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    Hi everyone. I have randomly come across this forum and while looking through some of the posts have seeen lots of people who applied this year/ are reading ppe, sps and other similar degrees. I am thinking of applying for one of them next year but have heard that they are really hard to get into. A couple of friends in the year above me have said that it really depends on which college u apply to (i.e. balliol is impossible, and teddy hall is comparatively easy). I was wondering what you thought about this and what kind of questions you were asked.

    Did any1 get asked why PPe, why oxford type of questions?
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    Hello, I got PPE offer at St Peter's.

    First of all, any Oxford course will be tough to get into, but I don't think PPE is any harder than a lot of other oxford courses - works about 3 applicants per place.

    Yes, some colleges are easier than others - generally this is dictated by prestige, places like Magdalen and Balliol have greater reputations than other places, and their PPE tutoring/facilliteis will be better. Having said that PPE is a famous Oxford course so all colleges will be pretty decent.

    Check the back few pages of a prospectus it tells you the number of applicants per place last year (use it as a guide only, as this changes year after year).

    As for the interview, I wasn't asked about why PPE, rather I had seperate interviews (one economics, one politics and one philosphy) with the tutors who each asked about that particular discipline, though the politics was basically just modern history as this was one of my alevel subjects.

    Hope this helps.
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    Hello!

    I got an offer from Balliol to read PPE, who says its impossible?

    Balliol gets loooooads of candidates, therefore you have only one interview initially in two subjects. Mine was in Economics and Politics. I thought I aced that one.
    If they don't make their mind up about you, you get asked for a second interview, most people who got in got second interviews. This time my interviewers were tutors in Economics and Philosophy, I realized that didnt actually matter. The economist didnt mention anythin economics related , we discussed political philosophy instead!
    I got asked why PPE in my second interview. I dont think they were looking for something special, probably just wanted to get me started and calm me down abit! So, as long as you don't come up with a looney answer, it's all good.
    I had a very brief interview in Keble as well, 20 minz in econ n phil.

    Don't be afraid to apply to a competitive college, as long as you like the atmosphere there. If you do show potential in the interviews, colleges will try to recommend you to other ones with less candidates.

    Good luck!
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    Thanks for the advice- theis whole uni stuff is really beginning to worry me (prematurely so). Congratulations on getting in- it's an amzing achievemnt and i'm sure you'll have loads of fun at Oxford. I don't do econ. at scholl and i'm thinking that that might put me at a disadvntage but i guess as long as i read up it should be ok.

    BTW what did u say for why ppe? any answer i try to come up with send very trite.
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    May I just say; PPE spanks SPS, danke.
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    (Original post by firecracker)
    Thanks for the advice- theis whole uni stuff is really beginning to worry me (prematurely so). Congratulations on getting in- it's an amzing achievemnt and i'm sure you'll have loads of fun at Oxford. I don't do econ. at scholl and i'm thinking that that might put me at a disadvntage but i guess as long as i read up it should be ok.

    BTW what did u say for why ppe? any answer i try to come up with send very trite.
    Well, regarding you not doing econ, It doesnt put u at any disadvantage. The interviewer take your background knowledge into consideration, and they might try several subjects till they find one that you can actually argue with some comfort. So they wouldnt assume you know any economics, unless u tell them u do know any economics. and i should warn u not to read many books. Read one or two for each discipline and know em well.. thatz better than vaguely knowing 20.

    As i said, you want to study PPE? was just a warm up question . I dont think it would matter much what you'd say so long as you try to get to them that you r interested ! Be honest , be yourself.
    I was myself in the first interview and it paid off, i even cracked a few jokes!
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    I got an offer from Hertford to read PPE, there were 23 of us for 8 or 9 places... I didn't get anything like why Oxford or why PPE, it was just loads of random questions. I was one of the few people not doing A-level Economics but I don't think it made any difference. I didn't really read up on it and I was worried but I didn't get any specific questions on it; my Economics interview was mostly logic and maths.
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    (Original post by DaKewLesT)
    Well, regarding you not doing econ, It doesnt put u at any disadvantage. The interviewer take your background knowledge into consideration, and they might try several subjects till they find one that you can actually argue with some comfort. So they wouldnt assume you know any economics, unless u tell them u do know any economics. and i should warn u not to read many books. Read one or two for each discipline and know em well.. thatz better than vaguely knowing 20.

    As i said, you want to study PPE? was just a warm up question . I dont think it would matter much what you'd say so long as you try to get to them that you r interested ! Be honest , be yourself.
    I was myself in the first interview and it paid off, i even cracked a few jokes!
    yep- jokes and being yourself they appreciate- i made a few and i got an offer you don't want to look coached. Why PPE is the kind of question you'll get terrified about at mock interviews but will have about as much relevance to getting in as "Are you enjoying it here" "Which bit is your room in?" "Where are you from?" at the real thing. "What do you like/think about this subject/thinker" is a different matter though!

    FREE LUNCH- this book is a lifesaver, i borrowed this from someone i met when i was up there- and it got me through my economics interview with some stuff i'd read in economist. great book if you havent done economics before. lots of debates at the back about globalisation, euro, etc- classic interview fayre- i hadnt done economics- but thanks to this book my economics interview was best of the lot. i got offer btw- st peters ppe.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...690431-5935834
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    (Original post by Seer)
    May I just say; PPE spanks SPS, danke.
    eerr....I don't think so!! Firstly, PPE is totally different from SPS, so they can't be compared anyway. They only have one third in common..and that's Politics!
    ....and if you REALLY want to compare the courses, then...obviously SPS is much better than PPE simply because PPE has no focus whatsoever! I mean, what does Philosophy has to do with Economics, that's such ********! At least SPS has some kind of inter-disciplinary emphasis, which PPE clearly lacks.
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    (Original post by tomek J.)
    eerr....I don't think so!! Firstly, PPE is totally different from SPS, so they can't be compared anyway. They only have one third in common..and that's Politics!
    ....and if you REALLY want to compare the courses, then...obviously SPS is much better than PPE simply because PPE has no focus whatsoever! I mean, what does Philosophy has to do with Economics, that's such ********! At least SPS has some kind of inter-disciplinary emphasis, which PPE clearly lacks.
    that's a good one, tell me, how many famous people can you name who did SPS?
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    (Original post by tomek J.)
    I mean, what does Philosophy has to do with Economics, that's such ********! At least SPS has some kind of inter-disciplinary emphasis, which PPE clearly lacks.
    Yes.....Please tell me you didnt get into Oxford! Of course they're related!!!!! I have no interest in Philosophy, but I can see just how relevant it is to Economics, and even more so to Politics. PPE's just as, if not more closely related than SPS!
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    (Original post by tomek J.)
    n, what does Philosophy has to do with Economics, .
    Absolutley everything.
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    (Original post by nero076)
    that's a good one, tell me, how many famous people can you name who did SPS?
    I don't think one can judge the quality of a course by the number of famous people it produced - this is a matter of prestige, in which, I admit, PPE clearly has an advantage over SPS. But this is partly because
    1.) PPE exists much longer than SPS
    2.) Oxford admits more people for PPE than Cambridge does for SPS

    SPS has not yet established itself as a well-known course.
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    (Original post by kildare)
    Absolutley everything.
    OK, PPE people, didn't want to hurt your feelings... I may be wrong with my "Economics has nothing to do with Philosophy" assumption, but can you please fill me in on this one...maybe some good examples so I can agree with you and admit I was wrong?
    I mean, where's the connection between, let's say, Socrates and Keynes?
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    Thanks to every1 for their helpful comments.

    As for Socrates and Keynes- i am sure that some more learned person could give you a more precise example. But i think that they were similar in that they both questioned the truth of popular opinion. Socrates in general, and Keynes on issues such as depression and unemployment.
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    Erm I beg to agree with the Seer. Remembering school days SPS was advertised as a poor man's PPE. PPE has rigour in all 3 subjects and provides endless scope to study different subjects. SPS is a contrived alternative without any particular reason to study it except if Sociology is the reason you want to go to university. And for that I would suggest going to a red brick uni instead (sooo 60s). Caveat that with the virtues of being able to take another subject via the Cambridge Tripos system ie History or Economics with more academic credibility



    (Original post by tomek J.)
    eerr....I don't think so!! Firstly, PPE is totally different from SPS, so they can't be compared anyway. They only have one third in common..and that's Politics!
    ....and if you REALLY want to compare the courses, then...obviously SPS is much better than PPE simply because PPE has no focus whatsoever! I mean, what does Philosophy has to do with Economics, that's such ********! At least SPS has some kind of inter-disciplinary emphasis, which PPE clearly lacks.
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    (Original post by LMH PPE Grad)
    Erm I beg to agree with the Seer. Remembering school days SPS was advertised as a poor man's PPE. PPE has rigour in all 3 subjects and provides endless scope to study different subjects. SPS is a contrived alternative without any particular reason to study it except if Sociology is the reason you want to go to university. And for that I would suggest going to a red brick uni instead (sooo 60s). Caveat that with the virtues of being able to take another subject via the Cambridge Tripos system ie History or Economics with more academic credibility
    ok, you obviously have no idea what you are talking about. If you did, you'd know that one only studies Sociology in the first year, and that in the 2nd year you can specialise on Politics OR Sociology/Psychology. Apart from that, SPS is certainly NOT a "poor man's PPE" - the person who invented that must have been very poor indeed (that is, in his head). In fact, SPS is even harder to get into than PPE - and that's a fact which I am sure even you will be able to understand.
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    (Original post by firecracker)
    Hi everyone. I have randomly come across this forum and while looking through some of the posts have seeen lots of people who applied this year/ are reading ppe, sps and other similar degrees. I am thinking of applying for one of them next year but have heard that they are really hard to get into. A couple of friends in the year above me have said that it really depends on which college u apply to (i.e. balliol is impossible, and teddy hall is comparatively easy). I was wondering what you thought about this and what kind of questions you were asked.

    Did any1 get asked why PPe, why oxford type of questions?
    Hello!
    Just to say that I am an SPS student...it really depends on what your interests are. It is true that PPE is more prestigious and certainly has more famous alumni, however, SPS is a fantastic course. When I was deciding between the two, it was more about the combination pf subjects. I knew that I wanted to specialise in politics, and eventually decided that I would rather do a litle sociology, soc anth and psychology for my first year. What I would definately recommend is looking at the sps site www.sps.cam.ac.uk and the relevant PPE site...even if it seems a little too keen, i really recommend looking at the combination of papers you could do in your 2nd and 3rd year, as certainly in SPS, this is where the real choice comes in.

    As to people who have suggested that SPS is some kind of joke subject, I would ask them to have a little perspective. Most people would agree that any oxbridge degree is fairly academic and fairly rigorous
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    (Original post by ladyvice)
    Hello!
    Just to say that I am an SPS student...it really depends on what your interests are. It is true that PPE is more prestigious and certainly has more famous alumni, however, SPS is a fantastic course. When I was deciding between the two, it was more about the combination pf subjects. I knew that I wanted to specialise in politics, and eventually decided that I would rather do a litle sociology, soc anth and psychology for my first year. What I would definately recommend is looking at the sps site www.sps.cam.ac.uk and the relevant PPE site...even if it seems a little too keen, i really recommend looking at the combination of papers you could do in your 2nd and 3rd year, as certainly in SPS, this is where the real choice comes in.

    As to people who have suggested that SPS is some kind of joke subject, I would ask them to have a little perspective. Most people would agree that any oxbridge degree is fairly academic and fairly rigorous
    thanks a lot, I'm grateful for this comment!
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    Hey, PPE is a great degree. Its multidisciplinary and also well-constructed in the balance between the subjects and the ways in which different aspects of each complement each other. However I'm sure SPS is great too. It doesn't have the same reputation, but so what? Each to his own; I'm sure both will appeal to different people for different reasons.
 
 
 
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