This unique 3-year Philosophy, Politics and Economics Bachelor’s degree programme will prepare you for future leadership positions in business, politics, academia, and beyond. Complex social problems require generalists, that is, researchers, policymakers and professionals who are able to examine an issue from several angles, who can combine different perspectives in a constructive way, and who are aware of the broader social and historical context of problems. PPE provides you with the necessary tools and knowledge to be a leader in the 21st century. PPE at V.U. Amsterdam is the first program of its kind in continental Europe, combining a focused curriculum with exchange opportunities with international partner institutions and exciting and unique extracurricular initiatives involving representatives from the world of business, policy or politics. It is a multidisciplinary study program that combines the strengths of its three fields and places a special emphasis on incorporating the different perspectives of its constituent disciplines. The program provides rigorous theoretical training and broad, hands-on experience that will enable you to take an active role in shaping the world’s future.
Future Leaders Looking Further
The PPE program originated at Oxford University in the 1900s. Since then, many PPE programs have been developed at leading universities in the US, the UK and beyond. V.U. Amsterdam is the first university in mainland Europe to offer a comprehensive PPE program of this size at Bachelor’s level. You will benefit from our personal atmosphere and interaction with our dedicated and innovative teachers, many of whom have previous experience lecturing in multidisciplinary PPE programs throughout the world. We offer a challenging program with easy access to university facilities, while remaining close to the vibrant heart of Amsterdam.
Your Future Prospects
A degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics can open many doors for you. Whether you choose to continue your studies or move directly into a career in the world of business or politics, or do something entirely different, PPE will equip you as a leader with the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills needed to address the emerging issues of the 21st century. Many students begin their careers in administration or politics, and PPE will equip you for a career as a lobbyist, politician, or consultant. It also prepares students for exciting positions in ‘third sector’ organisations such as NGOs, national charities, and think tanks. Likewise, if you are interested in a career in business, a Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree will give you an educational background that will make you attractive to employers in management consulting, banking and other financial institutions, as well as management positions in a range of commercial enterprises. If you are considering further education, a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics will qualify you to enroll in a number of Master’s programs. If you choose the Philosophy or Political Science tracks, you will be eligible for all specializations in the (English language) MA program in Philosophy and the MSc program in Political Science, respectively. If you choose the Economics track, you will be qualified for the MSc in Economics (although this depends partly on the electives that you choose during your Bachelor’s degree).
Year One: Foundations
The Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) program is a three-year degree. The academic year at V.U. Amsterdam is divided into two semesters. The first year of the PPE program begins with an introduction to PPE, which covers the themes, methods, and primary theories. In the remaining two periods of the first semester, you will take introductory courses in each of the program’s foundation disciplines (philosophy, political science and economics), as well as a course on PPE methodology. The second semester includes additional foundation courses and a second methodological course in statistics. In the last part of the first year, will take your first interdisciplinary PPE in Practice course, which brings together the theory and methods you have acquired so far.
Year Two: Theory
At the beginning of the second year, you will choose two of the three PPE disciplines to specialize in (if you wish to complete an additional 24 ECs, you can take all three tracks). You will take two courses in each of your chosen tracks, as well as four electives in those areas and two integrative PPE in Practice courses.
Year Three: Practice
In the third year of the PPE program, the emphasis will shift to preparing you for your future academic studies and careers beyond academia. During the fifth semester of your studies, you may choose either to pursue your studies at one of our partner institutions, or to complete an internship. During the final semester, you will complete two large-scale projects: the PPE thesis and the final PPE in Practice course. You will work in groups to produce professional quality policy briefs. These briefs will be honed using input from your peers in the program’s ‘Policy Lab’. Also during this semester, you will incorporate the experience that you have gained through your studies abroad and your internship with the skills acquired throughout the program in order to produce professional quality research and policy projects.
In order to be admissible, you must have a Dutch pre-university school diploma (VWO) or an equivalent qualification with a sufficiently high grade point average (GPA). You need to have a diploma including a certain level of proficiency in mathematics (see info below on our maths requirement), and you also need proof of proficiency in English. Whether or not you will actually be offered a place in our programme will also depend on your: - motivation and suitability to study an intensive programme like our PPE programme; - commitment to contribute to the J.S. Mill College’s international student and campus life This will be determined based on your CV and your answer to our assessment questions, and possibly an additional interview (over Skype in case of international applicants).
Program taught in: