Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code


Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655


3 years full-time


Politics and International Relations

Course overview

Please note, applications to start this programme in 2022 are still open.

Goldsmiths' operating principles for 2022-23 have not yet been finalised but should changes be required to teaching in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will publish these as early as possible for prospective students wishing to start their programme in September 2022.

This challenging and ground-breaking degree introduces you to core ideas and issues in politics, philosophy and economics (PPE). It will help you understand how the economy is governed, how public policy gets made, and the ideas which shape our world.

Why study BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Goldsmiths?

  • We offer a distinctive, fresh and critical take on the well-established combination of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE), drawing on our strengths in social science and theory. You'll gain an introduction in the ideas and concepts that have shaped the world you live in, and learn to challenge established political and economic policies, institutions and methods.

  • As one of the top political universities in the UK as voted by students (Which? University 2019), Goldsmiths offers a dynamic undergraduate culture, with active student media and politics groups. By the time you graduate, you will have gained a wealth of practical experience, and discovered what excites you for your career ahead.

  • You’ll be taught by highly engaged lecturers working across politics, philosophy and economics, all of whom are active researchers and accomplished writers in their fields.

  • The programme includes a basic introduction to economics, so you don’t need any prior experience of economics or an A-level in Mathematics before you start.

  • Over the three years, you’ll be introduced to alternative approaches to the economy, drawn from anthropology and sociology. You will be encouraged to think more broadly and imaginatively about the way in which markets, states and public policies operate in the 21st century.

  • You’ll focus on contemporary, real-world problems, such as financial and environmental regulation, which will prepare you for a career in public policy, NGOs, media, consulting or social innovation.

  • In addition to the taught curriculum, you will have the opportunity to hear from experts and policy-makers at special guest lectures. 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Will Davies or Dr Paul Gunn (for information about applying).

What you'll study

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.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

Students take a total of 90 credits comprised of these compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Foundations of Economics 30 credits
Introduction to Philosophy: The Problems of Ethics 15 credits
Introduction to Political Philosophy 15 credits
Issues in Cultural and Political Economy 30 credits

They then choose one of these Politics and International Relations modules to make up the remainder of their 30 credits:

You will also take one of the following modules.

Module title Credits
UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics 30 credits
World Politics 30 credits
Colonialism, Power, and Resistance 30 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

Students take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Knowledge and Subjectivity 15 credits
Aesthetics 15 credits

Students must also select 60 credits from the following economics options:

Module title Credits
Political Economy 30 credits
Mathematics for Economics and Business 30 credits
International Political Economy 1 15 credits
Topics in International Economics 15 credits
The Making of Global Capitalism 15 Credits

Students can then select modules to the value of 30 credits from the following Politics and International Relations options:

Module title Credits
Making Modern Japan 15 credits
Chinese Politics: The Revolutionary Era 15 credits
Contemporary International Relations Theories 15 credits
Europe Since 1945 15 credits
Global Governance and World Order 15 credits
Ideologies and Interests: Political Thought in Modern Britain 15 credits
Liberalism and its Critics 15 credits
Life: A User's Manual 15 credits
Modern Britain: Politics from 1979 - today 15 credits
Modern Political Theory 30 credits
International Politics of the Middle East 15 credits
Politics of Vision 15 credits
Rough Politics 15 credits
US Politics and Foreign Policy 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

Students write a research dissertation (30 credits) and take the compulsory module Global Cultural Politics. They then select their remaining 60 credits from the following 3rd year Politics and International Relations options:

Module title Credits
An(other) China: Streetscenes of Politics 15 credits
An(other) IR – Views from the South 15 credits
Anarchism 15 credits
Beyond All Reason 15 credits
Britain and Europe 15 credits
Colonialism and Non-Western Political Thought 15 credits
Companies in the World Economy 15 credits
Critical Security Studies 15 credits
Ethics and Economics of Environmental Protection 15 credits
Feminist Politics 15 credits
Finance and the Global Political Economy 15 credits
International Political Economy 2 15 credits
Liberal Government and Power 15 credits
Political Islam: Ideology and Discourse 15 credits
Nationalist Conflict and International Intervention 15 credits
New Radical Political Economy 30 credits
Political Economy of the European Union 30 credits
Politics of Conflict and Peacebuilding in Contemporary Africa 15 credits
Rhetoric and Politics 15 credits
Work Placement 15 credits
Applied quantitative economics 15
Quantitative 15 credits
An(other) Japan: Politics, Ideology and Culture 15 credits
The Political Economy of International Development Assistance 15 credits
Digital Anthropology 15 credits
Armed Politics and Political Violence 30 credits
The Politics of Popular Music 15 credits

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 100% coursework
  • Year 2 - 69% coursework, 31% written exam
  • Year 3 - 99% coursework, 1% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2020/21. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

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. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher), BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £17560

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.



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. You can find out more about career options after graduating on our Poliitics and International Relations careers page.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.