Philosophy, Politics and Economics

BSc(Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

PPE provides a broad and deep understanding of how a society works, and indeed how international society works. It examines the complex economic and political forces in play, the problems of measuring and assessing the health of society, and the principles of justice that should guide political decision-making to improve society. PPE will teach students how to read beyond media headlines, and where to find more information about the hot policy questions of the day, in national and international contexts.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

The PPE provides a thorough grounding in all three disciplines that are core to the social sciences. The course is quite structured at first, but allows more choice and more specialisation with each successive year. This course provides both a well-rounded education in philosophy, politics and economics, and every opportunity for you to determine for yourself which subject or combination of subjects you would like to specialise in.

First Year

Students are introduced to: political science and political theory, to micro and macro-economics, and to ethics and critical thinking. Students will take the core module Introducing PPE. They will also learn about researching and writing essays.

Second Year

Students will study the relationship between individuals and the state, how to analyse and work with economic data, and the philosophical principles underlying the social sciences.

Third Year

Students continue to deepen their understanding of all three disciplines, while paying more attention to the overlaps between them, such as political economy and critical theory. Students may apply to study abroad in third year.

Fourth Year

There is much more choice among specialised option modules in the final year. Students also have the option of continuing in the three-discipline version, or of concentrating on only two disciplines.


Generally, assessment will be by take-home essay and by exam-based essay in Philosophy and Politics, and by project and a combination of mid-term and end-of-term assignments in economics. Innovative online assessment will also be used throughout.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

You may be interested in the following blog posts: Why I chose PPE at UCD.

International Study Opportunities

A number of semester-long study opportunities will be established with other PPE universities the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

PPE programmes are scattered throughout many of the top universities in the world, attracting the best and most ambitious students and educating cohorts of politicians, civil servants, journalists and managers. All three disciplines share a commitment to rigour and problem-solving that will develop useful skills for any career–skills such as research, analysis, written expression and interpreting data.

Graduates may pursue a specialist Master’s degree in Philosophy, Politics or Economics or progress to various interdisciplinary Master’s degrees in related subjects.

Other Entry Routes

“I chose to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) because the three subjects that it covers are driving forces behind how the world works. There is a huge overlap between the subjects and the three elements draw heavily from one another. The chance to study abroad or avail of an internship during third year is a fantastic opportunity, and was a motivating factor behind me choosing UCD. The content learned throughout this degree, particularly the analytical and critical thinking skills, is extremely applicable to real world careers. I would recommend PPE to ambitious students who are ethically motivated and interested in studying a practical, well-rounded degree.”

Cathal Purcell, Student

Contact Information

UCD School of Politics & International Relations
Dublin 4


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