‘Ministerial’ degree equips philosophers for job market

Soon it will be possible to take a ‘ministerial’ degree in Lund. Next autumn, the departments of Philosophy, Political Science and Economics will be starting a Bachelor’s degree in Practical Philosophy, Politics and Economics – PPE. The role model for the programme is a degree given at Oxford University, and it is reputed that several British ministers hold a PPE degree from that institution

Political Science and Economics already have established collaboration on the undergraduate programme in Politics and Economics, but the collaboration is now being expanded to include the humanities. The initiative for the interdisciplinary PPE degree came from Professor of Practical Philosophy Wlodek Rabinowicz.

In various other countries, philosophy degrees are highly regarded in politics, public administration and business, but Sweden does not have the same tradition.

“We hope that a degree in PPE, which is a strong international title, will equip philosophy specialists in particular for employment abroad as well as in Sweden”, said David Alm, senior lecturer in practical philosophy, who has been involved in the design and validation of the new degree programme.

The PPE programme is three years. The first three semesters cover courses in practical philosophy, political science and economics. In the fourth semester the subjects are brought together on a course at the Department of Philosophy, with lecturers from all the subjects. The degree project also involves integrating perspectives and supervisors will come from all three subjects.

PPE degrees are offered at many universities, not only Oxford, including at Stockholm University, although the three subjects are not as integrated there as they will be in Lund, according to David Alm. PPE is a well-established title that is expected to open doors to careers in many fields including politics.

“I don’t know whether it’s myth or reality that British ministers often have a PPE degree from Oxford. Regardless, the ability to analyse and argue is useful in many professions. And of course, anyone aiming to become a new Fredrik Reinfeldt or Peter Honeth is welcome to study PPE here in Lund!” said David Alm.

BRITTA COLLBERG