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 programme 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 programme 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’ll 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 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
Students working on a 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 take 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 analyse the toughest global problems through various lenses. Not only will we teach you how to approach complex challenges, we’ll 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’ll 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.

  • Dr Rutger Claassen, PPE Programme Director
    "While our lecturers come from a variety of backgrounds, all of us believe that complex societal issues deserve a well-advised solution"
  • Dr Ekaterina Rashkova, PPE Board Member
    "Our PPE programme offers a true toolset for future policymakers – for people who want to make a difference in this world"

Summary

Mode of study:
Fulltime
Language of instruction:
English
Duration:
3 years
Credits:
180
Start:
September
Tuition fee:
Institutional fee 2018-2019: €4,120 (EU/EEA), €9,345 (non-EU/EEA)
Offered by:
Humanities + Law, Economics and Governance
Degree: This Bachelor's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
BSc (Bachelor of Science)