The Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) degree is available as a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Social Science degree. It offers students the full range of the discipline's areas and approaches, with a range of carefully chosen related subjects.

This degree for the student wants to have a broad grasp of internationally applicable economic science and the political and moral contexts in which it is applied.

This programme places a unique focus on the special economic, political and ethical aspects of the private sector and public sector policy formation in the age of accelerating commercial and informational globalisation. This degree seeks to prepare 'citizens of the world' with skills applicable to a broad range of challenging careers.

Who would be interested in this programme?

This programme is designed to open a variety of career opportunities. Students interested in formulating economic policy, taking account of the implications of such policies for the political and ethical governance of the world, will find this the ideal degree programme in South Africa. A person interested in a career as an international trade diplomat or an international trade expert in the private sector should consider studying PPE through the Faculty of Commerce degree programme. All PPE graduates who obtain adequate grades, regardless of Faculty, will have the basic qualification for further study in Economics or Political Economy at UCT, elsewhere in South Africa, and worldwide.

What are the career opportunities?

Graduates will obtain an excellent first degree which, especially if capped with an Honours and/or Masters degree in PPE, Economics, or another related discipline, will be a sound basis from which to seek a career in senior policy-making in either the private or public sectors, particularly concerning policy challenges raised by globalisation. It is also an ideal beginning for a student who aspires to a career as an international trade diplomat or private/public sector trade policy analyst. Graduates intending to go on to further formal studies will also be qualified to train as professional economists.

What are the possibilities for further study at the postgraduate level?

Graduates will be eligible to apply for the MPhil PPE programme or postgraduate PPE programmes abroad. Depending on a student's choice of subjects, they may also be eligible for postgraduate study in Economics, Political Science or Philosophy. The PPE degree carries full international recognition because of its carefully designed content, which makes it complementary to similar programmes abroad. For students who wish to formulate policy, rather than merely carry out policies made by others, no programme currently available in South Africa competes with UCT's PPE degree.

Important Notes:

  • Courses will not be double-counted, and pre-requisites must be met.
  • Students who wish to study towards an honours degree in economics must complete ECO3021S.

For more information on the courses, please refer to the Commerce Undergraduate Handbook

For information on applying to UCT, admission requirements, National Benchmark Tests, and key dates, please consult UCT’s Undergraduate Prospectus