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PPE at Oxford

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Contents

Should I Apply?

First read the Course Information about PPE.

Then read this Guardian article about reasons for doing a PPE degree.

Finally, read this piece from the BBC, 'Why does PPE rule Britain?'.

What is PPE?

'PPE brings together some of the most important approaches to understanding the social and human world around us, developing skills useful for a whole range of future careers and activities.

Make sure you do actually want to study these three subjects together - look at the following different subject descriptions carefully. There are different combination degrees available at other prestigious Universities - Politics and Philosophy at LSE for instance or Politics and Social Policy at Bristol. Make certain that you really do want to do a 'PPE' degree because of the subjects it includes in combination.

  • Studying Philosophy, you will develop analytical rigour and the ability to criticize and reason logically, and be able to apply these skills to many contemporary and historical schools of philosophical thought, and to questions concerning how we acquire knowledge or how we make ethical recommendations. Philosophy
  • The study of Politics will acquaint you with the ideas behind the decisions which govern our lives as members of nations, states and other political groupings. You will also learn how to evaluate the choices which political systems must regularly make, and about the processes that maintain or change those systems. The study of Politics also includes opportunities to take core and optional papers in Sociology and International Politics. Politics
  • An appreciation of Economics and the general workings of the economy has become increasingly necessary to make sense of governmental policy-making, the conduct of businesses and the enormous changes in economic systems which are occurring throughout the world at the current time. Economics focuses both on individual units and on the aggregate behaviour of groups, societies and international markets. Economics

If you're interested in finding out more detail about what topics you can study, have a look at the full syllabus for the course on which is available on Oxford University's PPE website. Course Information

Does this sound interesting? If not turn around now. Yes, this may be one of Oxford University's most prestigious courses. Many MPs, Presidents and Prime Ministers studied PPE at Oxford. BUT do not do it unless you are truly, truly interested.

Why PPE at Oxford?

  • Oxford University's PPE course is generally thought to be superior to that of other universities offering the course. Oxford does not offer any of Philosophy, Politics and Economics as single subjects, but instead they are offered in such courses as PPE, Economics and Management (E&M), Modern History and Economics (MHE), Philosophy and Theology and Modern History and Politics (MHP) to name a few.
  • Oxford has some of the finest specialist Libraries in the world.
  • With Oxford you also gain from the one on one tutorial system that is almost unique in the British education system (Cambridge also teach through the tutorial system and other unis such as St Andrews and Durham use a variant).
  • Despite it's facilities, Oxford University is not for everyone. The eight week term is very intensive. The college system doesn't appeal to everyone. There is no opportunity for a Year Abroad.
  • Remember you get FIVE choices on your UCAS application. Over 85% of applicants to PPE get a straight rejection. You will need other options to allow for this hard reality. Even if you get an offer, that is not the same as a place. Even with an offer, if you don't get the grades in August, you won't be going to Oxford.
  • Other Unis offering PPE include - University of East Anglia (UEA), University or Warwick, University of Durham, University of Sussex, University of Hull, University of Reading, University of Manchester, Royal Holloway, University of Swansea, Lancaster University, Queens Belfast, University of Leeds, University of Stirling and University of York.
  • Nottingham, Newcastle, LSE and UCL offer related degrees (ie, Politics and Economics). Other Universities (Bristol, Exeter, Birmingham) offer Liberal Arts degrees that include PPE subjects (and include a Year Abroad).

So is Oxford right for me?

Well here are the Yes/No questions...

  • Would I be happy in a city where the focus is on elite study and academic research?
  • Would I be happy being taught in 1on1 or 2on1 tutorials?
  • Would I be happy writing two 2000 word essays a week?
  • Do I want classes with only 2 maybe even 3 students to 1 tutor?
  • Do I want to study with people from different backgrounds and cultures to my own?
  • Could I cope with the possibility of just being average amongst some of the brightest students in the world?
  • Could I cope with the possibility of rejection or failure?
  • Could I motivate myself to work on my own? PPEists are expected to work at 40 hour week; around 10 hours is likely to be lectures, classes and tutorials, with the other 30 or so intensive reading/research and writing for essays on your own.
  • Could I cope with doing exams at the beginning of nearly every term? Collection exams are set at the beginning of most terms, a few days before the first lectures.
  • Oxford is hard work. Do not doubt that. And PPE is very hard work. It is not a degree you 'have a go at'. You have to be totally committed to it from the moment you put in your application.

Can I afford Oxford?

For UK students fees are a little over £9,000 per year. You should be eligible for various loans, some means-tested (your parents income), others not - see here

EU students are eligible for extra help.

As an international student there are a limited number of scholarships available

Do I have the requirements for PPE?

  • The typical Oxford offer for PPE is AAA at A-level. Many applicants will be applying with predicted grades including A*s, so see AAA as very much a bare minimum.
  • For the International Baccalaureate, the typical offer is 39-40 points with 7,6,6-7,7,6 in your Higher Level subjects.
  • Your GCSE profile will be looked at. It's not a prerequisite but the higher grades you have the better.
  • PPE has no required subjects. You do not need to have previously studied any of the composite subjects individually, but the university does say History and Maths are helpful.
  • PPE is reading and essay intensive. If you haven't studied an obvious essay subject like English Literature, History, Politics etc at A level or similar, you will find the first year of the course very challenging.
  • Without previous study of a related subject, you will also find it difficult to write a sensible PS justifying your choice of course.
  • You must be interested in intense high-level study in these specific subject areas. Yes, this sounds obvious, but clearly just wanting to be a future Cabinet Minister won't get you through three years of PPE at Oxford if you aren't actually interested in these subjects.
  • With regard to maths, read below.

Do I need maths A-level

As mentioned above, there are no officially required subjects for PPE, however maths is considered "helpful". If you have only studied GCSE maths you will cope but having studied AS or A level maths obviously makes the Economics section easier and there is substantial statistics work in other areas such as Politics. If you have less than an A grade at GCSE, then you have to seriously consider that PPE may not be the course for you.

For 2011 entry, around 90% of the applicants who were offered places for PPE and who were studying for A-levels had studied Mathematics to at least AS-level. So, consider taking Mathematics to AS-level, or an equivalent qualification such as IB Standard Level.

Well all of this considered, if you still want to apply then read on!

The PPE Course

The PPE Course is 3 years and is split into the first year where you build up a basic knowledge of all three disciplines in preparation for first year exams (called prelims or mods), and the second two years where you focus on elements of two or three disciplines in order to take final exams.

A detailed guide to the PPE course can be found in the PPE handbook provided by the university.

First Year Course

In your first year you will study all three subjects. In exams you have 3 hours to answer 4 questions.

Philosophy

The course is split into 3 sections. In your exams you have to answer four questions including one question from each section.

1. Logic - This is usually taught in larger classes - it is based upon "The Logic Manual" by Volker Halbach.You will be taught propositional logic, basic predicate logic and basic equivalent logic (affectionately named L1 L2 and L=) as well as natural deduction. In the exam there are 2 questions based only on material from the first four chapters of the logic manual of which you are only allowed to do one. There are a further 3 questions which will include material from all eight chapters which are significantly more difficult.

2. General Philosophy - This is likely to be taught in tutorials and is an introduction to some of the important topics in epistemology and metaphysics. You will be introduced to philosophers such as Locke, Descartes and Hume - The General Philosophy topics are: Knowledge and Scepticism, Induction, Mind and Body, Personal Identity, Free Will and God and Evil In the exam there are two questions on each topic but you can only answer one from each topic. - Example Exam questions are "Do you know that you are now sitting a philosophy exam? Are you certain" (Q6a of 2013 Philosophy Prelims paper) "Could there be freedom in a world where everything was necessary? (Q10a. of 2013 Philosophy Prelims paper)

3, Moral Philosophy - This is also likely to be taught in tutorials and studies moral philosophy in conjunction with 'J.S. Mill's - Utilitarianism'. It covers such areas as "higher and lower pleasures" and "Act and Rule Utilitarianism". - Example Exam questions are: Can the fulfillment of his sadistic impulses make a sadist genuinely happy? (Q12. of 2013 Philosophy Prelims paper) Does rule-utilitarianism provide a good alternative to act-utilitarianism (Q15. of 2013 Philosophy Prelims paper

Politics

This course is split into 2 sections. In the prelims exam you must answer at least one question from each section.

1. Theorizing the democratic state - You will learn about some of the main concepts involved in Democracy such as Liberty and Justice as well as frameworks of power such as Pluralism and Marxism. You may not be taught all of these areas, depending whether your tutor puts more focus into section 2 rather than section 1. - You will meet philosophers such as Mill (On Liberty), Marx, Tocqueville and Rousseau (The Social Contract) - Example Exam questions: "Can it ever be Democratic to place constraints on majority rule?" (Q2. on 2005 Politics Prelims Paper) "Why does Marx think that capitalism will be overthrown by a proletariat revolution?" (Q3. on 2005 Politics Prelims Paper)

2. Analysis of Democratic Institutions - You will learn about the political institutions of France, Germany, UK and USA although not necessarily all four. You will learn about the various branches of government, the constituions, the party system to name but a few areas. You will learn about controversies arising in these areas. This section is very flexible - tutors will choose which areas they teach. - Example Exam questions: "Why are some legislatures more party-dominated than others?" (Q13. on 2005 Politics Prelims Paper) "What constrains the power of the US Supreme Court?" (Q22. on 2005 Politics Prelims Paper)

Economics

This course is split into Microeconomics and Macroeconomics which both have a strong focus on the maths they involve. In prelims you must do 4 economics questions including 3 short questions and 1 long question, you must answer at least one question on macroeconomics and at least on question onmicroeconomics. You are likely to be taught Microeconomics one term and Macroeconomics the next this will usually be done in both tutorials and classes; maths will likely be taught in classes or extra tutorials through reference to the maths workbook which can be found on weblearn.

1. Macroeconomics/Microeconomics - Microeconomics gives a rough overview of microeconomics so as to bring everyone up to a similar standard including those with no previous economics experience. The exam could almost completely be revised for using 'Hal. Varian - Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach, I strongly suggest you buy this book. Microeconomics also includes a section on trade. - Macroeconomics gives a rough overview of macroeconmics so as to bring everyone up to a similar standard including those with no previous economics experience. More textbooks are needed but many people choose 'Mankiw - Macroeconomics'.

- Example Exam questions: Do oligopolies produce an efficient level of output? (Q9. on 2013 Economics Prelims paper)

Does weak output growth in the UK strengthen or weaken the case for fiscal austerity? (Q9. on 2013 Economics Prelims paper)

Second and Third Year Course

You have the choice of the staying with all subjects or droping one and continuing bi-partite, this latter option is more common. In your chosen two of three subjects you must do 2 core papers. bold means you must take this course as one of your core papers if you choose to continue this dicipline.

Philosophy - Ethics, History of Philosophy from Descartes to Kant, Knowledge and Reality, Plato: Republic, Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics

Economics - Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Quantitative Economics (no choice on core papers)

Politics - Comparative Governments, Political Sociology, International Relations, British Politics and Government since 1900, Theory of Politics

If you choose to continue with all three subjects you do not have to take Quantiative Economics unless you want to take a further economics option.

You can then take a number of extra modules to bring the total number of modules to 8 on which you will be examined in finals. Some examples of these modules are below Philosophy - Formal Logic, The Later Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Intermediate Philosophy of Physics Economics - Public Economics, British Economic History since 1870, Econometrics Politics - Russian Government and Politics, International Relations in the era of the Cold War, Marx and Marxism

For a full list of courses read the [1]

TSA Test

Introduction

The TSA Oxford Test website [2]

The TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment) is sat by PPE and E&M (Economics and Management) students since 2008 when it replaced the original Oxford PPE admissions test. It is taken in October / November each year (4th November 2009) and you must ensure you have been entered to take the test - talk to your school. You will typically take the test at your school. Results can be downloaded from the website. Many questions on the logistics of the TSA can be found here: [3]

The test has two components. A) Multiple Choice (90 mins) and B) Writing Task (30 mins). This second section replaces the need to submit written work - so it is important that you show you can write clearly and concisely.

Practice Papers can be downloaded here: [4]

The importance put on the test by admissions tutors will vary between tutors. Some will take good marks as a big bonus to chances of admission, while other tutors will only care that you get a certain minimum grade and then assess the student on other qualities (PS and interview).

Paper 1: Multiple Choice

The test comprises of 50 questions giving you approximately 1 min 45 seconds per question. The questions come in a variety of forms including (my terminology):

1a. Assumptions

In this you are presented with an argument and you must work out which of the five statements correctly underpins that heart of the argument (this may be done by analogy). Read these carefully - some statements may be consistent with the argument, but not an underlying assumption. The correct answer when "reversed" may suggest a hole in the original argument e.g.:

Question (summary): Pass Rates Improving. Students not actually becoming more skilled (say employers). Thus Pupils being coached better. Answer B: The level of difficulty of examinations has not been falling specimen paper, question 4

If you reverse the answer - that exams are becoming easier - you find that it would present a problem for the original argument - therefore statement B must have been an assumption.

1b. Flaws

You're given a statement and asked which answer provides the flaw. This question is actually identical to the assumptions questions except they give you the "reverse" answers. if you "reverse" the correct answer it will turn into an underlying assumption of the argument (although it is easier to think of the answer in terms of the flaw - i.e. I'd only test the answer through its contradiction for the assumption questions - the flaw questions do it for you)

All answers are likely to be plausible, but only one is a logical flaw - read ALL the possible answers, even if you think one answer is right.

2. Conclusions

A slight derivation of the assumption question is one asking for a summary of the main argument (e.g. which answer "best expresses the conclusion") - once again check all answers - the correct one will summarise the conclusion, not just an assisting point. e.g.:

Question (summary): If wages don't increase then staff morale will fall, thus productivity will fall, thus smaller profits, thus bankruptcy. Either they pay higher wages or bankruptcy. Which is the best conclusion? Answer B: If wages don't increase, business will fail Answer D: Fall in productivity may mean business fails Answer E: If wages rise, business will succeed Specimen Paper, Q11

D is logically correct but not the thrust of the argument (which is "either higher wages or bankruptcy"). B and E may appear the same, but E is not necessarily logically true - and certainly not the same way the argument is shown.

3. Data

For data questions you will be presented with a table, graph or picture and asked a question. The first tip is to read the question, then the graph, then the answers. Much of the time there is irrelevant data and so read the question carefully to make sure you're only looking at relevant information.

Question 19 of the specimen paper produces a table of gas and electricity usage between October and April. The question asks about gas usage - the second column of the table is entirely irrelevant.

4. Maths

A direct or indirect maths question. Take a moment to work out the most efficient way of answering the question. The questions are very diverse and its hard to give tips except to say that usually the answer can be found very quickly IF you stop and think.

For All Multiple Choice Questions

  • If you're getting stuck, skip the question and come back to it
  • Remember to Breathe. If you're stuck in a rut close your eyes, take a deep breath, open your eyes, and continue.
  • Make notes on the paper - summarise the arguments if necessary e.g. if A then B, if B then C, C is true (therefore A or B must be true)

Paper 2: Written Section

First off - only answer one question - may seem obvious but someone will forget. Spend five minutes making a plan, and make sure your plan is clear IN YOUR INTRODUCTION. Some people find it easier to write their plan immediately in prose as their introduction (rather than making a rough plan). But definitely spend a few minutes drawing a rough sketch of ideas.

Be clear and concise.

Be interesting - draw on your knowledge - There will usually be suitable call for some current or historical knowledge to illustrate your points - but don't make to too contrived.

Examples (from Specimen):

  • 1. "Privacy is only good because people aren't good. In a perfect world we wouldn't need privacy." Is that right?
  • 2. In order to be a successful leader, is it better to be loved or feared?
  • 3. Is "ethical" consumerism a solution of poverty, or a dangerous distraction?

Personal Statement: What Should I Show?

What does my Personal Statement need to include?

  • 1. Interest in PPE! - You must show that you are genuinely interested in spending 3 years of your life studying politics, philosophy and economics. Include comment on all three in your statement.
  • 2. Personal Drive - You must show that you can motivate yourself. Many people do this by showing an example where you showed personal drive and determination..
  • 3. Intellectual ability - Your UCAS forum will mention your grades. Most applicants will be applying to Oxford with good GCSE's (an A average), high AS-Levels (AABB or better) and excellent predicted A-levels (AAA or better). Your UCAS form is a chance to show that despite similar grades to all the other applicants you've got that little bit extra that will make you more interesting to teach than the hundreds of other very well qualified people applying.
  • 4. If you want to mention your extra-curricular activities, make them relevant. Yes, playing violin at Grade 8 level is terrific but it doesn't tell an Admissions tutor anything about your suitability for PPE or Oxford. Anything you do mention must have obvious relevance that you then need to draw out. What has volunteer work at an Aged Care Home taught you about social policy towards the elderly? If you represent your school at Rugby how has that developed your leadership skills? Btw, Oxford are not impressed by Head Girl/By and Prefect roles. Do not mention this unless you did something exceptional as part of the role.
  • Anything that looks like showing off should be avoided. Do not hint at what your parents do for a living, or your family connections. 'I shadowed an MP for a week and this allowed me to...' reads far better than name-dropping.

How do I set out my Personal Statement? There is no right way of setting out a personal statement, however I suggest something similar to the following

  • PARAGRAPH 1: A general introduction on why you want to study PPE
  • PARAGRAPH 2-4: A few sentences for each explaining why you want to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics respectively. Try to include some specifics such as books that you've read, activities that have contributed to your interest (internships, travels, competitions).

The above should cover about 2/3 of your personal statement

  • PARAGRAPH 5-6: One or two paragraphs covering your extracurricular activities - make sure you include any links between these activities and PPE. If there aren't any, don't mention them.
  • Paragraph 7: A final summary saying why you want to apply, and what you hope to achieve, as well as how you believe you are suited to the course.

Do's and Don't of Personal Statements

  • Do mention specific books you've read and enjoyed - try to make them something more interesting and different than "The Prince", "On Liberty", "Social Contract". Don't give the Admissions Tutor your entire book review - he/she has already read it and understands it a great deal better than you do. 'I have become interested in Moral Philosophy/Human Rights/Tax Policy Reform and have read intensively on this subject because .....' is better than a detailed description of numerous text books.
  • Don't re-use "big" words. If you "thoroughly enjoyed" one thing, then be "particularly interested" in a second thing, and "attracted" by a third.
  • Do use very good English and grammar - a tutor does not want someone who is going to produce essays each week with silly grammar mistakes.
  • Don't use contractions - some tutors seem to get very irritated with words like "can't", "don't", "isn't", "wouldn't" etc. It is not considered good academic English.
  • Do show your understanding of the links between the three disciplines
  • Don't just focus on one specific discipline of PPE - the Philosophy tutor who might read your PS doesn't want an entire essay on exactly why Politics is the only thing for you.
  • Do mention your opinion/belief regarding things you mention being interested in, but be very careful of mentions of specific party politics.
  • Don't copy any part of your personal statement from the internet, journals or newspapers.
  • Finally, if your statement sounds like a speech, try to rewrite it using shorter sentences, simpler words and clearer ideas. Keep it brisk and to the point.

Interviews

Firstly, here is what Oxford say about interviews: http://www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/interviews/

You'll be down in your college for 2-3 days for interview, so have a little fun and don't work too hard (or better still don't work).

Your interview time will consist of: - Welcoming Talk - Interviews - Interviews at other colleges (maybe)

You may also have a small class with some undergraduates on a topic like game theory to give you a taster of Oxford.

The welcoming talk needs no further explanation so let's move to the next section.

Interviews

This is what they say about interviews: http://www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/interviews/

Preparation

Know what's on your course: http://www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/courses/ppec.shtml - course structure

Many people were asked about what they thought was on your course, and it doesn't reflect to well on you if you don't know. You don't need to know much about the individual topics, but know what topics are in the FIRST YEAR!

Anything that is on your personal statement - know well!

Some interviewers will not talk to you about personal statement things because they want to test you with new ideas. Others will want to make sure you really know what you said you knew and will ask you on your personal statement. It looks very bad if you say you read something and haven't! Read your personal statement before you go in.

Get some practise interviews - from teachers, family friends in academia, or current/graduated PPE students - there are plenty of us around willing to help (I've done several phone interviews for people).

Subject Preparation

Politics: Read the paper, have a loose idea of what some of the more important words mean (make sure you could answer "What is Democracy/Politics/Oppresion/Tyranny ... etc?" ). A magazine/journal like New Statesman could also be helpful. You should know basic facts such as Leaders of the major economies (G8), the members of the EU and Euro, and a basic understanding of the British parliamentary system (all of this can be got from wikipedia); because of the breadth of even introductory politics, decent starter books are difficult, however:

  • Jonathan Wolff - An Introduction to Political Philosophy (2006) - Does what it says on the tin in easy understandable English.
  • Machiavelli - The Prince (1532) - This easy-to-read short book gives an introduction to international relations (At least the Realist point of view) by one of the most famous political thinkers.
  • John Stuart Mill - Utilitarianism (1863) - This relatively short book is probably the most famous text on the theory of Utilitarianism. Unlike some political philosophy this is a relatively readable book.

Philosophy: Know some of the broad idea's of who said what. They won't mark you down for not knowing, but knowing a little helps. A quick flick through a basic "intro to philosophy book" wouldn't harm your chances.

  • Bertrand Russell - The Problems of Philosophy (1912) - A decent introduction by one of the 20th Centuries's greatest philosophers. A focus on Epistemology (theory of knowledge)
  • Thomas Nagel - What Does it All Mean? (2004) - Another very good introduction to basic philosophy
  • Simon Blackburn - Think (1999) - An introduction into some major philosophical questions from God to justice

Economics: READ THE PAPER (broadsheet equivalent), buy that weeks "economist" magazine, or better yet, read the Economist regularly. They will almost certainly ask you about a current or recent issue, so have some understanding of issues such as globalisation, the environment among a host of others. The three books below all gives basic introductions to economics based in the world around us (rather than a ground-up theory book)

  • Steven Lansburg - The Armchair Economist (2005)
  • Tim Harford - The Undercover Economist (2007)
  • Stephen Levitt - Freakonomics (2007)


Also, some blogs to read:

Going to the Interview and How to Dress

ARRIVE ON TIME

BE ALERT AND AWAKE (no big booze up the night before)

How to dress:

You do not need to wear a business suit. Casual clothes are fine but avoid jeans/tshirts. Most tutors will not dress up, so it is not necessary to dress very formally. If you do wear a suit, that is fine, you won't be 'marked down' because of it. The most important thing is that you look neat, clean, tidy and organised. Women - a bit of make up is fine, but don't overdo it; you want to look 'academic' not 'party night'. Also ladies should avoid short skirts or too much cleavage; this an interview not a date.

Get your hair cut, have a shower, clean your fingernails and polish your shoes. Your appearance and showing you realise that this matters, are vital in making a good initial impression.

The Interview

Politics: You may talk about Current Issues, Political Theory or Course Structure. Try and show a little interest, try and move the conversation forward.
EXAMPLE QUESTIONS:

  • - Why don't modern democracies go to war with one another?
  • - What do you think of egalitarianism, are there any flaws in it?
  • - Why do we vote?

Philosophy: You may be asked on Philosophical Theory, you are unlikely to be be asked on particular philosophers unless you wrote about them in your personal statement. If you don't understand the questions *- ASK! Also in philosophy you can ask your tutors rhetorical questions if it helps you answer.
EXAMPLE QUESTIONS:

  • - A girl has a very painful disease that doesn't allow her to enjoy life. Her parents had known about that before she was born and decided to have her anyway. As a teenager she sues her parents saying that it would have been better if she had never been born. As the judge, what would you do?
  • - Three men are lined up from a village, one of them is a murderer. The leaders offer you choice, pick one to shoot or do nothing and allow another villager to shoot all three - what do you do?
  • - Are knowledge and belief the same?
  • - Do morals come from God? Would you torch a bag of kittens if God told you to?

Economics: You will probably be asked about a current issue, answer intelligently. You may also be asked a maths problem, think before answering.
EXAMPLE QUESTIONS:

  • - There is a game with two players, You may guess numbers between 1-100. The object is to guess half the opponents number. What do you guess?
  • - What happens to wages in a country when it opens up to international trade?
  • - How can health insurers attract low risk customers if they know they're low risk?
  • - Would you be better to invest in a jewellery shop or a pawn shop?

General Interview Advice:

  • 1. Think before you speak, stop, have a minute of silence to yourself before replying .... obviously don't wait this long every question, but do think, stop for a few seconds before any question.
  • 2. If you don't understand the question, ask them to clarify it for you.
  • 3. They may ask you unanswerable questions, especially in moral philosophy or political theory. There may be no right answer, you can say your not sure yourself what answer you'd give.
  • 4. Move the conversation along, if you see a link up with another topic, then talk about it. Still ensure you answer the original question.
  • 5. Don't be arrogant. The interviewers aren't there to decide if you're clever enough, they are there to decide whether they would like to teach you. No-one wants to teach a know-it-all
  • 6. Give longer answers, quick, concise answers are great for the test, but will prolong the feel of the interview. They want a conversation which flows and has direction and they can only do that if you give them opportunities to ask linked questions. At the same time make sure your not just waffling on about nothing.
  • 7. Remember that the interviewer is trying to help get the best out of you.

Career potential

Here is a list of some of the better known people who did a PPE degree at Oxford.

This doesn't of course guarantee you fame and fortune, but it does give you an indication of the wide variety of possible career paths beyond just 'politics'.


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