Choosing your PPE degree Pathway
Hi everyone, I’m back to talk about other impending decisions PPE students will have to make. This time though we’ll be discussing your degree pathway. This is a high-stakes decision, and it caused me a fair amount of stress, therefore please make yourself aware of the support the department and the university offers its students, it will really help in dealing with academic pressure and anxiety. Keep in mind that regardless of the pathway you will eventually choose, you will all graduate with a ‘Politics, Philosophy and Economics’ degree, even if you decide to drop one of the three subjects. Having said this lets delve in today’s topic. There are three main pathways you can choose to pursue: the Tripartite (BA), the Bipartite (BA) or the Bipartite (BSc).
BA- Tripartite (V7ML)
This is a very straightforward pathway: you continue studying all three subjects without dropping any. This is the most restrictive between the three degree options you have because you’ll have to take more core modules, meaning less optional CATs. The upside is you’ll be able to continue studying in detail all three subjects, which means you’ll get a more in-depth insight into how Politics, Philosophy and Economics intertwine and co-depend on one another. In fact over the 2 year timespan you’ll be required to take minimum 30 CATs of optional modules in each of the PPE departments. The downside is that it is not a very customizable degree, which makes it more difficult to customize your degree to your own interests. My advice is to research into the core modules for this pathway: if you like all of them and would have taken them independently of them being compulsory then chances are you’ll like the tripartite pathway as well.
BA – Bipartite (V7MP)
As you’ll probably imagine from its name the bipartite asks you to choose two subjects to specialize in, and for the BA pathway this can be any combination of the three. Since you’ll only have core modules in two subjects, you’ll have a greater number of CATs to allocate to the modules that interest you specifically. Nonetheless, keep in mind that you cannot take more than 120 CATs of optional modules in any one of the three PPE department over the course of year 2 and 3. I’ve personally chosen this pathway, specializing in Politics and Economics. However, this does not mean I completely abandoned philosophy: I’ve chosen a module in the department as one of my optionals, so again, dropping a subject from your degree pathway does not necessarily mean completely losing it academically. This is the pathway that offers its students the greatest freedom of choice to tailor their degree to their academic interests, while still offering a cohesive course structure.
BSc – Bipartite (with Economics Major)
The BSc pathway specifies you must major in Economics, meaning that you can’t take a BSc specializing in Politics and Philosophy, as that is an exclusive BA offer. The BSc differs from the BA in two ways: first you’ll be asked to take an econometrics module, either Applied Econometrics (EC203) or Econometrics 1 (EC226). Secondly, since you’ll be majoring in Economics, You’ll be required to take at least 60 CATs worth of optional modules in the Economics department, with at least 30 CATs worth of EC300 coded modules. For obvious reasons this pathway leans very heavily on the Economics side, and again holds a greater rigidity than the BA. The quantitative studies are great if you’ll want to go into further study in the fields of development, economics or research, but you can still take an econometric module in your BA if you wish to. This pathway is indicated to students that have realized they wish to study Economics predominantly, with a supplement of politics or philosophy.
The bottom line is that there isn’t necessarily a superior or better degree choice, and the worst thing you can do to yourself is choose a pathway you know you won’t enjoy. Consider what you might want to do in your future, and remember that if you don’t find a subject interesting in your undergraduate degree, the chances of you going to do something related to that are quite slim. Choose a degree pathway that makes sense for you, it should: reflect your interests, your strong suits and your future necessities.