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    Back to BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics

BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics: Standard pathway

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This degree is made up of 360 credits.

What you will study

There are two ways to start a qualification. You can begin your studies at Stage 1, or, if you haven’t studied for a long time, you can get started by studying an Access module as an additional preparatory stage of your chosen qualification. We know from experience that students who have completed an Access module do better in their subsequent modules, so it could be the vital first step you take to help you succeed in your future studies.

To find out the recommended Access module for this pathway, choose your country in the Fees section below.

Stage 1

You’ll start your degree studies with one of two options:

  1. Introducing the social sciences (DD101)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,DD101,,1 (60 credits): a broad, fascinating introductory module covering psychology, social policy and criminology, geography and environment, politics and international studies, economics and sociology.   
  2. Introducing the social sciences - part one (DD131)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,DD131,,1 (30 credits) with You and your money: personal finance in context (DB123)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,DB123,,1 (30 credits): a shorter version of option 1 with an additional module focusing on your personal finances. You’ll consider how your money is involved in savings, debt, mortgages, pensions and other financial services.

You’ll then begin your study of politics with Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics (DD203)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,DD203,,1 (60 credits). Drawing on a broad range of examples from UK and international politics – including questions of rights, legitimacy, national identity, conflict and protest – this module studies the ideas, values and institutions through which societies are ordered and people are governed. Through a range of media including podcasts, forums and blogs, you’ll learn how political ideas inform and influence everyday life. You’ll also learn a range of analytical and critical skills which you can use to make sense of and evaluate political debates for yourself.

Stage 2

Stage 2 comprises the other two disciplines of this degree – economics and philosophy. Running the economy (DD209)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,DD209,,1 develops a strong understanding of key economic ideas and modelling techniques, applying these to a broad range of contemporary issues. You’ll look at how individuals, households, firms and governments make economic decisions and how these affect the ways in which income and wealth are produced and distributed, both within and between societies. You’ll also study how the economy as a whole operates: how international economic forces affect people, businesses and governments, and how economic policy can influence events. You’ll practise key analytical techniques used by economists to study and model economies, using quantitative as well as qualitative data.

Exploring philosophy (A222)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,A222,,1 covers a very broad range of inquiry, from questions of the nature of the self, the philosophy of religion, and issues in ethics to the nature of knowledge and science, the study of mind and political philosophy. You’ll study the ideas of leading philosophers, past and present, learning how to analyse, develop and criticise philosophical arguments. There’s a strong emphasis on developing critical reasoning skills so that you can apply what you’ve learned to other contexts beyond academic philosophy.

Stage 3

At Stage 3, you’ll specialise in any two of the three subjects covered by the degree.

For politics you have a choice of two 60-credit modules. Living political ideas (DD306)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,DD306,,1 looks at political ideas and ideologies as these are employed, debated and questioned in a wide variety of settings. You’ll explore questions of representation, toleration, violence, sexuality and the natural world, learning about ideas and policies that shape our lives. International relations: continuity and change in global politics (DD313)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,DD313,,1 focuses on international studies and the forces now reshaping our world; from the resurgence of America, rise of China and India and integration of Europe, to questions of globalisation, governance and international justice.

If you choose economics, you’ll look in detail at rival economic theories that explain the behaviour of people in households, firms, markets and governments. You’ll also develop the research skills needed to undertake your own project on a topic of your choice. At the end of Doing economics: people, markets and policy (DD309)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,DD309,,1, you’ll have developed a more critical view of the socio-economic world in which you live, and some knowledge of the techniques used by professional economists.

If you choose to specialise in philosophy, Key questions in philosophy (A333)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q45-1,module,A333,,1 is a broad-based module that examines central theories and arguments in aesthetics, political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of mind, deepening your appreciation of the wide range of techniques of philosophical reasoning and the way this can help evaluate and clarify approaches taken in other disciplines.

All three subjects place a strong emphasis on your development as an independent thinker – confident at finding, evaluating and presenting complex data and information. You’ll be able to build robust, reasoned arguments backed up by the appropriate evidence. By the end of this degree course you will have gained a portfolio of critical, analytical and practical skills as well as specialist knowledge that you can apply to a range of workplace environments.

Modules quoted in qualification descriptions are those that are currently available for study. As the structure of our qualifications is reviewed on a regular basis, the University is unable to guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available in future years.

How long it takes

Typically it takes six years part-time study to complete this qualification, but you can take anything from four (full-time study equivalent) to 16 years.


Where will you be resident whilst you study?

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