Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA (Hons)

Course code VL52

What is special about this course?

This multidisciplinary programme offers the unique opportunity to study three of the most important realities impacting people’s lives. The comprehensive programme aims to analyse core features within each area.

Economics: You will examine how economic agents (individuals, households, and businesses) and markets behave and interact, and are influenced by economical features such as inflation, economic growth and unemployment, and monetary and fiscal policy. 

Politics: You will examine how politics shapes our lives and how it is organised differently around the world. You will explore the various forms of governance operating in clans, modern local and national governments, institutions, sovereign states, and at international level. 

Philosophy: Philosophy seeks to understand and critically question ideas concerning the nature of reality, values, and experiences, that play a pervasive role in understanding the world and ourselves. Problematic concepts, such as existence, reason, truth, etc, will be studied as they are important realities in every sphere of human experience. Other concepts belong to areas of thought and practice, such as art and politics: in this programme, you will explore these ideas and concepts and how they influence society. 

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • You will have the opportunity to explore and understand key themes within the three disciplines and will be encouraged to debate, discuss, and critically think about issues in life and society
  • You will gain skills that will enable you to pursue careers in various fields including: economics; local and national government; civil and diplomatic services; teaching; journalism; and banking  


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, or
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Sciences (12 SQA credits) with 3 additional SQA credits at level 7, which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit will be considered for direct entry to year two

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:


  • Problems in philosophy (S1)
  • Thinking and writing for study, work and life (S1)


  • Ideas and ideologies in politics (S1)
  • The evolving politics of the British Isles (S2)


  • Economics for business (S1)
  • Exploring economics in a changing world (S2)

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:


  • Knowledge: a philosophical analysis (S1)
  • Moral philosophy (S2)


  • History of political ideas (S1)
  • Comparative political systems (S2)


  • Approaches to economic development (S1)
  • Contemporary marketing (S2)

Year 3 - BA

Modules may include:


  • Philosophy of religion (S1)
  • Continental philosophy (S2)
  • Philosophy of science (S2)


  • Challenging liberal democracy: political ideas in a changing world (S1)
  • Wars of the 'Promised Land' (S1)
  • European politics (S2)
  • Devolution, federalism and territorial politics module (S2)


  • Globalisation and sustainable development (S1)
  • Community-based economic development (S2)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Modules may include:


  • Scottish tradition in philosophy (S1)
  • Neurons, brains, and minds: a philosophical analysis (S2)


  • Geopolitics: territory, security and strategy (S1)
  • Political theory (S2)
  • Terrorism and unconventional warfare (S2)


  • Geo-political development issues (S1)
  • The consumerist society (S2)

You must also complete a dissertation (40 credits) (S1 and S2)

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is normally a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Part-time: 8 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • HTC - you may choose to study at Dingwall or Paisley, subject to availability
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics is an interdisciplinary programme allowing graduates to pursue a career in economics; business; public services, including the civil and diplomatic services and local government; or to undertake further study in areas such as law, journalism, social work or education.

Is there more information available online?

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The course is very diverse and allows me to study three influential disciplines that are applicable worldwide. It encourages me to think critically about important issues in our society and further my understanding in the three disciplines. With this degree there are many options and careers to get into; from journalism to diplomacy, as well as various jobs in politics and economics. The options are endless. If you are interested in the three disciplines, this course is definitely the right choice for you.

Viktoria Hricova, from Slovakia, is in her third year of the BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics at our Perth College UHI campus.

Apply for Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA (Hons)

  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.