This challenging and ground-breaking degree introduces you to core ideas and issues in politics, philosophy and economics. It will equip you to understand how the economy is governed, how public policy gets made and the ideas which shape the world.
Why study Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Goldsmiths?
- The combination of Politics Philosophy and Economics (PPE) is well established, thanks largely to the degree offered at Oxford University. Goldsmiths now offers a distinctive, fresh and critical take on these areas of study, which draws on its well-established strengths in social science and theory
- The course has been carefully designed to introduce you to the ideas that have shaped the world today, but also to new and critical ideas, with which we can challenge established political and economic policies, institutions and methods
- You will be taught by highly engaged lecturers, working across politics, philosophy and economics, all of whom are active researchers and writers in their own field
- We've been recognised as one of the UK's top political universities as voted for by students (Which? University 2014)
- The course includes a basic introduction to economics. No prior experience of economics is required; nor is an A-level in Mathematics
- Over the three years, you will also be introduced to alternative approaches to the economy, drawn from anthropology and sociology, so as to think more broadly and imaginatively about the way in which markets, states and public policies operate in the 21st century
- The course is engaged in contemporary, real-world problems, such as financial and environmental regulation. This will give you insights that will equip you for a career in public policy, NGOs, media, consulting and social innovation
- In addition to the taught curriculum, you will have the opportunity to attend talks by leading scholars and public intellectuals, concerned with the questions of politics, philosophy and economics. You will have the chance to hear from practitioners, experts and policy-makers, who will give special guest lectures which are available to our PPE students
- Goldsmiths offers a uniquely dynamic undergraduate culture, with active student media and politics groups, through which you can gain practical experience and discover what excites you for your career ahead
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor
Modules & structure
In the first year, you will take four modules: an introduction to economics, an introduction to philosophy, a module on contemporary issues in political economy (such as the financial crisis) and one of the existing politics first year modules.
The second year becomes more interdisciplinary and critical. It includes a module in political and economic anthropology, exploring the nature of money, property and markets. The philosophy module brings in elements of continental philosophy and critical theory.
In the third year, you will have the chance to choose from a large variety of modules, from across different departments, and also have the option to do a dissertation. This will allow you to draw on the skills you have acquired over the first two years, to take your own approach to the questions of politics, philosophy and economics. By the third year, we expect you to see various connections between the separate fields of politics philosophy and economics, and be able to combine them in critical and imaginative ways.
You are required to take the following core modules:
- Issues in Political and Cultural Economy (30 credits)
- Introduction to Economics (30 credits)
- Philosophy: split into The Problem of Ethics (15 credits) and Introduction to Political Philosophy (15 credits)
You may choose one of the following 30-credit modules in Politics:
- Politics of Other Cultures
- World Politics
- UK and European Comparative Politics
You are required to take the following core modules:
- Economic and Political Anthropology (30 credits)
- Economics (30 credits)
- Critique and Reason (30 credits)
You may choose from a range of existing 15- and 30-credit modules that are available to second year students in the Department of Politics.
In the third year you may choose from a list of interdisciplinary modules, including modules in Politics, Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Studies. You will have the option to do a Dissertation, worth 30 Credits, on a topic of your choice, to be supervised by a member of staff suitable for the topic.
Read full module descriptions for Politics options. Additional modules will be introduced, geared towards the PPE degree.
Credits and levels of learning
An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.
Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 at distinction and 15 at merit
Scottish qualifications: ABBBB/ABBBC (Higher), AAC/ABC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 80%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A1 B2/A1 A1 A2 B1
If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
Read more about our general entrance requirements.
Voted one of the top political universities in the UK by students**
In the Department of Politics at Goldsmiths our focus goes beyond voting systems, parliaments and the conventional arenas of power. And it looks beyond the West.
We study a politics for the 21st century, in which anarchism may be as important as liberalism, and in which Asia and Africa are as economically and geopolitically important as Europe and North America.
We also take an unconventional approach. So you may be working on group projects, writing a blog, or submitting a Manga comic instead of an essay.
Find out more about the Department of Politics.
**Which? University 2014
Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked 6th in the UK for the quality of our research**
Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.
As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.
Find out more about the Department of Anthropology.
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
Sociology at Goldsmiths is ranked:
9th in the UK and 45th in the world for this subject area**
9th in the UK for the quality of our research***
The Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths is active, contemporary and inventive. We are interested in everything from the ‘global’ issues of poverty and injustice to the ‘micro’ issues of cultural identity and the presentation of self in a digital world.
Our staff are some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – they’re the pioneers who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. They’ve played a key role in developing social research methods, setting agendas in social and cultural policy, and linking theory to practice.
Through their world-leading research you’ll be at the forefront of current debates and will be encouraged to see the world differently.
Find out more about the Department of Sociology.
**QS World University Rankings by subject 2015
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
Learning & teaching
On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.
The teachers are imaginative and innovative in their methods, to bring together theories and concrete examples. We use various assessment methods, such as asking you to write blog posts and contribute to Twitter discussions. Class presentations, writing various types of documents (such as a policy report) and collaborative work with other students are all important parts of our teaching process, which aims to give you confidence and practical experience in the skills that you will need later in your career.
But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.
This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers.
Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:
- Independent learning
- The Goldsmiths Virtual Learning Environment
Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.
Skills & careers
This programme will develop you intellectually, and will enhance your transferable and communication skills – learning to plan your workload, to research solutions, and to express your ideas coherently.
Our graduates go on to a wide variety of careers. Some go on to postgraduate study or further training in law, accountancy, social work, business administration, or to specialise in one area of their academic studies, whilst others go directly into employment.
Recent graduates have found employment in administration and management; in various departments of central and local government; in finance, in the media; in research and computing; in voluntary agencies; in health, education and housing management; the probation service; in company management, and as lecturers and teachers.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.