Witten/Herdecke University

    PPE - Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (B.A.)

    Witten students organizing a PPE conference
    Witten students organizing a PPE conference
    PPE (B.A.) modules
    PPE (B.A.) modules
    PPE (B.A.) structure and course content
    PPE (B.A.) structure and course content
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    THE degree programme for creative minds

    If you aim at assuming responsibility in business, politics and society, the interdisciplinary Bachelor degree programme "Philosophy, Politics, and Economics" (PPE) is the ideal basis for starting off. If we want to comprehend and proactively shape the present and future social reality, we need to make sense of the games played in today’s philosophical, political and economic arena. In order to figure out these games, we must know the players and, even more importantly, the rules of the game in all their facets. Thus, the focus of the degree programme is on economic and political institutions (the rules) and organizations (the players).

    If, for example, the member states of the UN Climate Change Conference (the players) decide on new rules for climate protection in 2015, we do not only need to know the effects on the environment but also the effects on the economy. Likewise, if the British (the players) vote for BREXIT because they do not want to follow the rules of the European Union (a further player) any longer, then we should be aware of these rules – and be able to estimate the effects.

    Our approach of looking at things from various perspectives and applying a wide variety of methods will enable you to take a major step forward in scientific research and in your professional life, for you will have learned how to think in integrative and transdisciplinary contexts.

    Multiple perspectives

    Major societal challenges – such as recurring financial and economic crises, mass migration or climate change – are complex phenomena requiring complex answers. Understanding solely the relevant economic or political correlations is therefore not enough to analyze these issues and find appropriate solutions. Economics and politics are two disciplines belonging together, thus requiring an integrative perspective which is ideally reflected and complemented by philosophy as the third discipline.

    The interdisciplinary degree programme is co-designed with the Faculty of Humanities and Arts and combines the development of competences in philosophy, politics and economics with the conveyance of profound analytical and problem-solving skills.

    Studying PPE (B.A.) at Witten/Herdecke University means learning that it is easier to analyze and solve real problems from different perspectives rather than looking at them from one angle only. The degree programme’s core course therefore combines the three disciplines philosophy, politics, and economics with varying foci, such as "Migration", "Terrorism" or the "Ukraine Conflict".

    International double degree programme Victoria/Canada

    PPE students being particularly qualified have the opportunity to participate in a double degree programme in collaboration with the University of Victoria. After four semesters in Witten and four to five semesters in Canada you will be awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. For more information, see list of downloads.

    Professional perspectives: Training plus education!

    PPE (B.A.) graduates usually assume managerial responsibilities in public administration, organizations, associations, foundations, NGOs or think tanks. Alternatively, you may pursue advanced Master degree programmes in politics, economics or philosophy: The PPE (B.A.) provides you with the necessary methodology and knowledge.

    However, PPE offers more than just a first academic degree - it aims at providing you with the skill of translating your creative mind into solution-oriented, responsible action.

    Marla Hinkenhuis, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (B.A.) student
    Studying PPE means viewing humans and their world from more than one angle. We expand our view by the perspectives of all three disciplines and combine the different viewpoints to reach a comprehensive understanding. This understanding serves as a basis for choosing our own foci at Witten/Herdecke University, where we enjoy great freedom in organizing our studies.
    Marla Hinkenhuis, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (B.A.) student
    Philip Kuck, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (B.A.) student
    PPE as an interdisciplinary degree demands from students to set foci during their studies. Working for DEG has helped me find my focus in development (economics). I was able to apply the knowledge acquired at Witten/Herdecke University; to reflect on concepts, ideas and techniques in a practical sense outside of academia.
    Philip Kuck, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (B.A.) student
    Leonie Weber, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (B.A.) student
    In my opinion, PPE is rather an attitude than a degree programme. It’s about finding the courage to escape from given conventions and to question preset patterns and rules when they are inconclusive.
    Leonie Weber, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (B.A.) student
    Hon.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Mayer, Director, Floßbach-Von Storch Research Institute
    Our courses are designed not only to convey expertise but to promote a thorough understanding of the subject matter. Participants learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. Graduates know how to employ the acquired knowledge with confidence in practice.
    Hon.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Mayer, Director, Floßbach-Von Storch Research Institute
    Cornelius Thor, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft DEG-KFW
    As an internationally operating institution at the interface of politics, markets and economies, we are looking for people with a sure grip on, and an excellent understanding of, the problems and challenges of today's connected and interconnected world. From our point of view, a bachelor degree in PPE at Witten/Herdecke University is an excellent preparation for any leadership position in international politics, business or economics.
    Cornelius Thor, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft DEG-KFW
    Lukas Miggo, PPE (B.A.) graduate and Management (M.A.) student
    For me, the Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics is a perfect blend of theory and practice, combining the academic content of all three disciplines. The interlinked and 'outside the box' concept of the programme can easily be transferred to social and entrepreneurial projects and I have discovered my passion for this concept.
    Lukas Miggo, PPE (B.A.) graduate and Management (M.A.) student
    Dr. Karen Horn, Author, Journalist and Lecturer in History of Economic Thought
    Having participated in the 1st Witten Conference on Institutional Change, I can say that Witten is a place with an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity, open-mindedness and community spirit that you don’t find at many other universities. I’m greatly looking forward to teaching a module on the relationship between liberalism and conservatism in what I think to be one of the world’s finest PPE programmes.
    Dr. Karen Horn, Author, Journalist and Lecturer in History of Economic Thought
    The common core
    Elective modules
    Compulsory modules
    Compulsory elective modules
    Elective modules

    Studium fundamentale or fundamental studies is the interdisciplinary core curriculum of each degree programme at Witten/Herdecke University: Once per week students of all disciplines meet for seminars on a wide range of topics from arts and culture or engage in creative exercises. Fundamental studies promote new insights, a view beyond boundaries and critical scrutiny of apparently self-evident truths. The course selection is unrestricted.

    Three fields of competence are addressed within Studium fundamentale:

    (a) The field of reflexive competence serves to train systematic thought and discrimination by conveying basic theoretical and methodological knowledge beyond one’s own discipline. In addition, students discuss current national, European and international policy issues.

    (b) The field of communicative competence helps practice communicative techniques and strategies being appropriate for specific subjects and speech situations. This training ranges from vocal training to group communication as well as from direct interaction to virtual communication.
    (c) The field of artistic competence offers ample opportunity to test and expand artistic potential inherent in fine arts, music, dance and theatre. The arts invite students to explore their cognitive and physical potential in order to view the world from a perspective different from the scientific one.

    Students at Witten/Herdecke University organize their financial contributions to the tuition fees by themselves. In 1995 students designed the Reverse Generational Contract in order to enable students to study regardless of their financial background. To date, they design the contract independently within the StudierendenGesellschaft (SG) which, together with UW/H, guarantees that personality and talent are the decisive factors for access to higher education – not the financial background.

    As the amount of the financial contributions exclusively depends on the income of our graduates, they reflect the prospective income of students and create a high level of mutual responsibility.

    • Transdisciplinary approach
    • Subject competence in philosophy, politics, and economics
    • Excellent student-teacher ratio
    • Interactive studies in small groups
    • Double degree programme in collaboration with the University of Victoria, Canada
    • Numerous career prospects in economics
    • Interface modules: politics/economics, philosophy/politics, economics/philosophy
    • Real issue analysis in the core course
    • Opportunities for specialization in philosophy, politics or economics
    • Close contacts to political and economic institutions
    • Prospects for advancement and career options in enterprises, associations and NGOs
    • Basis for advanced Master degree programmes in economics and political science
    • Encouragement of study periods abroad
    • Supportive environment where you can set your own focus
    • It’s your personality that counts – unrestricted admission (no numerus clausus)
    • Winter semester: October 1
    • Summer semester: April 1
    Deadline for applications  
    • January 31 (Early Bird November 15) for the summer semester
    • June 30 (Early Bird May 15) for the winter semester
    Duration and scope 180 credits within 6 semesters
    Academic degree Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) or double degree programme
    Form of studies First academic degree qualifying for a profession
    Language German and English
    Stay abroad voluntary
    Size of courses about 25 students
    Application Online application and personal selection procedure
    Application fee No application fee for the winter semester 2020/21
    Our students are your guides on your Taster Day
    Application deadlines

    You can apply for a place to study all year round. However, please pay attention to the application deadlines for the respective semesters:

    • 30 January for the summer semester / early bird deadline: 15 November
    • 31 July for the winter semester / early bird deadline: 15 May
    Current selection dates
    Application documents
    Personal selection procedure
    Your contact for the application process
    Christiane Weber
    Your contact for the application process

    Christiane Weber

    Fakultät für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft

    Academic course convener
    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dirk Sauerland
    Academic course convener

    Univ.-Prof. Dr.
    Dirk Sauerland

    Fakultät für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Department für Philosophie, Politik und Ökonomik)
    Lehrstuhl für Institutionenökonomik und Gesundheitspolitik

    Phone: +49 (0)2302 / 926-574

    E-Mail: Dirk.Sauerland@uni-wh.de

    E-Mail: Send e-mail now

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    Die Universität Witten/Herdecke ist durch das NRW-Wissenschaftsministerium unbefristet staatlich anerkannt und wird – sowohl als Institution wie auch für ihre einzelnen Studiengänge – regelmäßig akkreditiert durch: