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Ready to gain new perspectives?

6 reasons to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at VU Amsterdam

During the small-scale and intensive bachelor's programme Philosophy, Politics and Economics, you will acquire the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills needed to address today's most urgent societal questions. Whether you have already started your application or just discovered the acronym, we have compiled a list of 6 good reasons to study PPE at VU Amsterdam!

1. International orientation 

PPE at VU is truly international in its orientation: The majority of the students who study PPE come from abroad. They are not the only non-Dutchies in the city. With 180 different nationalities, Amsterdam's population is one of the most diverse in Europe! But numbers only tell part of the story. All the students and employees in our programme also have a very international outlook on life. They bring along an interest in foreign politics, as well as other cultures and philosophies. That's important given that almost all PPE students complete one semester at a partner university abroad - whether in the US, Europe, Asia or South Africa. Have a look at the VU world map to see PPE’s exchange partnerships.

2. Small-scale education

VU’s PPE programme is based on “small-scale and intensive education”, like many University Colleges. This means there are more professors and support staff available per student than in regular programmes. Each lecture is followed up by a seminar. In small groups, you will debate big questions, look at how policies are applied, and critically discuss the outcomes. PPE has around 100 first-year students each year. However, seminars are always taught in groups of 10 to 20 students. 

3. Community feeling  

The transition to university from high school can be daunting, but with the PPE programme you will never have to look far to find your classroom. We have our own floor within VU Amsterdam’s main building: the John Stuart Mill College (also known as “the fourth floor”). This allows students to experience the vibrant VU campus life while taking advantage of the college’s private spaces available only to PPE students. In addition to the PPE study area, the college provides spaces for social activities (mostly organized by PPE’s  own study association KallioPPE) and extracurricular events organized by staff. The college also encourages new initiatives, such as book clubs or podcasts, made possible by the PPE Incubator Fund. Read more about PPE’s student initiatives here. 

4. Truly interdisciplinary 

The original “PPE” programme was founded at the University of Oxford in the 1920s in response to traditional monodisciplinary studies. PPE originated from the idea that to understand complex societal problems, one must approach them from different complementary disciplines. With PPE at VU, you do not simply study these disciplines side-by-side, you apply them in an integrated manner. For instance, during PPE in Practice courses, you will study theories at the intersection of philosophy, economics, and political science and learn how to apply them to analyse policy issues and democratic decision-making. You will learn how to apply theoretical insights to topical and often controversial issues, such as gambling, animal experiments, poverty relief, global warming, and international trade. Topics that are impossible to fully unpack using just one of these disciplines. 

5. Study abroad or internship

In the first semester of their third year, all PPE students either do a semester at a partner university abroad or they do an internship. If they decide for a semester abroad, they can choose between 21 different universities on five different continents. This gives PPE students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in PPE by taking either specific PPE courses or courses in one of the three disciplines at another university. If they instead decide to do an internship, they work at a company, ministry or NGO for five months and gain valuable job experience. Read about the experiences of PPE students doing a semester abroad here or an internship here.

6. Future prospects

When you graduate from PPE, you have many options as to in which direction you want to develop your career. Depending on the tracks chosen in the programme, most PPE students go on to obtain a master’s degree in either one of the three disciplines or in a multidisciplinary master programme. The combination of the PPE bachelor and a master’s specialization makes PPE graduates excellent policy makers that work for NGOs or their governments. Other PPE graduates continue an academic career. See here where PPE has brought other students.”

Convinced? Good news: with our rolling admission, you can apply (and be admitted) straight away!  Would you rather have a video call with a student first, or sign up for a Taster Day? Create a My Study Choice account and sign up for an activity of your choice. 

Learn more

"PPE has challenged me to dive deeper into my core values."

Learn more about Marlene Tröstl's perspective on studying PPE. 

Want to know more?

General questions

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on, please contact the Student Desk:, stating your student number.

Call +31 (0)20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:00). 

Or send a WhatsApp message to +31 (0)6 82548367.

International diploma applicants

International diploma applicants are welcome to send an email to or book a phone appointment to get in touch with the International Student Advisors of this programme

Applicants with a Dutch diploma can contact the PPE Admissions Officer via

Also, make sure to take a look at our FAQ page - you might already find your question answered there.


  • Lieneke Blok
  • International Student Advisor
  • John Stuart Mill College (PPE)
  • Karin van den Heuvel
  • International Student Advisor
  • John Stuart Mill College (PPE)