Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc FAQs
- When does the PPE programme commence?
The PPE programme commences in late September each year.
Further information can be found on the PPE prospectus page.
- How do I apply?
Applications for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). More information can be found on the UCAS website.
- How many places are there?
There will be 50 places (cohort commencing September 2017).
- Do you limit the number of students that you take from a particular school?
No, we do not impose any limits like this. We simply seek to recruit the strongest set of students for a limited number of places. To do that, we will look at applications as a whole - including grades, evidence of an interest in, commitment to, and aptitude for the subject(s).
- How do I track my application?
After you've sent off your application, you can see how it's progressing by logging in to the UCAS Track online system. You'll be able to log in at any time with the Personal ID in your welcome email, along with the password you used when applying. Whenever there's an update, UCAS will notify you using the email the address you supplied in your application.
- Can I get feedback on my unsuccessful application?
You can receive a summary of why your application was deemed unsuccessful via the UCAS online system but, unfortunately, it is not possible for us to provide detailed feedback to every applicant due to the high volume of applications we receive.
- Do you ever reconsider applications?
Unfortunately, we do not reconsider applications. The decision made is final.
- Can I transfer to the PPE programme?
Unfortunately not. We do not accept any internal or external transfer students.
- How much prior knowledge of economics/mathematics do I need?
The ECON1001 Economics module must be taken (and passed) by all PPE students in the first year, not just those in the Politics and Economics concentration. It would be beneficial to familiarise yourself before the beginning of the programme with a maths knowledge of:
(1) Differentiation its use in solving single-variable maximisation and minimisation problems. That is the appropriate use of first order and second order conditions.
(2) Basic algebra to manipulating equations to find the value of unknown variables, or relationships between variables.
(3) Experience with basic MS Excel manipulations (plotting data, finding averages, variances).
(4) Interpreting graphs and functional relationships, including knowledge of monotonicity, intercepts, of course convexity and concavity.
- I don't have A Level Maths. Can I still apply?
A Level Maths is currently not required for students wishing to specialise in Politics and Philosophy, however, having it would make an application more competitive.
Due to the oversubscribed nature of the programme, the vast majority of offer holders will have taken Maths at A Level.
- Is the Extended Project (EPQ) acceptable as a fourth AS Level?
Yes, the EPQ can be accepted as a fourth AS Level.
- What are you looking for in the personal statement?
What makes you a particularly good person to take up a place on the UCL PPE programme? What are you curious about? Are there particular features of the socio-economic world that intrigue you? Are there societal problems that puzzle or trouble you? Why?
The personal statement is your opportunity to demonstrate to us a range of features of your application that we would otherwise not be able to discern. We would like to admit students who have a strong interest and aptitude for the sort of interdisciplinary social scientific and philosophical programme that we offer. Note that, while we value interdisciplinarity, it is perfectly understandable that you may expect to lean more towards one or other of our subject areas.
- Do you accept resits?
Yes, we will accept both GCSE and A Level resits.
- There were extenuating/mitigating circumstances during my exams. What should I do?
If there were any circumstances that you believe affected you during your examinations you should speak to your school immediately and ask them to submit formal notification to the examination board.
- Am I eligible to apply with a grade A in A Level Mathematics in view of the fact that the A* grade was not available when I sat the examination?
The application would be considered in relation to the grade criteria that were available at the time the qualification was taken. Admissions would also look closely at the individual module results for evidence of ability to obtain an A* grade.
- What is the English language requirement?
All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence that their spoken and written command of the English language is sufficient to cope with the rigours of the programme.
Please refer to UCL's English language proficiency requirements. All English language qualifications and tests that are recognised by UCL are listed there. Any tests or pre-sessional courses not listed will not be accepted by UCL.
The Department of Political Science requires the ‘Advanced’ level in all cases. (IELTS: an overall grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in is each of the subtests.)
- How do I change my contact details?
It is important that UCL has your correct contact details at all times. To update your postal address, email address or telephone number you should log in to UCAS Track and go to the ‘Personal Details’ section. Once you have updated your details, UCAS will send them to us and every other institution that you have applied to.
- How do I defer my offer?
Please contact UCL giving your reasons for requesting a deferral. We will be in touch once your request has been considered by the Faculty and the Department.
Please note that each offer may be deferred once only.
- I require a visa. When will I receive my CAS?
UCL will apply for a CAS on your behalf. Once you have accepted your unconditional offer you will be sent an email asking you to verify the information that is held on the UCL record system (i.e. your name as it appears on your passport, passport number, etc.).
Upon receiving confirmation that the data UCL holds is correct, a CAS will be generated. For undergraduate students, these are generate by the Faculty Office.
An email will be sent to you containing your CAS number, alongside details of the information used to obtain the CAS.
From the point of receiving confirmation from you that the data UCL holds is correct, it may take up to two weeks for the CAS number to be generated.
In order to ensure that your CAS is produced in a timely manner, it is essential that you provide evidence of meeting any outstanding conditions of entry on your offer letter as soon as possible. You should also verify your details as soon as you receive a request from UCL to do so.
- Does UCL have any scholarships I can apply for?
Details of scholarships and bursaries for undergraduate students can be found on the UCL Scholarships and Funding page.
- How will UCL receive notification of my results?
Each year UCAS sends UCL thousands of examination results directly. However, they are only able to do this for certain examinations such, as GCE A Levels.
The UCAS Sending Exam Results page contains a full list of qualifications that are sent to us by UCAS. If yours isn't there, you'll need to send your results in.
UCL will contact all Firm offer holders from June onwards to let them know how we expect to receive their results, providing instructions if we need them submitted to us directly.
- What should I read before applying to or starting the PPE programme?
Recommended reading will be made known to you by your lecturers, and the details provided on their corresponding Moodle page, which you will have access to in due course. We normally advise students to wait till they get here with regard to purchasing textbooks so you can take up to date advice from the relevant lecturers, and possibly obtain discounted second-hand books from continuing students.
The only textbook that might be sensible to purchase in advance is Pemberton & Rau's Mathematics for Economists: An Introductory Textbook, Third Edition, Manchester University Press, 2011; as you will certainly need this one.
Regarding the core ECON1001 module, this module is based on the novel material produced by the CORE project. The main textbook is The Economy, a free online e-book written by experts from around the globe.
- Can I transfer to the Philosophy and Economics BA after the first year of PPE?
For PPE students to be able to transfer to the Philosophy & Economics degree at the beginning of the second year, the Economics Department would require them to have taken ‘Introduction to Mathematics for Economists I’ in their first year. This module is required in the PPE Economics and Politics stream and not available in the Politics and Philosophy stream. Therefore, a transfer would only be possible from the Economics and Politics stream. Students must also satisfy the standard requirements of not having failed more than one unit in the first year.
- Does PPE have a study abroad module or year?
Students are able to apply to Study Abroad after their first year on the programme and this is dependent on the grades they receive for that year. Students who follow this option will complete their degree in four years, rather than three, taking their final year options in the fourth year having returned from their year abroad.