Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Course summary

The Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics provides rigorous training in three interconnected areas that shape the world around us. You will learn to understand the complex interactions between economic and political factors that affect policy and decision-making in contexts ranging from local communities to international organisations. You will develop skills in political understanding, critical thinking, and economic analysis that are essential for careers in politics and government, entrepreneurship, international development, public service, and many other areas.

What you will study

The program of study includes core subjects in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, plus a Major study focusing on a more extensive set of subjects within one of those three areas.

Through the study of Politics, you will learn the foundations of political theory, the impact of public policy, and the structure and history of politics in Australia. You will learn how political considerations affect international relations and the specific problems that arise in the politics of developing countries. You will also study the role of culture and media in politics, allowing you to situate your understanding in a broader social context.

Studying Philosophy will develop your skills in critical thinking and logical analysis. You will learn how distinct ways of understanding concepts such as justice, fairness, and human rights depend on different assumptions regarding knowledge, ethics, and the nature of mind and the self. You will also learn how fundamental philosophical problems relate to serious practical issues in areas such as mental health, bioethics and climate change.

Economics includes three components: macroeconomics, microeconomics, and quantitative methods. Through these, you will learn to interpret complex economic ideas and assess economic factors that arise in a wide variety of contexts. You will acquire formal skills that are essential in business and financial modelling, and you will study economic history, ensuring that your skills are informed by a broader context.

Finally, a Capstone subject integrates key components from all three disciplines into a coherent package, allowing you to apply your understanding of complex problems to real world scenarios.

Course information

Study area

Arts & Humanities, Business



Course Code




IB Score



3 years (6 sessions) full-time, or part-time equivalent


On Campus



UAC Code


Admission, Key dates, and Fees

A range of admission options are available for students of all ages and academic backgrounds. The procedures governing admission are defined in UOW's Admissions Procedures, and the UOW College Admissions policy.

For any specific advice or questions regarding an application, please contact the Future Students Team.

Recent Secondary Education Admission Criteria These criteria may be used to gain admission to this course for students who are currently in year 12 or have recently completed their secondary education.

Recent secondary education students can gain admission to this course via non-ATAR or ATAR-based options.

NON-ATAR ADMISSION OPTIONS With these options students may be admitted on the basis of criteria other than ATAR.

Non-ATAR admissions at UOW take an individual approach to understanding potential for academic success. Each student is assessed based on key qualities across academic readiness, motivation & passion, planning & persistence, and communication & collaboration.

Early Admission

Students may be admitted to this course via Early Admission (where year 12 students are assessed on a combination of their results so far, and a personal interview with UOW staff).

Students with results indicated below will gain an Early Admissions interview for this course.

ATAR-BASED ADMISSION OPTIONS With these options, students may be admitted on the basis of ATAR or ATAR plus additional criteria (e.g. an audition or individual subject results).

Guaranteed entry selection ranks

The minimum score for guaranteed entry (or for consideration if this course has limited places) is an ATAR Selection Rank of 75 or an IB of 26-27. This includes the effect of ATAR adjustment factors.

Adjustment factors

You may be eligible for additional ATAR points, based on factors such as the subject areas you are studying, the area you live in (catchment), and equity and access schemes. Find out more about UOW's ATAR adjustment factors.

Other Admission Criteria

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION & TRAINING Students who have undertaken vocational education or training since leaving school.

HIGHER EDUCATION STUDY Students who have studied a University course, or completed a bridging or enabling course.

WORK & LIFE EXPERIENCE Students admitted on the basis of previous achievement other than higher education study, vocational education & training, or recent secondary education.


If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for our subjects through prior learning, such as previous tertiary or TAFE qualifications, you may be eligible for credit towards your degree. Where relevant to the UOW degree, specified credit may be given for specific subject(s); where not relevant to the degree, unspecified credit may be awarded.

Click here for more information on UOW's credit transfer arrangements.


Commonwealth supported students are required to pay a student contribution amount towards the cost of their course. The amounts are calculated based on the subject cluster and the Equivalent Full-time Study Load (EFTSL) value of the subject. For information regarding student contribution amounts, please refer to the UOW Current Students website.


Applicants need to have achieved the required score in a qualification equivalent to the completion of 13 years of schooling in Australia.
In order to succeed in your chosen course, it is assumed you have completed relevant subjects in your senior high school studies or other relevant qualifications. This is particularly important for degrees which have a strong basis in Mathematics or Science.


The following level of English is required to gain admission to this program:

English Test

Overall Score





IELTS Academic






TOEFL (Internet-based)






UOW College: English for Tertiary Studies: Pass (weighted average mark of 50 overall and minimum 50 in Academic Reading and Writing)

Other qualifications may also be considered. Full details can be found on our English Language Requirements website.


If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for our subjects through prior learning, such as previous tertiary or TAFE qualifications, you may be eligible for credit towards your degree. Where relevant to the UOW degree, specified credit may be given for specific subject(s); where not relevant to the degree, unspecified credit may be awarded.

Click here for more information on UOW's credit transfer arrangements.


Tuition fees are reviewed annually: fees payable are dependent on the year of commencement and are subject to increase during the period of study.

Overseas Health Cover:
Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) must be purchased for the proposed duration of the student visa. For information regarding the OSHC fees applicable, please refer to the international fees website.






On Campus

$12,408 (2018)

$74,448 (2018)

* Session fee(s) are for one session in 2018. The indicative total course tuition fee shown is an estimate based on normal course length and progression, and the 2018 tuition fee.

Admission Profile



This table shows the breakdown of the applicant background of the student group at UOW for this course. It provides data on students that commenced undergraduate study and continued study beyond the census date at UOW in 2017.

Applicant background

2017 intake

2017 intake (%)

Higher education study Students who have studied a University course, or completed a bridging or enabling course.



Vocational education & training study Students who have undertaken vocational education or training since leaving school.



Recent secondary education

ATAR Only Students admitted only on the basis of ATAR including any applied adjustment factors.



ATAR plus additional criteria Students who were admitted on the basis of both ATAR and additional criteria (e.g. an auditionor individual subject results).



Other criteria only (non-ATAR) These students were admitted on the basis of other criteria where ATAR was not a factor (e.g. UOW Early Admission).



Work & life experience Students admitted on the basis of previous achievement other than higher education study, vocational education & training, or recent secondary education.



International students All other students.



All students



L/N: Low numbers (number of students is less than 5)
N/A: Data not available for this item
N/P: Not published (hidden to prevent calculation of other numbers less than 5)


This table relates to all students selected on the basis of ATAR alone or ATAR in combination with adjustment factors. For more information on adjustment factors commonly available to applicants, see ‘ATAR-based admission’.

ATAR profile of ATAR-based offers in 2017

ATAR The unadjusted, raw ATARs for students offered a place wholly or partly on the basis of ATAR. Selection Rank The ATARs of the same student group, including the impact of adjustment factors.
Highest rank to receive an offer



Median rank to receive an offer



Lowest rank to receive an offer



L/N: Low numbers (less than 5 ATAR-based offers made)
N/A: Data not available for this item
N/P: Not published (less than 25 ATAR-based offers made)

More Information

For more information about UOW admission pathways, see UOW Admission Information.

Key Dates




2018 Autumn


Orientation: 20 - 22 February
Session: 26 February - 21 June

Applications Close

  • Domestic Applicants (UAC): On-time UAC applications close on29 September.
  • Domestic Applicants (Direct):29 September. (Late applications may be accepted where places are available.) On-time direct applicants will be advised of their application outcome by no later than 19 January 2018.
  • International applicants: One week prior to the course commencement date.

2018 Spring


Enrolment & Orientation: 16 July 2018
Session: 23 July - 15 November 2018

Applications Close

International Applicants: 1 June
Domestic Applicants: 29 June
Late applications may be considered if places are available.

Course structure

(Current year structure - subject to change)

Course Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes are statements of learning achievement that are expressed in terms of what the learner is expected to know, understand and be able to do upon completion of a course. Students graduating from this course will be able to demonstrate:

CLO Description
1 Identify and evaluate key methods and concepts in the academic disciplines of Politics, Philosophy and Economics
2 Demonstrate knowledge of the relationships between the disciplines of Politics, Philosophy and Economics and the points at which their key methods and concepts diverge
3 Apply the theories of each discipline to analysis of practical questions and problems
4 Communicate ideas and arguments related to Politics, Philosophy and Economics with diverse audiences and communities
5 Understand, interpret and apply qualitative and quantitative social science research methods in the investigation of political, philosophical and economics issues

Course Structure

To qualify for the award of the degree of Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics a student must complete a total of at least 144 credit points from subjects listed in the Course Structure for the degree and other subjects as approved by the Faculty as outlined in the table below.

Students must complete: Credit Points
The core requirements of the Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (outlined below) 90
Subjects to complete at least one of the three majors in this degree: Politics, Philosophy or Economics (outlined below) 24
Additional credit points of electives from the general schedule to bring the total number of credit points completed to 144 30
Total 144


Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points
COMM121 Statistics for Business 6
PPE 300 Politics, Philosophy and Economics Applied Research Project 12
Politics Core Requirements:
POL 150 Government, Power and Political Systems 6
POL 201 Key Concepts and Thinkers in Political Theory 6
POL 221 Australian Politics 6
POL 304 Power and the State 6
Philosophy Core Requirements:
PHIL107 Introduction to Philosophy 6
PHIL319 Political Philosophy: Justice, Equality and Rights 6
Plus TWO from the following:
PHIL226 Global Ethics 6
PHIL219 Knowledge, Science and Understanding 6
PHIL228 Theories of Emotion and Imagination 6
PHIL304 Great Thinkers 6
PHIL318 Narratives in Mind, Self and Psychosis 6
Economics Core Requirements:
ECON100 Economic Essentials for Business 6
ECON102 Economics and Society 6
ECON305 Economic Policy 6
Plus ONE from the following:
ECON205 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy 6
ECON215 Microeconomic Theory and Policy 6


The discipline of Politics is an exciting, vibrant and constantly changing body of ideas, approaches and methods. The Politics program offers subjects in international relations, Australian politics, political theory, comparative politics, the politics of developing countries, public policy, culture and media. Students are advised to study as broadly as possible across the areas offered by the discipline.

The purpose of the major is to acquaint students with key areas of Politics as a discipline. Political study involves examining the origins and nature of consent, authority, and consensus, which underpin social order. Many factors are covered in this examination; political institutions, political economy, culture, class, gender and ethnicity. Politics can and does occur at many levels, from international relations to the nation state, from local communities to the individual. The study of politics is not just to do with politics in the here and now, but concerns itself with both the past and the future. Whether it is a country being studied, relations between countries, or a body of political ideas, politics engages us with choices about how to live life and how best to contribute to society.

Major Study

To qualify for a major study in Politics, students must complete the core requirements for Politics (24 credit points) within the BPPE and then a further 24 credit points of 200 and 300 level subjects. Subjects are to be selected from the list below, with a minimum of 12 credit points at 300 level.

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points
Politics Electives
POL 202 Politics in the USA 6
POL 204 Politics and the Media 6
POL 345 Politics Internship 6
POL 346 Australian National Internship Program 12
POL 347 UNI-Capitol Washington Internship Program 12
POL 306 Complex Peace Operations 6
POL 308 The Politics of Asian Development 6
POL 309 Global Political Economy 6
POL 310 Twentieth Century Dictatorships 6
POL 311 Politics of the Middle East 6
POL 326 Global Inequality 6
POL 327 Culture and Politics 6
POL 328 Special Topics in Politics 6
Students may include a maximum of TWO electives from the following:
INTS121 Global Politics and Power 6
INTS200 Model United Nations 6
INTS204 Global Aid and Development: Challenges and Prospects 6
INTS207 Conflict, Peace & Security 6
STS 302 Climate Change Policy, Possible Futures 6



Philosophy engages with the most fundamental questions, and puts you into dialogue with the greatest thinkers who have ever tried to answer them. It asks: What is the good life? Is Happiness the main goal of life? How should we treat others and the environment? What makes an action morally good? How should we understand human existence? Do our lives have meaning? How does consciousness fit in nature? What is knowledge? Can we know anything with certainty? Does science aim at truth? What is life? Is artificial life possible? What is social justice? Which rights matter in a fair society? Should the rich help the poor?

By studying philosophy you will improve your analytic reasoning skills, broaden and deepen your understanding of foundational topics, and learn how to respect and value diverse points of view.  You will acquire skills in independent thinking and gain experience in analysing and carefully assessing arguments and ideas.  These are highly marketable graduate qualities, sought after by employers.

Major areas of study at UOW include: ethics; phenomenology and existentialism; metaphysics; philosophy of mind; philosophy of language; philosophy of science; political philosophy and theory of knowledge.

Major Study

For a major study in Philosophy, students must complete the core requirements for Philosophy (24 credit points) plus an additional 24 credit points of 200 and 300 level subjects. Subjects are to be selected from the table below, and the following conditions are to be met.


Students electing to do a major in Philosophy must complete PHIL107 (Introduction to Philosophy), PHIL218 (Ethics: Good, Bad and Evil), PHIL219 (Knowledge, Science and Understanding) and PHIL304 (Great Thinkers).

Students may have completed PHIL219 (Knowledge, Science and Understanding) and/or PHIL304 (Great Thinkers) under the core requirements for BPPE for Philosophy. Students who have not completed either or both of these subjects under the core requirements for BPPE for Philosophy will need to complete the subject(s) they have not yet undertaken as part of their major.

To meet major requirements, students must complete 24 credit points at 300 level.

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points
Philosophy Electives
PHIL218 Ethics: Good, Bad and Evil 6
PHIL227 The Meaning of Life: Absurdity and Existence 6
PHIL234 Mind, Body and World 6
PHIL235 International Studies in Philosophy 6
PHIL256 Environmental Philosophy: Animals, Nature and Ethics 6
PHIL320 Philosophy of Health and Happiness 6
PHIL326 Bioethics 6



Economics provides an understanding of the operation of the economy at macro and micro levels. These include modern business, health care, the environment, the labour market, national economic policy and international monetary issues. You will learn general principles and tools which can be applied to a wide range of issues affecting the national and international economy. You will discuss the big issues including unemployment, the level of national debt, the existence of poverty and the problems confronting developing countries. You will study the three major components of Economics:

Macroeconomics, which focuses on the way the whole economy functions, examining issues such as economic growth, unemployment and interest rates.

Microeconomics, which focuses on the behaviour of individual components of the whole economy, such as consumers, companies, trade unions, employers' associations and the various levels of government.

Quantitative Methods, which focuses on quantitative and mathematical techniques and their application to business economics.

Major Study

Students electing to do a major in Economics must complete ECON205 (Macroeconomic Theory and Policy) and ECON215 (Microeconomic Theory and Policy). Students will have completed either ECON205 or ECON215 as part of the core requirements for BPPE for Economics. As a requirement of the major, they will need to complete the subject they have not yet undertaken.

Students must complete a further 24 credit points of 200 and 300 level Economics subjects as listed below.

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points
Choose ONE from the following (not already taken):
ECON205 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy 6
ECON215 Microeconomic Theory and Policy 6
Plus ONE from the following:
ECON222 Mathematics for Business 6
ECON339 Applied Financial Modelling 6
Plus ONE from the following:
ECON316 History of Economic Thought 6
ECON304 The Historical Foundations of the Modern Australian Economy 6
Plus a further 6cp 300-level Economics subject


Click on subject codes in the above course structure for information on sessions of offer for each subject.

To find out specific information on timetables, tutorials, and classes, visit the Timetable page.

Work Integrated Learning

Undertaking a work integrated learning (WIL) experience during your university education is now a significant contributor to being competitive in securing employment in your field of choice when you graduate from UOW.

Students in the Politics Major can apply to the Discipline Leader to complete an Internship under the subjects POL 345, POL 346, or POL 347 .

POL 345, Politics Internship, enables students to undertake internships in relevant political offices in the Illawarra or Sydney attached to the office of an elected politician, or working within a part of government bureaucracy. Students will undertake duties as directed by their supervisor in that institution.

POL 346, Australian National Internship Program (ANIP), is highly competitive and by application to the ANU. If selected students will undertake two months or more full-time work in as a parliamentary intern based in the offices of Members of Parliament and Senators and engaging with a range of activities that shape national policy-making. Placements in the Public Service or other agencies are also possible. Enrolment in POL346 is conditional on being selected for the ANIP.

POL 347, Uni-Capitol Washington Internship Program (UCWIP), provides interns with a unique perspective of the US political system and institutions over a two-month placement. In-office experiences will vary widely according to the needs of the congressional hosts but will typically include administrative functions, constituent liaison and legislative research and support. Interns are encouraged to attend hearings, briefings and press conferences both on and off Capitol Hill in addition to the UCWIP-organised briefings at the US State Department and the Australian Embassy.

For students in other majors, The Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts internship program provides students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their degree in a workplace setting.

Students are also encouraged to consider CRLP200 (6cp). CRLP200 includes a quality assured workplace internship or industry project to give you that competitive edge by developing your professional skills through authentic learning in a real world context. You will focus on your career goals and receive career direction guidance, strengthen your resume and gain skills to navigate the rapidly changing world of work, develop your communication skills and begin to build a professional network.

Dean's Scholar Degree

In January of each year, the Faculty invites applications from high achieving students to apply to transfer into the Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Dean's Scholar) Degree.

Selection Criteria

To be eligible to apply for a place in the Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Dean's Scholar) Degree, applicants would normally meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled in the BPPE, BA (Course Code 702) or any other degree;
  • Full-time student;
  • Have successfully completed two full sessions of study or 8 subjects;
  • Have a WAM (weighted average mark) of at least 82.

 For more information including the full list of Dean's Scholar Degrees and how to apply online, visit the LHA Dean's Scholar website. 


See Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Honours). For Honours in Economics please see the Discipline Leader, Economics, by the end of your second year.


Course Handbook

(Current year structure - subject to change)

Why choose this course

Studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at UOW allows you to combine three vibrant areas into a program of study tailored specifically to your own interests. The combination of core subjects and electives in all three areas allows for a diverse range of specialisations, enabling you to take advantage of UOW faculty members with expertise in areas of study that are most important to you.
UOW faculty members in Politics, Philosophy and Economics conduct world-class research exploring topics in a wide range of areas including international aid and development, the nature of international conflict, economic history, the impact of global climate change, concepts of health and illness, and the cultural significance of technology. We have a strong commitment to developing graduates with the robust skills needed to pursue careers in a rapidly changing world.

Awards and Rankings

The Federal Government’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) 2017 ranked UOW the best university in NSW and the ACT for Business and Management, and Humanities, Culture and Social Sciences.

UOW is also rated in the top 200 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 for Accounting and Finance, and Business and Management Studies.



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