Welcome from the PPE Programme Director

Dr Nick Turnbull

It is with great pleasure that I commence my new role as PPE Programme Director at The University of Manchester. In my view, our PPE students are the best students in the School and I’m delighted to be working with you over the next few years.

PPE is a unique degree programme, and Manchester’s PPE is equal to the top programmes in the country.  The broad basis of the PPE degree gives students the skills to take up the highest positions in government and commercial firms. 

In Politics, students learn about the operation of power in public life and the mechanisms of public policy formation. They develop a critical understanding of the behaviour of local and national governments, and international agencies.

In Philosophy, students develop in-depth analytical skills, including the ability to evaluate and construct complex logical arguments.

In Economics, they develop an understanding of the economy and obtain skills in quantitative analysis. This is essential knowledge for employment across the public and private sectors.

Combined, the PPE degree produces smart, skilled, adaptable and worldly graduates, ready to apply critical thinking to the most pressing problems of society.

Increasingly, we have international students enrolling in our PPE programme because they also recognise its high standing and elite level of training.

Students at Manchester are also very lucky to be members of the PPE Society, one of the most active student groups on campus. The Society is a highly visible presence and champion of the programme.

This is a great time to be studying social science in the UK. Economic upheaval and clashes of political power are taking place in the UK, across Europe, and in the world system. With Brexit, we are at the centre of these changes and it will be fascinating to see how events transpire over the coming years.

My own research focuses on public policy and political rhetoric. I aim to understand how the practice of political communication is changing in these changing times, and to understand whether political discourse and public policy processes are up to the task of meeting our challenges.

I look forward to discussing these questions with you in class and supporting you over the course of your studies at the University of Manchester.

Nick Turnbull

Politics, School of Social Sciences

Web: https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/en/researchers/nicholas-turnbull(9b86290d-3e1c-4af9-81c8-dee706dd5ab1).html

The PPE Society

The PPE Society's purpose is to help guide students on the course through all aspects of university life. We are mainly a social organisation, creating networks between students and arranging events to meet like-minded and interesting people. The society is involved in holding a number of talks geared towards the benefit of PPE students in particular, such as careers talks and seminars held by university as well as external academics about the relevance of studying PPE.

We also organise help-sessions for first years to aid them in signing up for modules and tutorials, and on how to use the MyManchester Student System. Every year we sell personalised PPE hoodies, the designs of which change every year. We will be selling them early in the semester.

Membership to the society is free. Each PPE student has to sign up to the society yearly, and this will be organised at the beginning of the academic year. It is crucial that you sign up at the beginning of each year as we receive funding for the society from the Student Union for every student.

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Course Overview

The Politics, Philosophy and Economics course is a diverse, flexible and stimulating course for students interested in the contextual links between three contemporary and relevant subjects. Students enjoy a wide range of material taught by leading social scientists here at Manchester. They are encouraged to debate, think critically and develop valuable skills that will continue to help them throughout their careers and lives.

The PPE Society maintains relationships with the School of Social Sciences, electing academic representatives to give feedback about modules, press for changes and keep the course as successful and vibrant as it has been in the past.

Information about the wide range of exciting modules for PPE students can study can be found on MyManchester.


As well hosting a variety of socials, the PPE Society will also be looking to organise academic events especially for PPE students on and off campus. These range from essay workshops held by members of staff in different disciplines to trips to different universities. 

It is important for students to understand what internship and placement opportunities are available and this can be a bit daunting at times, especially for first years. Over the year, the society hopes to hold a variety of talks, inviting staff from the university – such as the Careers Service – to offer advice and information on how to go about applying for internships and other career related advice.

We also hope to invite Allen and Overy LLP, our sponsors, to the campus to talk to PPE students about the internships and opportunities that they offer. There are many other PPE related professions, and the best way to get your foot in the door may not be obvious, but by inviting professionals who work in those careers it will help us to understand the ins and outs that will benefit us in the future. 

The PPE Society is closely affiliated with other academic societies such as the Challenging Orthodoxies Society and Liberty League, as many PPE students are actively involved with them. They host a variety of intellectually stimulating events throughout the year, which the PPE Society encourages its students to attend.

Your PPE Family

The PPE Peer Mentoring Scheme makes sure that all first year students have a 'family' made up of other first years and two or three second or third year 'parents', who are there to help you if you have any questions or problems about the course or uni life in general. Mentors are there to help you with a wide range of issues; social, academic or anything else that’s troubling you. Keep in contact and do not hesitate to ask them for help if you are in need.

There are three peer mentor coordinators, Elwy, Harriet and Clodagh, who are in charge of assigning mentors to all the first years. All 'Parents' have undergone Peer Mentoring training on how best to assist and support first years regarding key issues that affect most first year students. Also, they have all volunteered, so even if you just want to chat, they would be happy to help.