Address the challenges of tomorrow's world

Tackle social issues

Part of the John Stuart Mill College, studying PPE at VU Amsterdam means benefitting from a personalized learning experience with lots of interaction between students and teachers.

The PPE Bachelor's programme at VU Amsterdam is the first of its kind in mainland Europe. You'll tackle societal issues from multiple perspectives and using multiple disciplines - for example, looking at the climate crisis through an economic lens and an ethical lens, or examining the issues that monopolies create.

Teaching is done mostly through seminars: in small groups, you'll debate the big questions, look at how policies are applied, and critically discuss the outcomes. Sessions are often led by PhD students who are also researching the topic being discussed, which means you'll benefit from research-driven teaching as well. PPE has a tight student community with its own extracurricular activities - mostly organized through KallioPPE, the programme's own study association.

The programme is truly international in its orientation: 50% of the students who follow PPE come from abroad, and all students have a very international outlook on life. And that's important given that almost all PPE students take one semester at a partner university abroad - whether in the US, Europe, Asia or South Africa.

Most students choose to specialise in two out of the three disciplines (or "tracks") from their second year onwards. However, it's also possible for highly talented students to participate in  the Honours programme (30 cred.) In this case, there are two options: the internal honours programme, which means taking all three PPE disciplines; or the external honours programme, which means taking courses from another faculty or even another university in Amsterdam.

Fact and Figures

Choose a specialization

Philosophy

Want to specialize in philosophy? Then take the philosophy track in your second year, and choose a study abroad or internship in your third year that relates to your chosen track.

Politics

Want to specialize in politics? Then take the politics track in your second year, and choose a study abroad or internship in your third year that relates to your chosen track.

Economics

In the first year, you'll take core foundational courses in the three main disciplines. These include micro-economics, history of philosophy, comparative politics, and important methodologies like mathematics and statistics that are then used throughout the programme. The year kicks off with a thought-provoking ethics course: what makes something right or wrong? What's a fair price to pay for a product? Should society be organised to help the people who are worst off, or vice versa? How does ethnic background and gender shape people's access to power and resources?

Change your future with the Politics, Philosophy and Economics programme

Change your future with the Politics, Philosophy and Economics programme

After the bachelor’s programme, you can specialise by following a master’s programme. When you graduate as  a policy expert, you could work as a leader, policymaker, consultant, reporter or academic in banks, consultancies, governments, political think-tanks or academic institutions.

Student in a square with other people in the background