Hey, my name is Michael, and I’m a 3rd-Year Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) student in Vanbrugh College. Studying PPE has allowed me to develop skills in multiple areas, make lots of friends, and have plenty of fun!
Three subject areas
As a member of the School of Philosophy, Politics and Economics, I take modules in three different subject areas. Each subject focuses on developing different skills:
- Economics is more analytical, and requires more maths-y abilities.
- Philosophy involves a lot more critical analysis, looking at ideas and how different sides of an argument are justified.
- Politics looks at the practicalities of implementing the ideas discussed.
But these areas are all intertwined, and can overlap at times.
The PPE student community
As a student of three subjects, I connect with a lot of different people. When you join the School of PPE at York, you automatically become a member of EconSoc, PhilSoc and PolSoc, which sets you up to make friends in different places.
I love the community spirit in the School. At most universities, studying PPE means you’re put in one of the constituent departments, and are assigned supervisor/s from that department. This means, when you have queries about the other two subjects, you might not be able to get the help you need.
At York, your supervisor is chosen due to the interdisciplinary nature of their research. I know I can ask my supervisor about the three different subjects, and still get the help I need.
Each year group also has an elected Course Representative and Department Representative, who bring your concerns to the termly Board of Studies meeting. I’m the Course Representative for my year, and have been for each year of my study. Getting involved in discussions about how to improve the course for future students has been a major part of my degree!
Club of PEP
Finally, there’s the Club of PEP, a society which represents every student studying PPE, or any dual combination of the three subjects. I’ve been elected Treasurer for the Club of PEP each year, so I’m very much involved with the society’s running. I loved helping to organise our trips to Dublin and Budapest.
When you first arrive at university, you’re assigned ‘PEP Parents’ – 2nd and 3rd Years who help you to settle in, and answer any questions you might have. I found it really helpful to have a friendly face (who’s not a lecturer) to help you out. Plus, as they were in your shoes not long ago, they know first-hand any problems you may face in your course.
It’s not all work and no play
Away from the academic side, the Club of PEP also runs socials for its members. There’s an annual Freshers’ Ball, which is the first chance for students to enjoy a formal. It’s also a great opportunity to find out where the good clubs are, if you fancy a boogie afterwards!
As I touched on before, we run an annual trip abroad in the Spring Term. Our most recent trips have been to Dublin, Berlin, Madrid and Amsterdam. This year, we’re heading to Budapest!
But if you fancy staying a bit closer to home, we also run a 12-hour ball! This is like a slightly boozy marathon, where attendees have dinner and then breakfast at the Hilton – with clubbing in between! Only brave souls finish this event!
Of course, the Club of PEP and the wider School welcome students who would prefer not to drink, through all sorts of opportunities to meet students and get involved in student life. For something a bit more chill, the new Club committee run a joint barbecue event with the Economics Society in the summer.
Last drop of advice
I urge anyone who is thinking of PPE at York to get involved with the Club of PEP! I’ve loved my time at York, and my extracurricular activities have been a huge part of that.