Undergraduate prospectus 2022


Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc (PPE) 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 research methods.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
26 January 2022
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

A* in Mathematics
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer

A*BB (more about contextual offers)
A* in Mathematics.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

IB Diploma

A total of 19 points in three higher level subjects including 7 in Mathematics, with no score lower than 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

36 (more about contextual offers)
A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects including grade 7 in Mathematics, with no score lower than 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

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 in three Cambridge Pre-U Prinicipal Subjects, with D2 in Mathematics.

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher), to include Mathematics at A1.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*AA. A* in Mathematics required.

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

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

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 modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module 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 modules in two disciplines (politics and philosophy or politics and economics concentration) and in research methods. A limited number of study abroad placements may be available (subject to first-year grades and a successful application) for students who wish to study abroad in year three, transferring to a four-year programme at the end of the second year.

The final year includes a dissertation or independent research project and brings the three disciplines back together in a multidisciplinary 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.

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, students on the mixed method stream will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, students on the Q-Step stream will be awarded a Bsc (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics with Social Data Science.

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

All students are required to take the following three compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Politics (30 credits)
  • Economics (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Political Philosophy (15 credits)

Students entering the Economics and Politics concentration will take Introduction to Mathematics for Economics (15 credits) 

Students entering the Philosophy and Politics concentration will take Principles of Social Science Research (15 credits)

Students entering the Quantitative Methods stream will take Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (15 credits)

Students entering the Mixed Methods stream will take Modern Classics in Political Analysis (15 credits)*

* the department may choose to substitute this module with an appropiate alternative module for mixed method students

Optional modules

15 credits from the optional modules offered by UCL Philosophy:

  • Early Modern Philosophy (15 credits) OR
  • Introduction to Moral Philosophy (15 credits)

Compulsory module(s)

In the second year students follow their chosen concentration and streams and select modules in line with these and the programme structure.

Students on the Economics and Politics concentration study:

  • Public Policy (15 credits)
  • Microeconomics (30 credits)
  • Macroeconomic Theory and Policy (30 credits)

Students on the Philosophy and Politics concentration study:

  • Public Policy (15 credits)

Additionally it is compulsory for all students in the Quantitative Methods stream to take Data Analysis (30 credits) and students on the Philosophy and Politics concentration (Mixed Methods stream) to take Introduction to Quantitative Methods (15 Credits).

Optional modules

All students will select one or two politics modules (depending on their chosen concentration) which may include British Politics; International Conflict and Cooperation; Authority, Democracy and Resistance and The Ethics of Crime and Punishment.

Students from the Philosophy and Politics concentration (mixed methods stream) will take 30 credits from research methods modules (which must include Introduction to Quantitative Methods) and 45 credits from modules offered from the Department of Philosophy 

Students from the Economics and Politics concentration (mixed methods stream) will only take 15 credits of research methods modules. 

Students on the quantitative methods (Q-step) stream do not take any research methods modules.

For more information on modules, please visit UCL Module Catalogue

Compulsory module(s)

In the third year all students attend:

  • PPE Capstone: Selected Topics (15 credits)
  • Dissertation/Independent Research module (in Political Science or their chosen concentration) (15 credits)

Additionally students following the Quantitative Methods stream must choose two modules from the five modules listed below:

  • Measurement in Data Science (15 credits)
  • Causal Analysis (15 credits)
  • Social Networks (15 credits)
  • Cartography and Data Visualisation (15 credits)
  • Mining Social and Geographical Datasets (15 credits)

Optional modules

All students must take 30 credits from modules offered by Political Science.

All students must take 30 credits in their chosen concentration, from modules available to PPE students in the Department of Philosophy or Economics.

Mixed methods stream students must take a 15 credit methods module.

Mixed methods stream students must also take an additional 15 credits from Political Science or an additional 15 credits from their chosen concentration (Philosophy or Economics).

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.

Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


The Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc programme 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 multidisciplinary 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 multidisciplinary degrees for those seeking careers in the public sector, the media and the policy community.

UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/22 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2021/22 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below. Fees for the 2022/23 academic year will be advertised as soon as they are available.

UK students
£9,250 (2021/22)
Overseas students
£23,300 (2021/22)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

Entry to this programme is highly competitive. People who have received an offer to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at UCL have been predicted an A* in Mathematics. 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: 26 January 2022


Selection is made on the basis of information contained in the UCAS application and the reference supplied.

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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 5 August 2021