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Integrating perspectives

John Stuart Mill College

The John Stuart Mill College (JSMC) was founded in 2016 with the ambition to position VU Amsterdam as the centre on the European continent of excellent Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) research and education.

Professionals in business, politics and academia have to deal ever more with complex societal questions that cannot be solved from one angle. The John Stuart Mill College is a place where different subjects and theoretical approaches are integrated in order to interpret such societal problems in an interdisciplinary way. 

The PPE undergraduate degree was established in 1920 at Oxford University as a modern take on classical education. More than one hundred years later, PPE is a well-known and globally influential study programme offered in over one hundred institutions worldwide. PPE programmes that were developed in the mid-20th century, though they provided students with strong disciplinary foundations, did not systematically incorporate training in the development of an interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, they lacked the advantages of more recent, integrated PPE programmes like that of the John Stuart Mill College. Since the start of the programme, we have distinguished ourselves through our focused nature, the inclusion of disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, and our analytical profile.

The John Stuart Mill College and its PPE programme have been created as a joint initiative of three faculties of VU Amsterdam, namely the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the School of Business and Economics. Besides the Bachelor's programme, the John Stuart Mill College is a hub of excellent PPE research with its own PhD programme. 


The John Stuart Mill College offers a Bachelor's programme in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). The goal of the PPE programme is to provide students with the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills needed to address urgent and important societal questions. Instead of ad hoc links between disciplinary programmes, the PPE programme offers a well-designed and coherent set of courses that combines a fundamental education in the three core disciplines.


The John Stuart Mill College brings together research staff from three affiliated faculties: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the School of Business Economics. Additionally, the college has its own PhD programme with six PhD students doing research on subjects on the intersection of (at least) two disciplines. These doctoral candidates are also lecturers within the PPE Bachelor's programme, sharing the insights they come across in their research with the Bachelor students during the seminars. 

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