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    At university I want to study Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE) at either Oxford or Warwick

    I am going to study Maths, History, Economics and Chemistry (and maybe Philosophy) at AS and then do an EPQ later

    But what extra-curricular activities can I do to make my application stand out expect the grades


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    Do loads of extra reading around your subjects, and sign up for any related clubs/ societies at college. Also, go on any relevant school trips - it's surprising what you can write about them in your UCAS form. Apply for lots of summer schools, particularly the UNIQ and Sutton Trust ones. I don't know about any others as I'm a science student, but your college should hopefully have a list of the relevant summer schools to apply for. Apply for all of them, not just the one you would prefer, as they are often very competitive and select based on a whole range of things, particularly grades and background (i.e. they will often try to select mainly students from 'disadvantaged' backgrounds - live in a poor area/ get free school meals/ have low household income/ go to state schools/ come from an ethnic minority background etc.). Therefore, there's no guarantee you'll get in - I applied to 4 last year and only got into one.
    Good luck
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    Could you maybe shadow an MP for a bit or get some work experience related to politics?

    Not everything in your personal statement has to be strictly relevant though, sometimes they like to see you're just a well-rounded person too, so doing something like sports, volunteering or Duke of Edinburgh might be a good idea too
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    Joining a debating society is something I would recommend. And not only because its fun, but its also related to the degree you want to take.
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    (Original post by CharlieJH)
    At university I want to study Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE) at either Oxford or Warwick

    I am going to study Maths, History, Economics and Chemistry (and maybe Philosophy) at AS and then do an EPQ later

    But what extra-curricular activities can I do to make my application stand out expect the grades


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    As dragonkeeper says reading around the subject and displaying this knowledge on both your PS and at interview is the best thing you could do.
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    ECs don't make your application stand out - what you gain from them and how they help you understand and express your interest in the subject is what will make a difference.

    It sounds dull but the advice to read around the subjects, look into the current research being done in the subjects at your chosen university, go to lectures, watch documentaries.

    The people who will be assessing your PS and reference will be academics in the subjects you're applying for - that means they did it at A level, as a degree, maybe a masters and then a 4 year long PhD before embarking on a career researching and teaching their topic...these people are COMMITTED to their subject. To impress them you need to do all you can to demonstrate the same level of interest and commitment which is about more than just going on school trips and summer schools and passively reading freakonomics and the winnie the pooh guide to philosophy and watching the news most nights.
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    Hi, I'm currently in year 13 and have firmed my offer for PPE at Warwick (rejected from oxford) so maybe not the best person to take advice from, but I'll give you my two cents, as I've been through this process.

    I found with PPE, because the degree captures three subjects, I struggled to fit everything into the 4000 character limit for the PS. I would say I wrote about four lines outside of direct relation to the course - 2 lines on work experience, which I was very lucky with, working in Rothschild and 2 lines about extra curriculars; I'm keen on my sport.

    I pretty much wrote a paragraph on each of the disciplines and what books I have read in relation.

    For oxford, I am sure it was my TSA score that let me down, I applied for oxford last minute so was completely unprepared.

    If you have any other questions i'd be happy to answer them!
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    I've firmed to study Politics with International Studies at Warwick. I know not the same, but might be of some help. I didn't do any reading, so no books were discussed. I did have work experience with an MP and a placement at a think tank. I visited the Houses of Parliament. I'm a member of a debating society. I mentioned I attended a conference at LSE. I also spoke about my interest in languages. I kept my PS really simple. I did 5 A levels, then dropped two. I got ABBBC.

    I think PQ is right. I spoke far more about why I'm interested and how I believe the course will be able to further my knowledge, rather than what I'm doing that shows I'm interested. Not really sure if that even makes sense.


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