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

The core modules in Economics are:

Principles of Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theories of macroeconomics, that of the economy as a whole, and of microeconomics, the behaviour of individuals, firms and governments. You will look at how the goods and assests markets underpin growth, inflation and unemployment, and the role that fiscal and monetary policy play in macroeconomic managemenet. You will examine the theoretical basis to supply and demand and the role of government intervention in individual markets. You will consider how to solve economic problems by manipulating a variety of simple diagrammatic and algebraic models in macro- and microeconomics, critically evaluating the models and their limitations.

Quanitative Methods of Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the basic mathematical, quantitative, computing and statistical tools for the study of economics. You will look at techniques such as algebraic manipulation, functions, simultaneous equations, optimisation, descriptive statistics, probability theory and regressions, and learn how to apply these to economic problems.

The core module in Politics is:

Introduction to Politics and Government

The core module in Philosophy is:

Epistemology and Metaphysics

In this module you will develop an understanding of some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. You will look at logical questions relating to the structure of arguments, epistemological questions about the sources and limits of knowledge, and consider metaphysical questions that explore the relationship between minds, bodies, and the possibilities of human freedoms.

Year 2

The core module in Philosophy is:

Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - From Kant to Hegel

In this module you will develop an understanding of the major debates in European and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will look at the key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, examining the continuing significance of their ideas. You will consider the major espistemological, ethical and aesthetical issues their idea raise, and the the problems associated with the notion of modernity. You will also analyse the importance of the role of history in modern philosophy via Hegel's influence.

You must take at least one from the following modules in Economics:

Microeconomics
Macroeconomics

Year 3

The core module is:

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

Optional modules in Philosophy include:

Introduction to Logic

In this module you will develop an understanding of the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic - sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. You will learn how to present and analyse arguments formally, and look at the implications and uses of logical analysis by considering Bertrand Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions. You will also examine the the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.

Mind and Consciousness

In this module you will develop an understanding of the relationship between the mind and the brain. You will examine the key theories, from Descartes' dualist conception of the relationship between mind and body through to Chalmers's conception of consciousness as 'the hard problem' in the philosophy of mind. You will also consider some of the famous thought experiments in this area, including Descartes's and Laplace's demons, the Chinese Room and the China Brain, Mary and the black-and-white room, and the problem of zombie and bat consciousness.

Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals

In this module you will develop an understanding of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. You will look at questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, including the ways we view our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art. You will also examine approaches from the history of philosophy, including the Anglo-American tradition and recent European philosophy.

Year 2

Optional modules in Politics include:

Understanding the European Union - Politics and Theory
Democracy in Britain
Contemporary Political Theory
Modern Political Thought
Political Behaviour
The Politics of Human Rights
Introduction to Political Communication

Optional modules in Philosophy include:

Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - From Kant to Hegel

In this module you will develop an understanding of the major debates in European and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will look at the key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, examining the continuing significance of their ideas. You will consider the major espistemological, ethical and aesthetical issues their idea raise, and the the problems associated with the notion of modernity. You will also analyse the importance of the role of history in modern philosophy via Hegel's influence.

Mind and World
Introduction to European Philosophy 2 - The Critique of Idealism
Varieties of Scepticism - Hope, Desire and Tragedy 
Modern French Philosophy
Practical Ethics
Major Thinker
Philosophy of Language
Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy

Year 3

Optional modules in Politics include:

European Union Public Policy

In thid module you will develop an understanding of regulation in the European Union, including delivery of policy and administration. You will look at how the world's largest market operatures, with a focus on EU public policy, including de-regulation, re-regulation, budgets and spending. You will examine the concept of the single market, the Euro and its crisis, justice, home affairs and counter-terrorism, the EU budget, agriculture, regional development, and social and environmental politicies.

European Union Foreign Policy

In this module you will develop an understanding of the European Union's foreign relations, focussing on political, security and economic impacts. You will examine its international role, looking at the Common Foreign and Security Policy, its relationship with NATO, the USA and Russia, its connection to immediate neighbours in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, and its role in global trade negotiations.

Politics in Action
The Politics of the Internet and the Information Society
Radical Political Theory
The British in India - A Social and Political History
The Politics of Toleration
Social Justice
Contemporary Middle East Politics
Advanced Seminar in British Politics
Advanced Seminar in British Politics
Advanced Seminar in British Politics
Understanding China’s Rise - Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy
American Political Development
The Politics of Russia and Eastern Europe
Theories of Freedom

Optional modules in Philosophy include:

Varieties of Scepticism - Hope, Desire and Tragedy 
Practical Ethics
Modern European Philosophy 1 - Husserl to Heidegger
Modern European Philosophy 2 - Post-structuralism and its Critics
Modern French Philosophy
Varieties of Scepticism
Philosophy of Language
Major Thinker
Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy

You must have taken both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics in Year 2 to be eligible to take Year 3 Economics modules. Optional modules in Economics include:

Industrial Economics 1
Industrial Economics 2
Financial Economics 1
Financial Economics 2
Econometrics 1
Econometrics 2
Understanding Financial Crises
Environmental Economics
Experimental Economics
Monetary Economics
Topics in Game Theory
Advanced Economic Theory
Financial Econometrics
Labour Economics
Economic Philosophy
Topics in Public Economics
International Economic History
Topics in Developmental Economics
Advanced Topics in Game Theory
Economics of Inequality

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
A-levels

AAB-ABB
How we assess your application: predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered. Read more about what we look for here

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.
  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Required/preferred subjects

Required: Applicants can either be taking Maths, Biology, Chemistry or Physics at A-Level, or have a GCSE Maths grade A to meet the Maths requirement for this programme

At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.

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 (grade 7) in GCSE Maths
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject area, grade A at A-level and GCSE Maths grade A (grade 7) (or equivalent)
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A-Levels, grades A,B and GCSE Maths grade A (grade 7) (or equivalent)
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 - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.
Scottish Advanced Highers AAB-ABB and GCSE Maths grade A (grade 7) (or equivalent)
Scottish Highers AAABB and GCSE Maths grade A (grade 7) (or equivalent)
Irish Leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including Maths
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 24 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit PLUS Maths GCSE grade A (grade 7). 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



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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements

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
  • KAYAK
  • NATO Headquarters
  • Oxford Business Group
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Quadrangle
  • Save the Children 

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

International students tuition fee per year**: £16,500

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

How do I pay for it?  Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates starting their degrees in 2018 is controlled by Government regulations, and details are not yet known. The UK Government has also announced that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our  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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