Yearbooks

Programme: BSocSci (Philosophy, Politics and Economics)

Code Faculty Department
01130056 Faculty of Humanities Department: Philosophy
Credits Duration NQF level SAQA ID
Minimum duration of study: 3 years Total credits: 432 NQF level:  07 SAQA ID:  12127

Programme information

The purpose of this programme is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge and analytical understanding of contemporary political and economic issues. All three disciplines – political science, philosophy, and economics – focus on the social world and social phenomena, each from a different perspective. Economics focuses on the production of goods (why, how, and what is produced) and the consequences of such production to society (who benefits). Political Science focuses on political processes and governance issues such as decision-making. Philosophy equips students with analytical reasoning skills necessary to understand and solve complex moral problems related to economic and political decision-making. The result of combining these perspectives is that students are equipped with an understanding of the moral issues influencing human agency in economic and political contexts. A PPE qualification is an internationally recognised ‘brand’, respected for its rigorous training, that immediately gives students entrance into a variety of careers related to economic or political policy making, from journalism to diplomatic service. This qualification will enable students, once they are employed in the public or private sector, to respond in a sensitive, rational, and innovative manner to moral problems and challenges within their politico-economic context.

Admission requirements

Important information for all prospective students for 2022

  • The admission requirements apply to students who apply for admission to the University of Pretoria with a National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Independent Examination Board (IEB) qualifications.
  • Applicants with qualifications other than the abovementioned should refer to:
    • Brochure: Undergraduate Programme Information 2022: Qualifications other than the NSC and IEB, available at click here.
  • Citizens from countries other than South Africa (applicants who are not South African citizens) should also refer to:
  • School of Tomorrow (SOT), Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) and General Education Development Test (GED): The University of Pretoria no longer accepts qualifications awarded by these institutions.
  • National Certificate (Vocational) (NCV) Level 4: The University of Pretoria may consider NCV candidates, provided they meet the exemption for bachelor’s status criteria and the programme requirements.

Transferring students

A transferring student is a student who, at the time of application for a degree programme at the University of Pretoria (UP) –

  • is a registered student at another tertiary institution, or was previously registered at another tertiary institution and did not complete the programme enrolled for at that institution, and is not currently enrolled at a tertiary institution, or has completed studies at another tertiary institution, but is not currently enrolled at a tertiary institution, or has started with tertiary studies at UP, then moved to another tertiary institution and wants to be readmitted at UP.

A transferring student will be considered for admission based on

  • an NSC or equivalent qualification with exemption to bachelor’s or diploma studies (whichever is applicable); and meeting the minimum faculty-specific subject requirements at NSC or tertiary level; or having completed a higher certificate at a tertiary institution with faculty-specific subjects/modules passed (equal to or more than 50%), as well as complying with faculty rules on admission;
  • previous academic performance (must have passed all modules registered for up to the closing date of application ) or as per faculty regulation/promotion requirements;
  • a certificate of good conduct.

Note: Students who have been dismissed at the previous institution due to poor academic performance, will not be considered for admission to UP.

Returning students

A returning student is a student who, at the time of application for a degree programme –

  • is a registered student at UP, and wants to transfer to another degree at UP, or was previously registered at UP and did not complete the programme enrolled for, and did not enrol at another tertiary institution in the meantime (including students who applied for leave of absence), or has completed studies at UP, but is not currently enrolled or was not enrolled at another tertiary institution after graduation.

A returning student will be considered for admission based on

  • an NSC or equivalent qualification with exemption to bachelor’s or diploma studies (whichever is applicable); and meeting the minimum faculty-specific subject requirements at NSC or tertiary level; or previous academic performance (should have a cumulative weighted average of at least 50% for the programme enrolled for);
  • having applied for and was granted leave of absence.

Note: Students who have been excluded/dismissed from a faculty due to poor academic performance may be considered for admission to another programme at UP.  The Admissions Committee may consider such students if they were not dismissed more than twice. Only ONE transfer between UP faculties will be allowed, and a maximum of two (2) transfers within a faculty.

Important faculty-specific information on undergraduate programmes for 2022

  • The closing date is an administrative admission guideline for non-selection programmes. Once a non-selection programme is full and has reached the institutional targets, then that programme will be closed for further admissions, irrespective of the closing date. However, if the institutional targets have not been met by the closing date, then that programme will remain open for admissions until the institutional targets are met. 
  • Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the APS. 
  • Faculty Yearbooks: click here
  • All modules (excluding foreign language modules) will only be presented in English, as English is the language of tuition, communication and correspondence. 

1. You will be considered for conditional admission if space allows, and if you:

  • are a Grade 11 applicant (with an APS of 32 or more excluding Life Orientation), please submit your final Grade 11 examination results, and have a National Senior Certificate (NSC) with university endorsement or an equivalent qualification; OR
  • are transferring from other recognised institutions to the University of Pretoria; OR
  • are a graduate or have graduate status from another recognised tertiary institution; OR
  • are a graduate of another Faculty at the University of Pretoria; AND 
  • comply with the minimum subject requirements and achievement levels, as well as the APS requirements of specific programmes.

If you are an applicant from a country other than South Africa, please apply for conditional admission based on your final results equivalent to Grade 11. Final admission is based on the qualification equivalent to the NSC.

2. You will be considered for final admission to degree studies if space allows, and if you:

  • have a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or equivalent qualification with admission to bachelor’s degree studies, and comply with the minimum subject requirements as well as the APS requirements of your chosen programme; OR
  • are a student transferring from another recognised tertiary institution and comply with the programme requirements; OR
  • have graduate status from another recognised tertiary institution or are a graduate of another Faculty at the University of Pretoria.

If you are a citizen from a country other than South Africa or are a student with other qualifications equivalent to the NSC (including school qualifications from other countries, eg Spain, New Zealand, etc), you must obtain a Complete Exemption Certificate or a Foreign Conditional Exemption Certificate based on your international (‘foreign’) qualifications. Certificates can only be obtained from Universities South Africa (USAf) at click here. In addition, these candidates must meet the relevant programme admission requirements.

University of Pretoria website: click here

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

APS

(Grade 11)

APS

(NSC/IEB completed)

5

5

32

32

* To retain admission, you must obtain an APS of at least 32 in the NSC.

* Students interested in the BSocSci(PPE) programme not complying with the 5 in Mathematics for the programme, but with an APS of 32, a 4 in Mathematics and a 5 in English, may be admitted into another degree for first year. If they register for STK 113 and 123 in their first year of study, and they pass each of these with 60%, they will however then have the option to apply for an internal transfer to the BSocSci(PPE) in their second year of study. 

Other programme-specific information

 

  • The ALL modules are excluded due to the high AP Score (32) required.
  • Students who consider doing an honours degree in Economics should consult the student administration of EMS to determine which additional modules they should include in their study programme in order to meet the entry requirements for BComHons in Economics.

Minimum credits: 120

Elective modules: Year 1
It is compulsory that students also select, in addition to the subjects on the fixed curriculum, any TWO semester modules (one per semester) from the same discipline at year level 1 to the credit value of at least 20 credits (if selected from Economic and Management Sciences) or 24 credits (if selected from Humanities).

Statistics Modules

  1. Students who achieved level 5 in Mathematics at Matric level:
  • STK 110 and STC 122 are compulsory.
  • Students are required to pass STK 110 at 60% in order to continue with STC 122.
  1. Transferring students who achieved level 4 in Mathematics at Matric level and have passed STK 113 and 123 with 60% on each module:
  • STK 121 and STC 122 are compulsory.
  • Students are required to pass STK 121 at 60% in order to continue with STC 122.

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module content:

    This module deals with the core principles of economics. A distinction between macroeconomics and microeconomics is made. A discussion of the market system and circular flow of goods, services and money is followed by a section dealing with microeconomic principles, including demand and supply analysis, consumer behaviour and utility maximisation, production and the costs thereof, and the different market models and firm behaviour. Labour market institutions and issues, wage determination, as well as income inequality and poverty are also addressed. A section of money, banking, interest rates and monetary policy concludes the course.

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  • Module content:

    This module deals with the core principles of economics, especially macroeconomic measurement the private and public sectors of the South African economy receive attention, while basic macroeconomic relationships and the measurement of domestic output and national income are discussed. Aggregate demand and supply analysis stands core to this course which is also used to introduce students to the analysis of economic growth, unemployment and inflation. The microeconomics of government is addressed in a separate section, followed by a section on international economics, focusing on international trade, exchange rates and the balance of payments. The economics of developing countries and South Africa in the global economy conclude the course.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to Philosophy

    The two semester modules at first-year level introduce students to four main subfields of philosophy, namely metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy and ethics. This module introduces students to two of these subfields, namely epistemology and metaphysics with reference to the work of a range of scholars from Africa and the rest of the Global South as well as from Asia and the West. Students will become acquainted with the nature of philosophical reflection by exploring a number of classical philosophical themes in each subfield. Throughout the module there is an emphasis on developing those critical thinking, reading and writing skills that are required in Philosophy, while students become acquainted with the power of critique as judgment and discernment.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to Philosophy

    The two semester modules at first-year level introduce students to four main subfields of philosophy, namely metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy and ethics. This module introduces students to two of these subfields, namely political philosophy and ethics and the emphasis is on texts by African and Western scholars. Students will become acquainted with the nature of philosophical reflection by exploring a number of classical philosophical themes in each subfield. Throughout the module there is an emphasis on developing those critical thinking, reading and writing skills that are required in Philosophy, while students become acquainted with the power of critique as judgment and discernment.

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  • Module content:

    An introduction to the study of organised political society at national and international levels with specific reference to political concepts, approaches and methods. The emphasis is on state and governance as frameworks for analysis in light of the salient changes brought about at national and international levels by globalisation. Attention is paid to the corresponding dynamics of regime development, performance and change at national and international levels considering increasing challenges to national sovereignty from within and without states in a context of a growing global agenda dealing with transnational issues and challenges, such as the environment, human rights, development and humanitarian intervention.

     

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  • Module content:

    Inferential concepts. Experimental and observational data. Measures of association, uncertainty and goodness of fit. Sampling error and accuracy of estimation. Introduction to linear regression, reduction of variation due to regression. Conditional distributions of residuals.  Simulation based inference: conditional means and prediction intervals. Bivariate data visualisation. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.
    This module is also presented as a summer school for students who initially elected and passed STK 120 with a final mark of at least 60% and then decides to further their studies in statistics as well as for students who achieved a final mark of between 40% - 49% in STC 122 during semester 2.

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  • Module content:

    Descriptive statistics:
    Sampling and the collection of data; frequency distributions and graphical representations. Descriptive measures of location and dispersion.
    Probability and inference:
    Introductory probability theory and theoretical distributions. Sampling distributions. Estimation theory and hypothesis testing of sampling averages and proportions (one and two-sample cases). Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Students can only get credit for one of the following two modules: STK 120 or STK 121.
    Analysis of variance, categorical data analysis, distribution-free methods, curve fitting, regression and correlation, the analysis of time series and indices. Statistical and economic applications of quantitative techniques: Systems of linear equations: solving and application. Optimisation, linear functions, non-linear functions. Marginal and total functions. Stochastic and deterministic variables in statistical and economic context: producers' and consumers' surplus. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are illustrated using simulation within a data science framework.
    This is a terminating module. 

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Minimum credits: 152

Students should choose ONE of the following two sequences of Economics modules in Year 2: EKN 214/234 or EKN 224/244.

Students should choose ONE of the following two sequences of Political Sciences modules in Year 2: IPL 210/220 or STL 210/220.

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Macroeconomics
    From Wall and Bay Street to Diagonal Street: a thorough understanding of the mechanisms and theories explaining the workings of the economy is essential. Macroeconomic insight is provided on the real market, the money market, two market equilibrium, monetarism, growth theory, cyclical analysis, inflation, Keynesian general equilibrium analysis and fiscal and monetary policy issues.

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  • Module content:

    Microeconomics
    Microeconomic insight is provided into: consumer and producer theory, general microeconomic equilibrium, Pareto-optimality and optimality of the price mechanism, welfare economics, market forms and the production structure of South Africa. Statistic and econometric analysis of microeconomic issues.

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  • Module content:

    Macroeconomics
    Application of the principles learned in EKN 214 on the world we live in. We look at international markets and dynamic macroeconomic models, and familiarise the students with the current macroeconomic policy debates. We also take a look at the latest macroeconomic research in the world. The course includes topics of the mathematical and econometric analysis of macroeconomic issues.

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  • Module content:

    Microeconomics
    From general equilibrium and economic welfare to uncertainty and asymmetric information. In this module we apply the principles learned in EKN 224 on the world around us by looking at the microeconomic principles of labour and capital markets, as well as reasons why the free market system could fail. We touch on the government’s role in market failures. The course includes topics of the mathematical and econometric analysis of microeconomic issues.

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  • Module content:

    The content of this module engages in the historical emergence of contemporary African philosophy in relation to the Western canon. The first quarter traces the history of modern western philosophy, recounting key positions in epistemology (e.g. Descartes, Kant), metaphysics (e.g. Heidegger, Putnam), ethics (e.g. Bentham, Levinas) and political philosophy (e.g. Rawls, Habermas).The content of the second quarter considers recent works in African philosophy, as critical responses to, but also independent of the Western philosophies, with regard to epistemology (e.g. Menkiti, Ikuenobe), metaphysics (e.g. Mbiti, Ramose), ethics (e.g. Tut, Gyeke) and political philosophy (e.g. Biko, Fanon).

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  • Module content:

    In this module contextually relevant aspects of human reality are reflected on through philosophy considered as practical activity. Students will engage issues of social, political, or economic relevance in contemporary (South) Africa, the Global South and beyond. A range of themes may be investigated, such as structure and agency, social imaginaries, issues of social justice, gender and sexuality, the ethics of science and technology, the role of art and others. The focus is on key themes and debates of contemporary relevance and may include issues from any of the sub-disciplines of philosophy such as political philosophy, moral philosophy, epistemology, aesthetics, philosophy of mind and artifical intelligence, and philosophy of science.

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  • Module content:

    International theory and organisation
    What causes war and peace? Can international order and justice be reconciled? Does the international structure matter? The answers depend on the theoretical lenses through which world politics are viewed. An overview is provided of competing theoretical perspectives of international relations. It includes mainstream and alternative perspectives, as well as the underlying ideas, theories and variants of each. These theories also propose different approaches to global peace, amongst others peace through international organisation. A comprehensive analysis is made of selected international organisations with a universal or regional scope, such as the United Nations, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, and of international law that underpins these organisations and their activities.

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  • Module content:

    Foreign policy and diplomacy
    A short introduction to the study of foreign policy is followed by an explanation of the use of the comparative method and a framework for foreign policy analysis and evaluation. This allows for a comparative study of the foreign policies of selected states from the major regions of the world, amongst others of South African foreign policy. In each case study the policy environment, the formulation and implementation processes, as well as the substance of the particular state’s foreign policy are covered. Thereafter the focus narrows to diplomacy: the oldest, most versatile and universally used instrument of foreign policy. The nature, history, modes of diplomacy and legal framework of the institution are explored. Examples are drawn from global practice, with specific consideration of the evolution of diplomatic practice within the African and South African context.

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  • Module content:

    Statistical problem solving. Causality, experimental and observational data. Probability theory. Multivariate random variables. Discrete and continuous probability distributions. Stochastic representations. Measures of association. Expected values and conditional expectation. Simulation techniques. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Multivariate probability distributions. Sampling distributions and the central limit theorem. Frequentist and Bayesian inference. Statistical learning and decision theory. Simulation techniques enhancing statistical thinking. Supervised learning:  linear regression, estimation and inference. Non-parametric modelling. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical algorithms. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Political dynamics (Micro)
    The study of the theory and practice of behavioural phenomena in politics. With reference to appropriate examples, the emphasis is on the study of political culture, leadership, communication, interests groups, parties and party systems; on elections, electoral systems, voting behaviour; and on public opinion and direct popular control techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Political dynamics (Macro)
    A theoretical basis and framework is provided for the description, analysis and classification of political and policy problems. The emphasis is on the nature of the state, governance and conflict in Africa. Amongst others a study is made of the issues of colonialism and post-colonialism, democratisation, authoritarianism and the development of the state in Africa, in the context of a globalising world.

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Minimum credits: 160

Students should choose ONE of the following two sequences of Political Sciences modules in Year 3: IPL 310/320 or STL 310/320.

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Public finance
    Role of government in the economy. Welfare economics and theory of optimality. Ways of correcting market failures. Government expenditure theories, models and programmes. Government revenue. Models on taxation, effects of taxation on the economy. Assessment of taxation from an optimality and efficiency point of view. South African perspective on public finance.

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  • Module content:

    Economic analyses
    Identification, collection and interpretation process of relevant economic data; the national accounts (i.e. income and production accounts, the national financial account, the balance of payments and input-output tables); economic growth; inflation; employment, unemployment, wages, productivity and income distribution; business cycles; financial indicators; fiscal indicators; social indicators; international comparisons; relationships between economic time series - regression analysis; long-term future studies and scenario analysis; overall assessment of the South African economy from 1994 onwards.

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  • Module content:

    In this module the focus is on understanding humankind, its knowledge and its relation to reality.This module traces the development of the conceptions of ‘self’ and ‘subjectivity’ in any given philosophical tradition in Africa, or more generally the Global South or the West, by focussing, amongst others, on issues such as the nature of the human mind, existentialism, the nature of personal identity, the relation between personal identity and morality, the nature of subjective experience and the issue of free will.

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  • Module content:

    In this module contextually relevant aspects of human reality are reflected on through philosophy considered as practical activity. Students will engage issues of social, political, or economic relevance in contemporary (South) Africa, the Global South and beyond. A range of themes may be investigated, such as, structure and agency, social imaginaries, issues of social justice, gender and sexuality, the ethics of science and technology, the role of art and others. The focus is on key themes and debates of contemporary relevance and may include issues from any of the sub-disciplines of philosophy such as political philosophy, moral philosophy, epistemology, aesthetics, philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence, and philosophy of science.

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  • Module content:

    International political economy
    The nature and functioning of the international contemporary political-economic order are analysed against the background of the process of globalisation. The focus is on the interaction of political and economic trends and issues such as the economic importance and political impact of regional trade blocs; the debt burden of states; international aid; the role and influence of multinational corporations; and the transfer of technology to less-developed countries; the rise of new economic powers in the Global South; and global economic governance.

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  • Module content:

    Security and strategic studies
    A study of traditional and contemporary approaches to security and strategy. Attention is paid to new theories on war, security and strategy; military and non-military security issues and threats; the national security of developing states; as well as the relationship between policy, strategy and tactics. The latter includes an introductory overview of the nature, levels, patterns, forms and instruments of strategy, and the laws of war. The national, regional and continental security situation in Africa and modes of multilateral security cooperation in particular are analysed, also in relation to extra-continental trends. Regarding the aforesaid, emphasis is placed on the legal and institutional framework, national security policy and strategic posture of South Africa.

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  • Module content:

    Political theory
    A theoretical and normative study of political ideas. This includes the study of key political thinkers such as Plato, Thomas Hobbes and John Rawls as well as the contemporary manifestations of ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, conservatism and nationalism. This normative assessment of politics concludes with a critical evaluation of the development, nature and practical value of prominent democratic theories including participatory, legal, and deliberative democracy.

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  • Module content:

    Part 1: Democratic studies
    A high level critical analysis of democratic theory and practice. The analysis of democratic theory will include themes such as classical, radical, deliberative and feminist perspectives. The analysis of democratic practice will include aspects such as democratisation, democratic consolidation, democratic citizenship and society, the role and importance of civil society, the institutions and procedures for democracy and “good governance”.
    Part 2: Political analysis
    The methods and practice of political analysis is the focus of study. The principles and problems underpinning different approaches and methods of political analysis are described and explained. This includes the nature, methods and use of comparative analysis, forecasting, risk analysis, performance evaluation and the political audit. These analytical methods are positioned in a political and policy context, with emphasis on practical application. Applicable examples and case studies are used throughout.

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The regulations and rules for the degrees published here are subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information.

The General Academic Regulations (G Regulations) and General Student Rules apply to all faculties and registered students of the University, as well as all prospective students who have accepted an offer of a place at the University of Pretoria. On registering for a programme, the student bears the responsibility of ensuring that they familiarise themselves with the General Academic Regulations applicable to their registration, as well as the relevant faculty-specific and programme-specific regulations and information as stipulated in the relevant yearbook. Ignorance concerning these regulations will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression, or basis for an exception to any of the aforementioned regulations.

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