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Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Including Year Abroad)

Course overview

(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Politics and International Relations

A-levels: BBB
GCSE: Mathematics C/4

IB: 30 points, including Standard Level Mathematics or Maths Studies grade 4, if not taken at Higher Level. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.

Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

External Examiners

Dr Arzu Kibris
Associate Professor

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 EC111-4-FY Introduction to Economics Core 30
02 GV100-4-FY Introduction to Politics Core 30
03 PY111-4-FY Introduction to Philosophy Core 30
04 Option(s) from list Optional 30
05 GV711-4-FY Career Portfolio Compulsory 0

Year 2 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 2nd year Economics option(s) from list Optional 30
02 2nd year Politics option(s) from list Optional 30
03 2nd year Philosophy option(s) from list Optional 30
04 2nd year Economics or Politics or Philosophy option(s) from list Optional 30
05 GV711-5-FY Career Portfolio Compulsory 0

Year Abroad/Placement - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 AW600-6-FY Compulsory 60

Year 3 - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 Final year Politics option(s) from list Optional 30
02 Final year Economics or Politics or Philosophy option(s) from list Optional 30
03 Final year Economics or Politics or Philosophy option(s) from list Optional 30
04 GV831-6-FY or GV832-6-FY Compulsory with Options 30
05 GV711-6-FY Career Portfolio Compulsory 0

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The aim of the Year Abroad is:
- To enable students to broaden their understanding of philosophy, politics and economics by studying in a partner institution abroad for one academic year.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Knowledge of different conceptual, theoretical and normative perspectives within the discipline, whether politics, philosophy, or economics.
A2 Knowledge of the main findings of existing research and the current state of the literature in the relevant discipline.
A3 Knowledge of developments, issues and debates in the relevant discipline.
A4 Knowledge of methods appropriate for the relevant discipline.
A5 Knowledge of sources of information for studying the relevant discipline.
Learning Methods: A1-A5 are addressed in lectures, participation in seminars and classes and written comments on assignments and essays.

A3 is additionally addressed in optional choices in years 2 and 3 and/or in projects.
Assessment Methods: In politics and philosophy the assessment of most full-year modules is normally based equally on course work and on a written examination, each counting for 50 per cent of the final mark.

Apart from philosophy courses, where the coursework load normally comprises two essays, an average module work load consists of three essays per modules or equivalent.

Assignments and class tests are also sometimes used.

In Economics, skills A1-A5 are assessed in final examinations and coursework.

Coursework takes the form of assignments and tests (especially A1, A4, A5) in introductory and intermediate level courses.

Coursework takes the form of term papers (especially A2, A3, A5) for advanced undergraduate courses.

Coursework counts for up to 50 per cent of the aggregate mark in each economics course and cannot lower the aggregate mark for any economics module.

The Project counts as a separate module and is assessed on its own merits.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 To question received thinking.
B2 To develop their own thinking
B3 Advanced knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical perspectives in political science and political theory at an appropriate level.
B4 To analyse and evaluate data.
B5 To analyse and evaluate arguments and reason critically.
B6 To argue coherently and persuasively.
B7 To present ideas in a structured form in writing.
Learning Methods: These skills are developed in:- (a) Seminars and classes (b) class presentations (c) written comments on essays and assignments.

Individual guidance is available for the writing of essays and the construction of presentations.

Opportunities exist to consult a Study Skills Officer in the Government Department.
Assessment Methods: Essays and written examinations.

C: Practical skills

C1 Organise and structure an extended argument, advancing clear critical positions.
C2 Use theoretical terms correctly.
C3 Compile systematic bibliographies.
C4 Provide references according to accepted conventions.
C5 Use methods appropriate to the discipline, and abstract and synthesise relevant information.
C6 Students will be able to apply the necessary organisational and cultural skills for living and working abroad.
Learning Methods: This range of practical skills (C1-C5) is taught in seminars and developed through comments on essays, and in supervision of written work.
C6 is acquired through the guided but relatively independent process of organising and successfully completing a period of living and studying abroad.
Assessment Methods: Essays and projects are assessed for these skills while written examinations are assessed for skills C1, C 2 and C5.
C6 is assessed through the work of the Year Abroad.

D: Key skills

D1 Clear, focused, relevant and effective expression and communication.
D2 To use word processing software and/or electronic information sources.
D4 To manage projects and timetables. To find, understand and organise information. To work with ideas.
D6 To be receptive to feedback; to learn new material and to improve ways of learning.
Learning Methods: The key skills are implicit throughout the degree.

Skills D1, 2, 4 and 6 are acquired and developed through the teaching and learning methods described above.

Students are encouraged to use University key skills on-line package, word processing packages, library searches and internet resources.
Students will also acquire these skills through the work of the year abroad.
Assessment Methods: Outcomes D1, 2, 4 and 6 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.

Coursework consists of essays written during the academic year for a specified course, returned with a grade and written comments.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: