Before the emergence of economics and politics as distinct disciplines, ‘political economy’ was a discipline in itself. There has been a considerable expansion of research across the three PPE disciplines in recent years, resulting in political economy becoming one of the most exciting areas of study and research.
The flexible structure of this course means it is suitable for a wide range of students with interests in politics and economics.
You will take the core 20 credit interdisciplinary module 'The PPE of Social Choice', which covers topics such as decision making, rights and justice relating to social choice (broadly interpreted) at an advanced level. This module is jointly taught by members of staff from all three of York's internationally excellent PPE departments.
The 10 credit 'PEP Graduate Skills Workshop' will prepare you for undertaking research, covering areas such as writing research proposals and specific interdisciplinary skills.
You will take one of two 20 credit international political economy modules: either 'Critical Theories of International Political Economy', or 'Contemporary Issues in International Political Economy'.
You will also take one of two 10 credit Economics modules: either 'Applied Microeconomics I', which covers central topics in microeconomics including consumer theory, decision theory, welfare and market equlibrium and efficiency; or 'Economic Analysis for PPE', which provides a non-technical introduction to Economics.
You will take a further 60 credits of taught modules of your choice, from a wide range of options offered by the Politics or Economics departments.
You will also write a 12,000 word dissertation, which is worth 60 credits.
Teaching is delivered in two main ways: seminars and lectures. The main focus of your coursework will be your seminar group, normally containing 10-16 students. In seminars you will produce and discuss your own work, under the guidance of a module tutor. Seminars are normally accompanied by lectures, attended by all of the students taking the module.
The School prides itself on the friendliness of its staff and on the support that it provides for its students. Lecturers, seminar tutors and your supervisor will all help you to get the most out of the programme and, in particular, to understand the importance of interdisciplinary study.
Most modules will use the University's virtual learning environment 'Yorkshare', which may be used to access module resources or for more interactive work.
The modular system is based on a notional 40-hour week for each student. The amount of 'contact' time (lectures and seminars) varies depending on the modules you choose. The remaining time will be spent reading, preparing for seminars and essays, analysing ideas and data, making interdisciplinary connections and, of course, thinking.
There are three assessment periods during the academic year: week 1 of the Spring term, week 1 of the Summer term and weeks 5-8 of the Summer term. Assessments occur throughout your year of study, usually in the term immediately after the module has been taken. The majority of assessments are either unseen examination papers or essays, which varies depending on which department is running the module. Most Economics modules for example are assessed by exams, but most Politics modules by essays.
You will spend the summer and summer vacation terms working on your dissertation, which will be handed at the end of the summer vacation (mid September).
Reasonable adjustments in assessments will be made for students with disabilities, for example extra time in exams or use of a computer. The School works with the Disability Services team to ensure all students have the support they require.
The interdisciplinary nature of the School of PEP postgraduate courses means you develop a wide range of transferable skills. Employers value these degrees precisely because they make you think across boundaries and engage critically with a range of different material.
The MA in PPE: Political Economy prepares you for many careers in economics and politics, ranging from finance to international organisations and development. It also provides training for doctoral research in politics.
The careers branch of the Club of PEP, YorkWorks, aims to provide a platform for students to meet with experts and industry insiders to learn about the world of work and find out more about a career path that interests them, for example by organising careers conferences with graduate employers. For further information visit the YorkWorks webpages.