PPE Degree Page

The LSE is proud to launch a new BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, ready for entry in October 2015.

As a world-leading centre for social sciences, the LSE has for many years offered unrivalled undergraduate programmes in each of these three areas and in combined courses such as the BSc Politics and Philosophy and the BSc Philosophy and Economics. Our new, four-year programme offers rigorous training in all three disciplines, as well as innovative interdisciplinary teaching and study. Unlike most other PPE programmes, this programme gives equal weighting to all three subjects and has specially designed interdisciplinary courses. It also makes the most of innovative teaching and assessment methods and places students in the heart of London’s political, economic, and academic resources.

About the Degree

Consider the following questions:

  1. What are the moral advantages and disadvantages of markets?
  2. Is income per capita a good measure of economic and social progress? If not, what should replace it?
  3. What are the advantages of democratic institutions over non-democratic ones?
  4. Do social sciences have limitations that natural sciences do not have? If so, what do these limits imply for policy-making?

Each of these questions names an issue of central importance in contemporary public debates. Each of them can also be answered satisfactorily only by drawing on knowledge from Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics. The LSE has long experience in delivering combined courses such as the BSc Philosophy and Economics and the BSc Politics and Philosophy. Using experience gained from these degrees and drawing on our staff’s interdisciplinary research,we have put together a programme that delivers not just anexcellent education in each subject but also encourages students to develop the integrative thinking skills required to tackle many social and economic issues.

Unlike other PPE degrees, our students will take all three subjects for at least the first three years of the degree. This commitment to the continued, in-depth study of all three disciplines and to multifaceted problem-solving sets apart our four-year BSc programme.

On the Courses

A number of bridging courses specific to the PPE degree have been introduced to expose students to the links between subjects. In Year 2, students attend the Interdisciplinary Research Seminar. This engages with cutting edge research by LSE academics on questions central to PPE, such as ‘What is a fair allocation of health care resources?’ and ‘What is happiness and how should we measure it?’ In Year 3, the Outside Speaker Seminar offers similar critical engagement with academics, decision-makers and opinion leaders from other universities, think tanks, and government. In the final year, PPE: Real World Applications tackles a series of pressing policy questions. Students will also have the option to complete either a written dissertation or take part in a Capstone project: a group challenge to apply the theoretical skills and knowledge gained during the degree to a real-world problem. Capstone projects are normally delivered in conjunction with a partnership organisation: business, charities, or other organisations benefit from the energy, skills and expertise of LSE’s students while the students have the chance to apply their academic knowledge in a real-world setting. These courses will not merely provide unique training in the creative, analytical application of different subjects; they will also provide training in presentation, public speaking, and group work.

Fourth year students can also choose options from any undergraduate degree course at the LSE: some will choose to deepen their knowledge of subjects already studied, whilst others might choose to explore the world of Law, Management, Social Policy or beyond. All students will get a taste of these courses through the LSE100 course take by all undergraduates in years 1 and 2.

Visit the Course Programme Page to see a year-by-year description of the course requirements.

Why study PPE at LSE?

LSE Building

LSE’s pedigree as a world-leading institution for the study of the social sciences needs no embellishment. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, the LSE was the institution with the greatest percentage of 4* (world leading) research submitted. 16 Nobel prize winners in economics, peace, or literature have taught of studied at LSE, as did 34 past or present Heads of State.

LSE is regularly near the top of national and international league tables in the three subjects that comprise the PPE degree. However, our PPE students will not study the subjects in isolation: as a specialist social science institution academics and students at LSE are used to collaborating across departments and students will be expected to develop interdisciplinary habits. For example, most of the academics in the Philosophy department have degrees in disciplines other than Philosophy, including Economics, Sociology, Statistics, Mathematics, and Political Science. When your teachers are able to view arguments from political, philosophical and economic perspectives, they will ensure you do too.

London

Our location at the heart of London is integral to our identity. With both the Houses of Parliament and the Bank of England approximately a mile away, LSE students are right in the middle of political and economic decision-making. Our location facilitates strong links between industry, government and third sector organisations. This manifests itself in unparalleled guest lectures, excellent internship and networking opportunities and a true sense of how the topics studied in the classroom impact the wider world.

We understand that choosing a four-year degree represents a significant financial and personal commitment. We believe that to truly earn the title of a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics students must be given a thorough grounding in all three subjects; this cannot be done in three years. We are proud to say that students graduating with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the LSE will be prepared for further study or employment in each of the three subject areas and will be uniquely capable of drawing on all three disciplines in their future work.