Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA Politics, Philosophy and Economics

UCAS code: L251

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Social and Political Science

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) examines different interdisciplinary perspectives on many of the pressing issues of the modern world. It will equip you with the key skills to engage with the political, philosophical and economic debates of the day.

You will acquire the necessary frameworks for thinking about political and philosophical issues, combined with the quantitative skills for answering political and economic questions.

Philosophy helps you develop analytical rigour and logical reasoning, and addresses questions regarding how we acquire knowledge and make ethical judgements.

Politics is concerned with the choices that political systems must regularly make, to explain the processes that maintain or change those systems, and to examine the concepts and values used in political analysis.

Economics studies the allocation of resources and decision-making by consumers, firms and governments, and is increasingly central to governmental policy making, the conduct of businesses, and the enormous economic transformations throughout the world.

Please note that Year 1 and 2 politics courses are currently under review and the precise names and some content may change.

Year 1

You will take introductory courses covering all three subjects: Introduction to Politics and International Relations and Political Thinkers for Politics, Morality and Value, Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment, or Logic 1 for Philosophy, and the whole year course Economics 1.

Year 2

You will study courses covering all three subjects. In economics, you will take the whole-year course Economics 2 as well as either Introduction to Political Data Analysis or Statistical Methods for Economics.

If you intend to take Essentials of Econometrics, and Applications of Econometrics, in Year 3 then you should take Statistical Methods for Economics in Year 2.

In politics, you will choose between International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond or Comparative Politics in a Globalized World.

In philosophy, you will take Mind, Matter and Language and Knowledge and Reality.

In order to progress to honours level, you will need a mark of 50 or more in your required courses in politics and philosophy, and a pass in Economics 2 and Statistical Methods for Economics (if the latter is taken).

Year 3

You will choose two single-semester courses from the honours options offered in both politics and philosophy, and will choose from four pairings of courses in economics.

Year 4

You will choose to complete a dissertation in either politics, philosophy or economics and will also choose to specialise in two of the three subjects.

Specialisation involves taking courses worth 60-80 credits in those two subjects, with an option to take one 20-credit course in the third, non-specialist, subject.

Our facilities

The majority of teaching takes place at facilities located within the University's Central Area. You will also have access to the University's library and computer facilities.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 through the Erasmus programme or the University's international exchange programme.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught mainly through a combination of lectures, tutorials and skills hours.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a diverse set of components, such as essays, exams, policy briefs, group presentations and tutorial participation exercises.

This programme equips you with the skills employers need, opening doors to a wide range of exciting and well-remunerated careers across a range of sectors, including government, public policy, banking and finance, and third sector.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA - AABB by end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one set of exams and by end of S5.
  • A Levels: A*AA - ABB. (Revised 25/02/19 from 'A*AA - ABB'. Revised 21/06/2019 from 'A*A*A - ABB'.)
  • IB: 43 points (grades 776 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one set of exams by end of S5.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Higher: Mathematics at grade B. National 5: English at grade C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at grade B, or AS Mathematics at grade A (if A Level is not taken). GCSEs: English at grade C or 4.
  • IB: HL Mathematics at grade 5 or SL Mathematics at grade 6. SL English at grade 5. Mathematical Studies is not accepted for any of our Economics programmes.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding