The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

L0V1 BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics (3 years)

Introducing your degree

Many of today's leading politicians and public figures studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics. This programme offers you the chance to explore fundamental and far-reaching issues concerning human welfare and social justice, political ideals and economic realities.


What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

This programme will provide you with knowledge and understanding of central theoretical and methodological issues in the study of philosophy, politics, and economics, as well as formal and informal techniques for evaluating ideas and the information or evidence which supports them. The flexible curriculum will enable you to balance your choice of modules according to your own interests, while also ensuring that you graduate with skills essential to a successful career or further study.

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

The programme is divided into modules (courses devoted to specific topics). Single modules have a credit value of 15, while double modules have a credit value of 30. Full-time students take 120 credits at each level, 60 credits in each semester. Some modules are compulsory, though many are optional.

You must take at least 30 credits (equivalent to two single modules) in each of your subjects at each level, inclusive of any compulsory modules. So long as you take any compulsory modules, you make take the remaining credits in the subject area(s) of your choice or up to 15 credits per semester outside of Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Key facts

A new and innovative version of this classic degree

Continue all three subjects until the end of your degree, while taking advantage of our flexible curriculum to focus on your specific interests

Benefit from the complementary and overlapping expertise of three world-class academic departments

Emphasis on participation and discussion, with small-group teaching and one-on-one supervision from the first year.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB with a Grade B in Mathematics at AS Level to ABB with a Grade B in Mathematics at AS Level.

Where an applicant has already achieved Grade C in AS Level Mathematics but is taking Mathematics to A Level, we will require Grade B to be achieved in A Level Mathematics. Where AS Level Mathematics is not available for study then a Grade B in A Level Mathematics is required. Alternatively, a Grade B in A Level Physics or Statistics can also be accepted in lieu of a Grade B in AS Level Mathematics.

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.

International Baccalaureate34 to 32 points overall with 17 to 16 at Higher Level, including 5 points in Standard Level Mathematics or 6 points in Higher Level Mathematics (excluding Maths Studies).
Preferred subjects

Applicants who are taking an A Level or International Baccalaureate module in one of our below preferred subjects will usually receive an offer of ABB or 32 points with 16 at Higher Level. Applicants who are not taking an A Level or International Baccalaureate module in one of our below preferred subjects will usually receive an offer of AAB or 34 points with 17 at Higher Level.

  • Philosophy
  • History
  • English
  • Religious Studies
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Sociology
  • Government and Politics
International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with not less than 6.5 in Reading and Writing, 6.0 in Listening and Speaking

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is ABB to BBB from three A levels including Grade B in AS Mathematics or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Please see our contextual admission pages for more information.

Selection process:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The modules on offer can vary from year to year but the following is a list of those which are typically available. Some modules have pre-requisites, i.e. require you to have taken certain other modules at an earlier stage. Information about the modules, including their pre-requisites, can be found on the relevant module pages.

Given the scope for module choice, the variety in teaching, learning, and assessment methods, and the support on offer (see below), the programme is both flexible and inclusive. Any student who meets the entry requirements should be able to access the curriculum and demonstrate achievement of all the intended learning outcomes.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Learn a language

Year 1

Students who have Economics A-level take ECON1003 and those who do not have economics A-level take ECON1001.

Students have who Mathematics A-level (grade B) take ECON1008 and those who do not take ECON1005.

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

Semester One
ECON1003Credit: 15
ECON1005Credit: 15
ECON1008Credit: 15
PHIL1002Credit: 15
PAIR1004Credit: 15
Semester Two
ECON1002Credit: 15
ECON1007Credit: 15
PHIL1005Credit: 15

Year 2

All students must either complete PHIL2014 Logic or back-track and complete PHIL1016 Reason and Argument.

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year.  Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces.

Semester One
ECON2001Credit: 15
ECON2002Credit: 15
PHIL2028Credit: 15
ECON2026Credit: 15
PAIR2014Credit: 15
PAIR2023Credit: 15
PAIR2024Credit: 15
PHIL1016Credit: 15
PHIL2009Credit: 15
PHIL2010Credit: 15
PHIL2012Credit: 15
PHIL2021Credit: 15
PHIL2037Credit: 15
PHIL2040Credit: 15
Semester Two
ECON2004Credit: 15
ECON2005Credit: 15
ECON2013Credit: 15
ECON2032Credit: 15
PAIR2002Credit: 15
PAIR2010Credit: 15
PAIR2012Credit: 15
PHIL2001Credit: 15
PHIL2014Credit: 15
PHIL2027Credit: 15
PHIL2032Credit: 15
PHIL2034Credit: 15
PHIL2036Credit: 15
PHIL2039Credit: 15

Year 3

All students must complete either ECON3023 Dissertation in Economics or PHIL3013 Dissertation in Philosophy or PAIR3003 Dissertation in Politics and International Relations. All these modules are 30 credits and take place over semesters 1 and 2 (15 credits per semester).

If you choose ECON3023, you must take ECON3007 Applied Microeconomics 3 and ECON3008 Macroeconomics Policy 3.

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year.  Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

Semester One
ECON3007Credit: 15
ECON3010Credit: 15
ECON3015Credit: 15
ECON3027Credit: 15
ECON3031Credit: 15
PAIR3001Credit: 15
PAIR3021Credit: 15
PAIR3032Credit: 15
PHIL3011Credit: 15
PHIL3042Credit: 15
PHIL3047Credit: 15
PHIL3049Credit: 15
PHIL3051Credit: 15
Semester Two
ECON3004Credit: 15
ECON3008Credit: 15
ECON3016Credit: 15
PAIR3018Credit: 15
PHIL3007Credit: 15
PHIL3009Credit: 15
PHIL3020Credit: 15
PHIL3034Credit: 15
PHIL3041Credit: 15
PHIL3048Credit: 15

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentComputer Discs or USB drives - Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device. Software Licenses - All software is provided Hardware - It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please Note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found at also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found at
PlacementsStudents on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses; travel costs; visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of your programme.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

A degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics equips you with the skills you need to enter a wide range of careers, including business, law, medicine, journalism, teaching, IT, the civil service, advertising, film and television, and finance.

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards and right from the first lecture. We explain the skills which are taught throughout the modules and offer a number of optional employability modules.

The skills you will develop - in statistical analysis, logic and mathematics, critical thinking, reasoning and argumentation - are in high demand.  The 2013 Destination of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey found that 100% of our Philosophy and Economics BA graduates were in work or study six months after finishing their degree, with 100% of those in full-time employment occupying professional or managerial roles.

Learning & Assessment

We employ a wide variety of teaching methods and provide a range of opportunities for learning, so as to facilitate a progressively deeper understanding of the subject and foster independent learning. They include:

  • Lectures
  • In-class discussion
  • Small group tutorials and seminars
  • Consultation with academic staff
  • Research supervision
  • Independent study


Methods of assessment include:

  • Essay
  • Exam
  • Textual commentaries
  • Research proposal
  • In-class test
  • Individual presentation
  • Group presentation
  • Group research project
  • Dissertation
  • Problem sets and exercises
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Reading log
  • Reflective statement and peer evaluation
  • YouTube videos, and other creative uses of media
  • Essay plan

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Study Locations

Avenue campus

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue provides a purpo...Find out more

Related Courses

Share this course Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.