Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education and Faculty of Business, Law and Politics

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: L0V0

What you'll study

PPE degrees have produced political leaders, thinkers and commentators – from David Cameron to Christopher Hitchens to Robert Peston. Hull’s version is one of the best established, with an optional Westminster placement.

First year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • British Political History since 1945

    This module details the political history of the UK after World War Two. From Eden to the EEC and from Wilson to the 'Winter of Discontent', encounter the people, ideas and policies that have shaped modern Britain.

  • Principles of Economics 1

    This module provides an introduction to economics for specialists and non-specialists alike. You'll explore both microeconomics (the affairs of individual consumers, firms and governments) and macroeconomics (the study of the economy as a whole).

  • Philosophy, History and Ideology

    Learn how to analyse the structure of contemporary political ideologies and assess the historical interrelations between key philosophical concepts and their political implications.

  • World Economy

    This module provides an introduction to the world economy. You'll study the nature of, and change in, the world economy from an economic perspective complemented by a social, political and institutional understanding. You'll develop insights into key contemporary issues associated with international trade, international finance, regional groupings such as the European Community, climate change and others.

  • Contemporary Political Issues

    Develop your critical thinking and analytical skills by considering views, debates and policies on topics such as immigration, environment, UK political crises, domestic terrorism and human rights.

  • Knowing Now: Applied Philosophy in a Contemporary World

    Discover a range of concepts, perspectives and skills, examining topics like knowledge, truth and belief, ethics and moral philosophy – and their relevance and application in modern life.

Teaching ranges from large group lectures to small tutorials and intensive one-on-one supervision. You'll attend seminars and large debates on topical issues, and there are personal feedback and assessment review sessions plus residential problem-solving and team-building group exercises.

You'll engage in individual and group assessment activities, delivered orally as well as in written form and through formats such as essays, exams, presentations, debates and dissertations.

Second year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • History of Political Thought

    You will learn about the thought and historical context of a selection of the most important philosophers and political theorists to have written about collective power, human nature, freedom, justice, rights, community and the state. These include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Rousseau, Hegel, Green and Marx.

  • British Government

    In the age of Brexit, who governs Britain? Discover the institutions of the British state from 10 Downing Street to the Houses of Parliament, from Whitehall to the devolved assemblies, and from the Conservative Party to Labour.

  • Paths of Research

    Discover the full range of research techniques and skills used in the academic study of politics. This module introduces everything you'll need for conducting research in your own area of interest within the field of politics, from statistical analysis to using texts.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • Contemporary Epistemology

    This module examines the nature of knowledge and claims to knowledge. The sort of questions that interest us include: What is knowledge? What is the difference between opinion or belief and knowledge? When are we justified in claiming to know something? What are the sources of knowledge? Is epistemology reducible to psychology or another science? Does knowing something depend on one’s viewpoint?

  • Understanding States and Markets: An Introduction to Political Economy

    Discover the history of ideas in political economy, and the relevance of these ideas for contemporary politics. You’ll explore the ideas of all the major schools, including the work of Adam Smith, Friedrich List, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, Marianna Mazzucato, Joseph Stiglitz and the student-led campaign for greater pluralism in economics.

  • Terrorism, War and Ethics

    Explore the history and evolution of terrorism and its political and legislative impact, as well as ethical arguments around it. You'll uncover the history of terrorism and learn about violent political groups from the 19th century to the present day.

  • Theorising Gender

    Examine differing ways of theorising gender relations, looking at the basis of masculinity and femininity and these notions' involvement in the production of gendered subjectivities. Consider the diversity of gendered constructions, the relationship of gender and sexuality and the intersections of gender with other social divisions drawing on feminist sources, writings on masculinity, critiques from gay and lesbian studies, and recent work on transgendering and transsexuality.

  • Macroeconomics

    You will develop an understanding of how variables, such as inflation, employment and production, interact in order to define the economic performance of a nation. You'll be able to identify the results of specific public policy actions in terms of monetary and fiscal policy, discussing and analysing the economics and politics of different nations.

  • Microeconomics

    Microeconomics is the area of economics which studies the behaviour and interaction of economic agents, such as individuals, households, firms and the government. This module advances basic knowledge of microeconomics towards an ability to understand and explain concepts and models of behaviour at an intermediate level, covering consumer behaviour, the theory of the firm and market structure.

  • Development Economics

    The focus of this module is on developing countries and their opportunities for, and constraints to, economic development. You'll be introduced to the role of economics in understanding the nature and processes of economic development, and explore prominent contemporary economic issues faced by developing countries.

  • Understanding the European Union

    Learn about the history and politics of the European Union. You'll assess the EU's main actors, such as the European Council, Commission and European Parliament. And you'll also consider its core policies, including the European Single Market, economic and monetary Union, environmental policy and the Common Foreign and Security Policy, as well as the implications of Brexit.

  • Understanding America

    This module will provide you with a general introduction to the political culture and institutions of the United States, and the environment in which those institutions operate. You'll learn about the USA’s international role and behaviour and the complex relationship between the domestic and international aspects of American politics.

Final year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Choose one of the following

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Contemporary Political Philosophy

    How should we reason about justice, equality, liberty and democracy? You will explore ways of thinking about these topics through critical readings of leading contemporary political philosophers.

  • One-Trimester Internship

    Take the opportunity of applying your degree learned knowledge in a real working environment as provided by one of our unique internship opportunities and enhance your chance of getting a job at the same time.

  • One-Trimester Abroad

    An opportunity to study for a semester abroad at any of our partner institutions. Select a number of modules on offer from the host institution to count towards your Hull degree.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • Dissertation

    You will make an original contribution to research by designing, carrying out and writing up your own project on a topic you choose, supported by your dissertation supervisor.

  • Dangerous Minds

    Study the fascinating relationship between ideas, the people who promote them, and political practice. From Plato, to Machiavelli, Gentile, Heidegger, Schmitt, and Strauss; explore just how influential and dangerous ideas can be.

  • Advanced Business Economics

    Examine how economics can be applied to issues of current concern to business. Explore how governments deal with the problems of monopoly, the consequences of imperfect information and uncertainty.

  • Labour Economics

    This module takes an analytical look at fundamental themes and issues in modern labour economics. Labour economics spans both microeconomics and macroeconomics, but you'll focus more on microeconomic issues such as those addressed by the income-leisure model.

  • Short Dissertation

    This module enables you to undertake independent research on a question of your choice. Working with an academic across your final semester, you will write a 6,000-word dissertation.

  • Gender, Science and Knowledge

    This module provides a critical overview of the different ways of theorising the relationship between gender, science, and knowledge. It explores the concepts of objectivity, rationality and nature within scientific thinking by focusing on the gendered nature of knowledge, as well as providing opportunities to reflect critically on the idea that science is a cultural product, which is nonetheless factual.

  • Environmental Philosophy

    Discuss the main problems in environmental philosophy, drawing on the recent work of philosophers, environmental activists, and contemporary feminist thinkers.

  • Critics of Capitalism

    In this module, you study some of the most important critics of politics and the economy in capitalist societies. You'll explore issues such as capitalist oppression, the nature of work, the corruption of music and art by 'big business', vanity and alienation, exploitation, and capitalism's alleged continuing imperialist machinations, as well as exploring alternatives to capitalism.

  • UK Politics in an Age of Austerity and Brexit

    Explore the most important contemporary political debates about economic, social and political renewal. You'll cover topics such as: Brexit, austerity, reform of the National Health Service, the future of the welfare state, foreign policy, constitutional reform and the politics of the two major UK political parties.

  • Applied Business Economics

    Building on the knowledge gained from previous modules, you'll analyse the decisions of firms and their effects on society. The topics covered may vary from year to year and might include price discrimination, imperfect competition, advertising, innovation, and network externalities.

  • Economics of Government

    In many countries, the state's share of spending is more than 30 per cent. This module explores how governments decide on their spending and how they raise the money to pay for it.

  • Conflicts in British Culture

    Who are the British and what do they believe in? How can they coexist peaceably? This module explores the key conflicts in British culture, including free speech, gay marriage, feminism, transgenderism, Brexit, multi-culturalism, abortion and the role of the university. It is not for the faint-hearted!

  • Democracy and Legitimacy in the European Union

    This module focuses on the theoretical and empirical context in which democracy and legitimacy have become existential challenges for the European Union.

If you opt for the One-Semester Internship, you'll have access to our exclusive seminar series presented by senior parliamentary officials including Black Rod, the Speaker, the Serjeant-at-Arms, and the Clerk of the House of Commons.

“I really liked how diverse the modules were because it meant that I could choose particular topics that interested me.”

Clara Wisenfeld Paine Watch Video

"I think I've developed a lot more in my own confidence, I've learned a lot about myself as well as everything I've learned about politics."

Lucy Dunwell Watch video

"The curriculum that's offered at Hull was something that definitely accommodated my skills."

Samantha Marimo Watch video

More about this course

This is one of the longest-running courses of its kind in the country. It's a flagship programme for the University, attracting and producing some of our highest-calibre students, many of whom go on to a political career.

  • We operate an extensive Westminster placement learning opportunity that is fully integrated within your degree programme. 
  • Spend time in your third year of your degree studying at one of our partner institutions across the globe, from USA to Hong Kong.
  • Role-play international crises and go on trips to the heart of European politics in Brussels.
  • Taught by leading experts who work closely together, so it's fully integrated.

We'll train you not merely to absorb information but to engage, to debate, to influence and to lead. The aim is to develop your portfolio of skills and knowledge relevant to public life through small-group tutorials and one-on-one supervision.

Teaching and learning

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions. The types of scheduled lessons you’ll have depend on the course you study.

Placement hours typically include time spent on a work placement, studying abroad, or field trips.

Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently. This typically involves coursework, assignments, reading, preparing presentations and exam revision.


First year




Second year




Final year



Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

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Hull Campus

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Studying philosophy at Hull, means doing philosophy. It’s been taught here since we first opened our doors in 1927.

Our graduates are so numerous at Westminster and Whitehall, they’ve become known as the 'Hull Mafia'.

Our graduates go on to successful careers with illustrious organisations such as J P Morgan, Rolls-Royce, The Home Office, Rothschild and BP.

Learn with state-of-the-art business software in our inspiring Grade II listed buildings.

Find out more

Entry requirements

2019 Tariff points: 112 points. Points can be from any qualifications on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications 

UCAS has changed the way that qualifications earn points under the Tariff system. Please click here to work out your estimated points and to find out more about how the University of Hull considers qualifications.

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 28 points.
  • Access to HE Diploma: pass with minimum of 45 credits at merit.

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £9,250 per year*
  • International: £14,000 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

Future prospects

The BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree is targeted at those at those aiming at leadership in public service. It's taken by students with a variety of professional career destinations in mind, including politics, finance, law and journalism.

Other career paths pursued by our graduates include teaching, lecturing, media production, publishing, the Civil Service, business and the charity sector. Others choose to continue their studies as postgraduates.

The University also provides comprehensive help from its dedicated Careers Advice Centre. The centre offers competitive internships, mock interviews with fully trained advisers and CV workshops. All services remain open to graduates whenever they're required throughout your career.