Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc

The BSc aims to provide breadth and depth in understanding social and political phenomena and the principles informing, and consequences following, policy choices. Teaching across UCL's highly regarded Departments of Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics combines an education in social sciences and philosophy with a comprehensive grounding in methods.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc
UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Political Science
Total intake (by subject area)
40 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
n/a (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
89% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

A* in Mathematics required for students wishing to specialise in Economics and Politics.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C, or grade A for students wishing to specialise in Philosophy and Politics. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 18-19 points in three higher level subjects including grade 7 in Mathematics for students wishing to specialise in Economics and Politics, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D2,D3,D3 - D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Prinicipal Subjects, including A* in Mathematics for students wishing to specialise in Politics and Economics.

A1,A,A-A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher - A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher), with A1 in Mathematics for students wishing to specialise in Politics and Economics.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma with grade A, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades A*A-AA. To include Mathematics A* for students wishing to specialise in Economics and Politics.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • Enjoy a learning environment created by UCL's internationally recognised research Departments of Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics.
  • Acquire applied and policy knowledge with UCL's PPE programme, housed in UCL Political Science - home of our Policy and Practice Seminar series with its eminent list of speakers.
  • Gain the skills needed to provide evidence for policy problems and prepare for research and work inside and outside academia. Study a breadth of methods or choose the Quantitative Methods stream.
  • Take a degree inspired by UCL's founding tradition in political economy and its historic Bloomsbury location.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

In year one students take modules introducing the three disciplines and the principles of social and political analysis.

In years two and three students choose courses in two disciplines (politics and philosophy or politics and economics) and in methods.

Year three includes a dissertation or independent research and brings the three disciplines back together in a multi-disciplinary capstone course on policy problems.

A sustained policy and methods focus distinguishes the UCL PPE and for students wishing to specialise there is a separate Quantitative Methods (QM) stream, provided by the UCL Q-Step Centre.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Introduction to Political Science (1.0 credit)
Economics (1.0 credit)
Introduction to Logic I (0.5 credit)
History of Philosophy II (0.5 credits)
Principles of Social Science Research (0.5 credits)
Modern Classics in Political Analysis (0.5 credits)

Students entering the Economics and Politics concentration in year two will take Introduction to Mathematics for Economists I (instead of Principles of Social Science Research)

Students entering the QM stream will take Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (instead of Modern Classics in Political Analysis).

Optional courses

There are no optional courses in year one.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Economics and Politics concentration :

Public Policy (0.5 credits)
Microeconomics (1.0 credit)
Macroeconomics (1.0 credit)

Philosophy and Politics concentration:

Public Policy (0.5 credits)

Additionally it is compulsory for students in the Quantitative Methods stream to take Data Analysis (1.0 credit).

Optional courses

1.0 credit from Political Science courses (students in the Quantitative Methods stream who are also in the Economics and Politics concentration will take only 0.5 credits from Political Science courses)

1.5 credits from second-year Philosophy courses (excepting students in the Economics and Politics concentration)

1.0 credit from Research Methods courses (excepting students in the Quantitative Methods stream). Students from the Economics and Politics concentration take only 0.5 credits Research Methods.

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Multi-disciplinary Capstone Policy (0.5 credits)
Dissertation/Independent Research Module (0.5 credits)

Additionally it is compulsory for students in the Quantitative Methods stream to take Advanced Topics in Data Analysis (0.5 credits) and Causal Analysis (0.5 credits).

Optional courses

1.0 credit of Political Science courses

1.0 credit from the optional courses offered by Philosophy or Economics

Mixed Methods stream students will take an additional 0.5 credit methods course and an additional 0.5 credit option from either discipline in their chosen concentration.

Your learning

Teaching is based on lectures and seminars across the three participating departments. Normally lectures are accompanied by small-group seminars or tutorials that allow for an in-depth and participatory approach to the topic.


Assessment includes essays, examinations and an independent research project or dissertation. Graded coursework and comments prepare the students for the dissertation and independent research projects.


The Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree exposes students to the modes of reasoning, types of evidence, and methods used by the three disciplines, a concentration in two disciplines, and case examples of the contributions of a multi-disciplinary approach to complex problems.

The degree combines an education in social sciences and philosophy with a sustained treatment of the methods of social and normative inquiry. Drawing on multiple lines of inquiry, the degree prepares students for the contemporary and increasing likelihood of a multi-career working life.

Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc is the gold standard of multi-disciplinary degrees for those seeking careers in the public sector, the media and the policy community.


The first cohort of students admitted to the Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc are due to graduate in 2018. Therefore, information about career destinations for students on this programme is not yet available.

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£16,130 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

We expect entry to be highly competitive. Your academic qualifications, as well as other evidence of a serious commitment to the study of social and political phenomena and an interest in public policy will be assessed.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016


For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students