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PPE at Oxford - Application Procedure

Candidates should follow the application procedures as mentioned in how to apply page of the university website. The following information provides details for students applying for Philosophy, Politics and Economics course.

Written Test

Candidates do not need to submit any written work while applying for this course. However, they should take a test in the Thinking Skills Assessment, normally, at their own schools or colleges on the prescribed date by the university. Students need to do separate registration for this test. For further information, students are advised to refer the university website.

What Tutors Look for?

Generally, tutors seek for finding out if students can think analytically and clearly. Tutors are not so much concerned with what students know as how they think about it and how they use it. Instead, they will seek evidence of their interest in political and social concerned and their ability to discuss them critically. Apart from reading a good quality daily newspaper, candidates may enjoy reading the following introductory texts.

There are various introductions to philosophy: Ted Honderich's Philosophy and Myles Burnyeat. Candidates are also recommended to read Simon Blackburn's Think and Martin Hollis's An Invitation to Philosophy. If candidates have trouble to finding these books or they would like more suggestions, please feel free to contact the Faculty of Philosophy through email.

Politics is a very broad subject incorporating the study of real world processes and institutions and theoretical approaches. Adrian Leftwich's edited collection, What Is Politics? The Activity and Its Study and Jonathan Wolff's An Introduction to Political Philosophy are some of the useful introductions. The best introduction to use of economics analysis, whether or not students have studied economics at school, is to read the business pages of newspapers and the economics, especially, The Economist.

Course Requirements

  • A-levels: AAA
  • Advanced Highers: AA
  • IB: 39 comprising core points
  • Or any other equivalent

Students may apply for PPE having completed combination of subjects at school. However, it is not required to have studied philosophy, politics or economics. Mathematics or History are helpful backgrounds, but not required. Candidates ought to take the test in the Thinking Skills Assessment as part of their application.


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