Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
Does globalization undermine social solidarity? Does populism threaten our democracies? How do we encourage corporate social responsibility? And how can we rise to the challenge of climate change?

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typeregulier, 60 EC
start1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur12 maanden voltijd
numerus fixusnee

Our world today faces complex challenges that cannot be tackled by one discipline alone. We need an approach that cuts across boundaries. Our selective one-year Master’s programme in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) offers this interdisciplinary approach. The programme aims at ambitious students with a wide range of interests – students who want to explore the philosophical dimensions of political and economic issues and develop and apply their critical thinking tools. If you are interested to work at the interface between politics, economics and philosophy, this is your master's programme.

What will you learn? The programme will equip you with the central theoretical and methodological tools from PPE that allow you to understand and critically examine complex problems ranging from global poverty to the financial crisis. You will learn to analyze the political and economic complexities of organizational structures. You will see what is at stake in theories of democracy, collective decision‐making, rational choice, social inequality and economic growth. And you will learn how to apply theoretical insights to concrete policy problems both locally and globally.

Waarom aan de RUG?

This programme has been rated exceptionally high by our students in the national student satisfaction survey NSE: our programme received the highest overall rating out of all Master programmes in the Netherlands. The average over-all score came to 4.9 out of 5!
PPE should be more than the addition of P, P and E. Rather than studying the three disciplines separately, the PPE master's programme in Groningen is unique in teaching PPE as a genuinely integrative discipline. Moreover, our programme offers a distinctive combination of theory and practice: you will learn to apply theories and methods to policy issues.

We combine a thorough interdisciplinary PPE foundation with ample opportunities for specialization. Our core courses and policy seminars provide the foundation, and our wide range of electives allow you to delve deeper into one or more of the disciplinary fields.

Our instructors are of top international quality. The Faculty of Philosophy, for example, is ranked as the best place to study philosophy in the Netherlands. Our small class sizes allow us to provide a close personalised approach, and a personal mentor will guide you through your studies.


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In the Methods of PPE module you learn the analytical and formal methods that make up PPE research: decision theory, statistics, policy impact assessment, game theory, and social and public choice theory. You learn the strengths and limitations of these methods, and discover how to frame problems and select the appropriate method for them.
In the Theories of PPE module, we focus on key concepts and theories, including rationality, utility, efficiency, equality and fairness. You will learn how to apply these concepts and theories to issues such as productivity, property rights, social security, markets, intergenerational justice, environmental policy, collective action, and voting.

In the History of PPE module, we critically reflect on the main historical traditions relevant to PPE, focusing on Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Smith, Rousseau and modern developments such as the rise of capitalism, Marxism, and utopian socialism.

In the PPE Seminars you will apply the methods and theories of PPE to concrete policy issues.

For the electives you can choose courses from a list of electives especially designed for the PPE programme and from electives in other programmes offered by the participating faculties.

To conclude your degree, you will write a Master's thesis on a topic of your own choice.

The one‐year (60 ECTS) programme consists of nine modules of 5 ECTS each and a 15 ECTS Master thesis. Three of these nine modules constitute the academic core of the programme: Methods of PPE, Theories of PPE, and History of PPE. In two PPE seminars, knowledge from Methods and Theories is applied to policy issues. Four PPE electives and a Master thesis complete the programme.
Theories of PPE
5 EC
History of PPE
5 EC
Elective 1
5 EC
Methods of PPE
5 EC
Elective 2
5 EC
PPE Seminar 1
5 EC
PPE Seminar 2
5 EC
Elective 3
5 EC
Elective 4
5 EC
Master Thesis afstuderen
15 EC


taal van onderwijs100% en
group discussion, group assignment, individual assignment, literature study, research, seminar, thesis, tutorial

Toelating en kosten


1 september 2022

aanmelding deadline : 1 mei 2022
wettelijk tarief : € 2209 (€1105 in het eerste jaar)
instellingstarief : € 12380
niet-EU/EER studenten : € 14570

1 september 2023

aanmelding deadline : 1 mei 2023
collegegeld nog niet bekend

Students applying on the basis of a Dutch bachelor diploma, please submit your application (including all required documents) to:

After submitting your application, visit Aanmelding en inschrijving voor Nederlandse studenten and follow the application instructions.

COVID-19 crisis

Please find University of Groningen Corona information and view our corona web page to find out if any Faculty specific adaptations apply.


After reviewing all applications, the Board of Admissions will admit some students directly and reject some students directly. Other students will be invited for an interview. In an interview, the Board of Admissions will address issues such as motivation, ambition, skills and general fit with the PPE programme. Once admitted, students will be given, where necessary, a reading list on issues they have not encountered in their Bachelor's. They will then follow up with their mentor on these issues once the programme starts.

To confirm sufficient language proficiency, please submit your results on one of the following language tests:

  • IELTS: at least 7.0 overall score with no band less than 6.5
  • TOEFL: at least 100 overall score, with section scores being at least 22 for Reading, 26 for Speaking, and 24 for Writing

This requirement does not apply if:
  • you are a native speaker and have completed your secondary education in any one of the following countries: Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia
  • you have completed your bachelor education in any one of the following countries: Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia

The applicant has a Bachelor's degree in (1) PPE, or (2) Philosophy or Philosophy of a Specific Discipline, or (3) Economics, or (4) Political Science, or (5) another relevant field.

estimated monthly costs

bron: Nibud
303kamerhuur in Groningenrond het landelijk gemiddelde
172collegegeldop basis van € 2060 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1171totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1181
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft. Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

Studenten en studentenleven


33 studenten volgen deze opleiding
39% daarvan is vrouw
26 eerstejaars gestart in 2020
35% daarvan is vrouw
29331 studenten aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
51% daarvan is vrouw
bron: StudieData

Op kamers in Groningen

55216studenten studerend
31914studenten woonachtig   
€ 303gemiddelde kamerprijs
kamer betaalbaarheid
21 m2gemiddelde kameroppervlak
kamer beschikbaarheid
bron: Nationale Studenten Enquête

aan het woord: studenten en docenten

Tom Scheltwort
You'll learn to develop a critical outlook on complex economic and political questions, viewed through the lens of philosophical analysis.

Before coming here, I attained a Bachelor's in Philosophy and Economics and decided to continue my studies at the intersection of these two fields. After searching for a Master's that integrates the core issues of philosophy, politics and economics into one curriculum, I was quickly drawn to the PPE Master's at the University of Groningen. In the following, I will briefly outline my impressions of the PPE programme.

Lecturers are open-minded and very approachable to students. The faculty is a small place, and you’ll notice that you will start recognizing the faces there from an early point on. Nobody is left alone here!Moreover, the number of people in the programme is just convenient so that it is easy to form a community quickly. The structure of the programme is tailored to make the students get to know each other and encourages exchange between the different backgrounds each of them has before starting the programme. The atmosphere in classes is open and always includes an extensive interactive part, so that there are lots of fruitful discussions.Social Science meets Philosophy meets Policy-MakingThe programme is strong at integrating the sub-fields of philosophy, politics, and economics. The core modules which are taken by all PPE students shed light on the complex normative issues surrounding the subject matter of political and economic inquiry, as well as the complications at the heart of the methodological approach of the social sciences. You won’t get an in-depth introduction into either of the three sub-fields here. But you will learn to develop a critical outlook on complex economic and political questions, viewed through the lens of rigorous philosophical analysis. The Policy Seminars, then, equip students with the toolkit necessary for evaluating – and ultimately, making – complex policy decisions.Diverse Specialized CoursesThe electives offer students of PPE a range of opportunities for getting acquainted with more specialized fields within PPE topics. The choice of courses is made from a broad catalogue containing courses that go in-depth on philosophical, political or economic issues, but also courses from fields as diverse as sociology, psychology and business. In this way, discussions inside and outside the classroom profit from the differential perspectives of all the PPE students.True Interdisciplinarity The programme is well-suited for everyone who is looking for developing and exercising reflection and critical thinking about the issues that lie at the centre of contemporary societal debates. It demonstrates why, in a complex world, it is paramount to keep an eye on the “bigger picture” and normative questions about where we, as a society, want to go. At the same time, it never loses sight of the applications that actually matter in policy contexts of the real world. Overall, the programme thus conveys a truly interdisciplinary perspective that fits a broad range of previous backgrounds.

lees verder ...
Michael Jacobs
A framework for thinking both about the philosophical justifications for and the economic feasibility of, varying policy measures

Hi, I'm Michael! I chose the PPE Masters in Groningen as it was the only course I could find that both neatly combined the three disciplines whilst also giving students a lot of room to study these disciplines separately through the wide range of electives.

The course has a clear and motivating vocational focus that ties the three subjects together: equitable and efficient policy. In other words, the obligatory modules provide a framework for thinking both about the philosophical justifications for and the economic feasibility of, varying policy measures...
You can style yourself as a more financially-informed or practically-oriented policy-maker through modules such as those on monetary policy or urban planning. Or alternatively, you can begin in more esoteric realms by looking at say the political philosophy of Foucault and Adorno. But lots of students also try a combination of all of these, the result being that many take modules from faculties spanning those of Arts, Economics and Sociology as well as Philosophy. This can make for a varied workload. One week you could be trying to assess whether Plato proves that justice and self-interest always coincide, the next you might be trying to solve the problem of unaffordable housing in a specific place.Wide pool of expertiseHaving previously studied history at bachelor’s level, I graduated with that assumption humanities students sometimes fall prey to: that courses which make you more employable cannot be intellectually stimulating. History graduate friends smiled nervously at me when I told them I was off to study something with Economics in the title. But this attitude has proven unfounded. The parts of the course I thought I’d struggle with – mainly the quantitative aspects – were overcome partly through my motivation as someone interested in giving my political views academic grounding, but crucially thanks to the small class sizes and the mixture of academic backgrounds of those on the course which usually ensures there is someone at hand who understands whatever you’re having trouble with. This wide pool of expertise is also an advantage in class discussions and group work.GroningenThe course aside, Groningen itself is – at least in terms of societies, clubs, cafés, and music venues – really well tailored to students. Being small, its easy to get to know, with an almost entirely pedestrianised city centre with a cheerful and trusting vibe that makes it homely. The same goes for the Philosophy faculty, whose small size and informal atmosphere gives it a community feel.

lees verder ...
Michiel Timmermans
PPE gives you the opportunity to define your own blueprint in policy-making more than any other programme

Hi there, I'm Michiel. Currently I follow the Master's Philosophy, Politics & Economics in Groningen and I'd like to introduce you to the programme. I obtained a BA in Philosophy with a minor in Political Sciences, and I chose PPE because I didn't want to choose between either an empirical political science master or a philosophical/theoretical master's in philosophy or political theory.Fake newsPPE is designed with the aim of integrating the three disciplines. During the programme you work with policy related issues in which the three disciplines intersect...
You will learn that tackling ‘fake news’ also considers how it is ‘sold’: how do marketeers create more demand for sloppy or intentionally false facts? Thereby, what normative implications are involved when categorizing ‘true’ versus ‘false’ information in political campaigning?
What makes studying PPE unique is that its application is broad, while its approach is narrow. The course catalogue has a broad selection of courses, but it is compiled so that you can navigate through PPE related fields that might fit with your desired direction.Fitting courses into the PPE frameworkFor laying out my path, I selected courses from Spatial Sciences and Sociology, with the idea of engaging into urban and social planning. An overview: Theories of Social Networks, Spatial Economics, Evolutionary Game Theory, City Matters, Modernity as Dominance. It might seem like I could’ve equally studied economic or urban geography, but fitting these courses into the PPE framework I distinguish myself in many ways. Instead of learning approaches to justice and autonomy by name I am trained in maneuvering through the current debates about these concepts within the theoretical literature.After the financial crisisAlso, you learn to engage in policy-related issues through strict normative considerations. By this you can make the difference between designing a “preferable” policy and a policy that is necessarily required in society. Nowadays, this is especially relevant. Considering the finance branch, for example, people who can make this difference are especially demanded for. After the 2008 financial crisis bankers are namely more than ever facing the challenge of regaining people’s trust in the responsibility they have towards the health of society’s financial system.Good guidanceSo, studying PPE is challenging. The opportunities for orienting are wide, and sometimes this idea might appear stressful when you are about to be graduating. In exchange, however, the programme gives you the opportunity to define your own blueprint in policy-making more than any other programme. Thereby, the staff members are supportive and provide good guidance, and the faculty building feels like a second home (including kitchen and living-room!).

lees verder ...
Hedwig Fossen
PPE was an eye-opener for me, because it made me think of policies in a very critical, systematic and multi-angled way.

Hi! I am Hedwig and currently following the PPE-programme in Groningen. Before this, I acquired my Bachelor's in Medicine together with Philosophy of a Specific Discipline. Then I followed a Master's in Science Communication. For someone with this background, PPE seems a weird, illogical (or rather interesting?) choice. Maybe it's exactly this broad disciplinary background that made me choose for PPE.

This brings me to the most appealing feature of PPE: you discuss philosophical topics with people from all kinds of backgrounds...
This results in in-depth discussions about all PPE-topics.Now what is a PPE-topic exactly? Literally every topic relating to Philosophy, Politics and/or Economics. Examples are: taxes for a reduction in meat consumption; or: a basic income aimed at minimizing inequality; or: knowledge distribution in democracies. And I can go on and on…In the beginning of the programme, you have a few obligatory courses about theories and methods of PPE. In these courses, you develop basic insights into theories about justice, markets and autonomy. On top of that you learn different research methods, such as statistics and decision theory. You apply these methods to evaluate the evidential quality of policies.Policy proposalAfter those introductory courses, you have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to write and argue thoroughly for your own policy proposal in Policy Seminars. For instance, I wrote a proposal for introducing a plastic permit system in order to reduce the use of plastic by companies. With my group, consisting of two more students with different backgrounds, we read a lot about tradeable permits and argued from a philosophical as well as a political and economic standpoint for our policy proposal.Besides the compulsory courses, you have a lot of freedom to choose your electives. There is a list of electives you can choose from, but thanks to the high flexibility of the faculty, you are able to choose other courses as long as they contribute to your personal development. This is very valuable to me, because I am now able to choose courses that also contribute to my Science Communication Master’s.Eye-opening choicePPE was an eye-opener for me, because it made me think of policies in a very critical, systematic and multi-angled way. The application of philosophical arguments in a concrete policy proposal was more interesting than I could have thought of beforehand.In the beginning, I was thinking of pursuing a career in journalism, since I am also following a Master’s in Science Communication. However, now I may be more interested in a job in a NGO or writing policies for a political party. In short, a broad array of job opportunities is open to you after completion of this programme!

lees verder ...
Rosie Pearce
I'm hoping to pursue a career in policy, and I feel really well-prepared for that through this master's.

In this video, alumna Rosie Pearce tells you about the PPE programme in Groningen.

Na de studie

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Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

With its combination of a generalist PPE foundation and its opportunities for specialisation, our Master's prepares you for a broad range of careers. The programme provides you with the knowledge, insight, and skills to work in organizations as diverse as national or international public administrations, governmental and non‐governmental organizations, private businesses and banks, journalism, think tanks and research institutions.

Our alumni find jobs in the following fields and for the following employers:


(Corporate Social Responsibility) consultancy; strategy consultancy, data science, funding, public affairs.


Government departments, NGOs, embassies, university networks, sustainable investment companies, intergovernmental organizations.

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Potentiële beroepen

csr consultant
policy advisor
strategy consultant
bron: StudieData


Admissions Office (for questions about admission)

For questions about admission

Programme Coordinators Philosophy, Politics And Economics
Janine Weeting MSc

study advisor

Meer informatie?
Bezoek de website van deze opleiding.

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