Study programme

PPE studenten
Picture: Rebke Klokke

The PPE programme takes three years. Each year consists of four study periods with two courses each. In your first year, you will attend an average of 12-18 hours of education per week, taught entirely in English. In the last week of each study period, you will focus on training professional and interdisciplinary skills in a project-based setting outside the classroom. 

The first year

In the first year, you will follow eight compulsory courses that are an introduction to philosophy, politics, economics and history. You will take two courses in each field of science, always studying two different fields (e.g. economics and history). 

The second year

In the second year, you delve deeper into a subject that interests you, by choosing a specialised thematic package within the field of politics and economics. The PPE bachelor programme offers four lines of study: ‘Challenges to Tthe Welfare State’, ‘Markets and Regulators’, ‘Pathways to a Sustainable Future’ or ‘Democracy and its Discontents’. 

The third year

In the third year you can compose your own study programme by choosing optional courses (45 credits in total). For example, you can take a second PPE thematic package or courses from other Utrecht University programmes. You can also decide to study abroad or do an internship. 

Teaching methods

In the first year of the PPE programme, tuition will be provided by way of lectures, seminars and independent work:

Teaching method






Independent study


Extracurricular programme

Besides our regular courses, we also offer a dynamic extracurricular programme that encourages and helps you to start your own projects, to participate in all kinds of fun common activities and to get acquainted with the field of study. The extracurricular programme is supported by the PPE lecturers but provided by the students. By organising activities together with fellow students, you can satisfy your own curiosity and at the same time learn how to take initiative and work together with others. In this way, you contribute to building and strengthening the PPE community!


Doing an internship is fun and a great opportunity to gain practical experience. PPE-students have in the past worked at banks, international organisations, embassy's, ministry's or company's. 

Group size

We start with a class of 75 students. In the first year you and your fellow students follow the same subjects, attending all classes together. Every week, each subject consists of 2 hours of lectures and 6 hours of seminars. The seminar groups consist of 25 students. For group work, these are often divided into groups of 3 to 6 students, which are supervised by the lecturer. 

Study guidance

During your studies you can count on good guidance and personal advice. We have various employees, such as mentors, tutors and study advisors, who will support you with study related issues. But they also offer guidance and advice on issues that are not directly related to your study programme.

Binding recommendations regarding the continuation of study (BSA)

At the end of the first academic year, every student receives binding recommendations regarding the continuation of study (BSA). You must obtain at least 45 of the 60 credits of the bachelor PPE in order to continue your studies.

Picture: Rebke Klokke