Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Course Information

BSc(Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Undergraduate Full Time

CAO Code: DN700
CAO Points Range 2019: 388
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 500

Leaving Certificate:
Leaving Cert Subject Entry Requirements O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics and three other recognised subjects.

If you obtain less than 03/H7 in Leaving Certificate mathematics you must pass a “Level
0” UCD Mathematics module during Trimester 1 of your first year before taking the core module
“Introduction to Quantitative Economics” in Trimester 2.

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

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.

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.

What Will I Study

The PPE provides a thorough grounding in all three disciplines that are core to the social sciences. The programme is quite structured at first, but allows more choice and more specialisation with each successive year. This programme 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. There will be an option to write a final-year research project.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

International Study Opportunities

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


“I chose to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) because I really enjoyed studying economics and always knew that it was an area that I wanted to pursue. I also had an interest in the current political climate and current affairs. I was attracted to PPE as it offers a high degree of flexibility and the degree is also held in high regard internationally. The skills I am learning will be beneficial to future employers who will be interested in employing critical thinkers and graduates who can apply their knowledge to many fields. I am learning how to form a sound argument and developing excellent research skills from philosophy, while gaining analytical and problem-solving skills from Economics and the study of Politics is expanding my communication and teamwork abilities.”

Rebecca, Troy Student

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