Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Why are populist political parties becoming increasingly popular? Is this a bad development? Do we have an obligation to save the natural environment for future generations? How has migration developed, and how has it contributed to shaping health care and education policy over time? What would the economic effects be if we gave all citizens a national basic income?

Though it is possible to answer complex questions like these, it is definitely not easy. To help solve our world’s biggest challenges, we need experts who are able to look at societal issues from various perspectives. Our new Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) meets this need. The p provides high-level, intensive training for students who are eager to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

PPE Plus History in Utrecht

The PPE p at Utrecht University considers political and economic issues from four different perspectives: philosophy, politics, economics, and history. The addition of a historical dimension to PPE is something you will only find in Utrecht, where we are convinced that understanding the past will help us make better choices for the future. As well as gaining a thorough knowledge of each of these four fields, you will also be trained to combine them to address the world’s most challenging problems. At Utrecht University, we believe that this is the best approach to designing complete and effective solutions.

Sample case

One issue you could choose to delve into is privacy. How should governments deal with protecting citizens’ privacy while at the same time combating terrorism? Should they monitor everyone’s Internet use to increase the chances of catching terrorists? To answer these and related questions, you need knowledge of diverse scientific disciplines. Philosophy can help you decide whether it is ethical to trade in personal privacy for safety. Politics helps you understand the role of governments, which have the power to make decisions that impact both privacy and safety and concern the population as a whole. Economics clarifies the costs and benefits of adopting a specific privacy policy. And history teaches us how societies have dealt with these complex dilemmas in the past, providing lessons for the future.

Is PPE for You?

Do you have a strong interest in societal challenges? Are you convinced they can only be solved by combining knowledge and insights from multiple disciplines? Are you eager to put this into action, to be challenged and taken out of your comfort zone? Are you ready to be part of a dynamic international community? Then PPE at Utrecht University is for you!

For Independent Minds

As a PPE graduate, you will be able to critically analyze the toughest global problems through various lenses. Not only will we teach you how to approach complex challenges, but we will also give you the tools to communicate your own point of view and take responsibility for your own personal and intellectual development. As a critical and independent thinker, you will be able to take on analytical and leadership positions in both the private sector (e.g. multinationals) and public sector (e.g. in government). Alternatively, you can go on to do a Master’s degree, a PhD and, eventually, an academic career.

Career Prospects

PPE provides a programme which enables students to apply for jobs or graduate programmes in the Netherlands and abroad. In addition to giving you a Bachelor's degree from a world-wide renowned university, it will give you an interdisciplinary degree in the English language, which means that after completing the PPE programme here, you will be eligible to apply for much more further opportunities than would someone with a regular, monodisciplinary, Bachelor's programme. Furthermore, if you would choose to pursue a Master's programme, you can easily do this within the national or international context without having to prove further English language proficiency.

Most graduates of the Bachelor's programme go on to pursue a (related) Master’s programme, which will expand your employment opportunities, deepen your specialisation and qualify you for pursuing further studies. In terms of graduate programmes, students graduating with our PPE Bachelor can apply for one of the specialised Master's programmes at Utrecht University in philosophy, economics, history or governance, or to any other Master's programme at universities abroad. During their third year of the PPE programme, students can prepare for more interdisciplinary or more disciplinary Master's programmes, depending on how they decide to fill their profile area (a major part of the third year allows students the choice of what studies and topics to pursue, or whether to take up an internship). If a student is interested in a Master's programme, which requires concrete specialisation in a subject matter, or specific methodological skills, the third year provides a great opportunity to increase one’s competences as seen fit.

Many of our graduates will choose to pursue a career straight after completing the PPE programme. Given the intensity of our programme and its interdisciplinary character, there are many career opportunities that PPE students can take. Some, although not all, examples, include a career in:

  • Politics
  • Law
  • Banking and economic sector
  • Policy advise
  • Research analysis
  • Academia
  • Civil service
  • Diplomatic service
  • Journalism and media
  • Education

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less