Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Our bachelor Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) will prepare you for future leadership positions in business, politics, academia and beyond. It offers thorough knowledge of the three core disciplines, and teaches you to apply this in an interdisciplinary way. The small-scale, intensive seminars that are part of our PPE programme take place in our own exclusive class rooms within the John Stuart Mill College, situated at the 4th floor of the main building of VU Amsterdam.

As a PPE student, you will work on real-life problems, integrating knowledge from the three disciplines. This is especially done in the PPE in Practice courses, five in total. In the PiP courses you will connect multidisciplinary theoretical insights, employ cross-disciplinary practical tools, and consider questions that require theories, tools, and insights from more than one discipline, such as:
• What is the best response to climate change?
• Is a universal basic income economically feasible?
• How does globalization affect income inequality and labor relations within different countries?

PiP courses take roughly four weeks to complete.

The (PPE) programme is a three-year degree. Each PPE year has a different scope. Year 1 is all about foundations of PPE. Year 2 is about PPE theory, and year 3 is about bringing together the PPE theory and methods you have acquired so far.

Year 1: Foundations
All first year PPE students follow the same programme. It consists of an introduction to the three disciplines and of integrative courses and methods courses. In semester one you will take introductory courses in each of the three disciplines, a course on PPE methods and an interdisciplinary PiP course. The second semester will provide you additional foundational courses in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and a second PPE Methods course: statistics. In the last period of the first year you will take your second PPE in Practice course (From Theory to Practice).

Year 2: Theory
At the beginning of the second year you choose two of the three PPE disciplines (excellent students can take all three tracks as part of the complementary PPE Honours Track). In semester three for each of your chosen tracks you will take two courses which are mandatory, and the integrative course PPE in Practice III (Governance for Society). In semester four you will choose four elective courses in one or two tracks, and follow another integrative course: PPE in Practice IV (Connected World).

Year 3: Practice
In the third year of your study, the emphasis will shift to preparing you for future academic study and for careers beyond the academy. During semester five you may choose to either study abroad, or to undertake an internship. In the final semester you will incorporate the experiences gained by your studies abroad or internship, along with the skills you have acquired throughout the programme, to produce professional quality research and policy projects. You will complete two large-scale projects: the PPE thesis and the final PiP course (Advanced Topics). You will work in groups to produce professional quality policy briefs, honed through input with your peers in the programme’s ‘Policy Lab’.

After your PPE bachelor
Students who wish to pursue further education will be qualified to enroll in a number of master programmes, both at universities within the Netherlands and abroad. More info about future prospects and the PPE programme can be found via our website:

Program overview 2017-2018

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