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The University of Adelaide

Adelaide , South Australia ,Australia

Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics

For big picture intellects

Understanding social complexities requires looking through more than one lens.

Students of philosophy, politics and economics are deeply acquainted with social and political institutions. They reason rigorously and reflect on moral and ethical values. They understand how resources must be managed and that economics influences everything.

What will you do?

Our Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics has a structure unique in South Australia, and highly regarded internationally. You will:

  • learn broadly across all three areas before focusing on your chosen discipline
  • analyse complex political and economic scenarios
  • critically debate morality, freedom and social justice
  • understand and develop responses to pressing real-world problems
  • benefit from contact and mentoring with experts and researchers
  • gain practical insights from guest speakers within political and business communities
  • career plan from early on and undertake an internship aligned with your goals.

Where could it take you?

You’ll graduate career-ready and prepared to problem-solve at all levels of intricacy. You could advise on policy, write it or run for government yourself. You might move into research or media commentary. Perhaps you’ll assist global businesses with decision making as a consultant, or lead them to success as a CEO.

Campus Information

North Terrace

The campus provides a mix of the historical and contemporary, combining old sandstone buildings with state-of-the-art teaching, learning and research facilities.


  • Feb
  • July

Application Processing Time in Days: 10

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

Job Opportunity Potential

There are three key steps you will need to take when addressing the selection criteria in any University of Adelaide job application:

  • Create a new document. Your statement addressing the position’s specified selection criteria should be separate from your cover letter and resume.
  • List each criterion separately. Give each a title, using exactly the same wording as appears on the Position Description (e.g. Excellent verbal communication skills).
  • Address each criterion. Under each heading, write two short paragraphs explaining how your experience, skills, education and training equip you to meet that specific requirement. Dot points are also acceptable.

Please note that failing to submit a statement addressing the selection criteria could result in your application not being considered.

Some helpful writing tips
There are a number of steps you can take when putting together your responses to increase their clarity and impact.

  • Give details of one or two specific things you’ve done that are good examples of the relevant experience or knowledge required. For example: ‘I was responsible for organising an event attended by… This involved…'
  • Preface these examples with a short overview that shows you appreciate the relevance of the specific criterion.
  • Quantify your experience (number of years worked, staff supervised, etc.). For example: ‘I delivered a presentation to an industry forum with an audience of 80 people.’
  • Where possible, indicate how successfully you meet the criterion. You could do this by referring to feedback from others, or things you've set up that are still being used. For example: ‘A report I wrote about… was endorsed by the… Committee and circulated to all stakeholders for discussion.

You could also consider using the STAR method as a structural framework when describing examples of your work. This involves describing, in the order listed here, the:

  • situation you faced
  • task required, and desired outcome
  • action you took to complete the task
  • results you achieved, and lessons you learned.

Career Readiness
Graduates of the Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics are uniquely prepared to take the lead in tackling some of the toughest problems facing us today. They are equipped with deep disciplinary knowledge that enables them to model policy, business, and social challenges, to analyse their ethical dimensions, and to formulate practical and achievable solutions. Our graduates have great versatility in shaping their careers, choosing to pursue stimulating and successful careers in the public service, private sector, NGOs and the not-for-profit sector, or in academia.

A background in Philosophy, Politics and Economics is a suitable preparation for work in many different areas such as: advertising, administration, banking and finance, business, community engagement, defence, diplomatic service, environmental management and planning, foreign affairs, humanitarian work, human resources, industry liaison, management, policy development, politics, project management, public relations, publishing, research, social planning, youth work, academia and teaching.

Industry Placement
The Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics provides students with opportunities to develop practical workplace readiness throughout the course of their degree. The core seminars involve topic-based work on real world issues, with the involvement of practitioners from business and government. 

The program requires the completion of an internship, giving students the opportunity to use knowledge from their university study in a practical work environment, build valuable networks and gain experience that counts towards their degree and also prepares them for their future careers.
Potential careers
Member of Parliament, Banker, Business Data Analyst, Commodities or Futures Trader, Parliamentary Adviser, Parliamentary Member, Data Analyst, Policy Adviser, Political Adviser, Politician, Economic Researcher, Economist, Public Servant, Environmental Economist, Financial Adviser, Financial Services Officer, Statistician, Diplomat, Manager / Business Management, Market Researcher, CEO, Fund and Portfolio Manager

PSW Opportunity

The additional year of post study work rights is not available to international students studying in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Bachelor Degree or Masters by Coursework Degree - 2 years - 3 years (Adelaide)

Masters by Research - 3 years - 4 years (Adelaide)

PhD qualification - 4 years - 5 years (Adelaide)

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

ISC & CBSE [India] 60%

ISBE [India] 70%

All India Senior Secondary Certificate (CBSE, New Delhi), Indian School Certificate (ISC), Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu State Board Examination and Telangana State Board Examination.

Best three subjects, excluding language and non-academic subjects.

You must have completed at least one year at your home institution, however you are able to apply following one semester
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.5 out of 4.0 on the US scale or equivalent
You must meet the English Language requirements

IELTS - Overall band score of at least 6.5 Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening 6.0

TOEFL (paper based) - Total score of 577, Test of Written English (TWE) 4.5

TOEFL (internet based) - Total score of 79 Writing 21 Speaking 18 Reading and Listening 13

Pearson Test of English - Overall score of 58, Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening 50

Cambridge C1 Advanced (formerly known as Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) - Overall score of 176 Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening 169