A-levels for PPE at oxford Watch

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Report Thread starter 5 years ago
Hi, I'm sorta aspiring for PPE at Oxford, and am currently in y11 taking my GCSEs. The a-levels I'm thinking of picking are physics, chemistry, maths, and further maths. I understand that PPE does require a lot of essay writing and I am expected to get A*s in essay/writing-based subjects at gcse, such as GCSE History and English, and was wondering if this would make up for a lack of essay based subjects in my a levels. The only reason I'm picking phys, chem, maths, and fm is because I find them all fun and think I'm good at them.

On a side note, what sort of jobs can I get with PPE from Oxford after I graduate? Thanks guys
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Report 5 years ago
Taken from the Oxford PPE website:

You may apply for PPE having done any combination of subjects at school or college; it is not necessary to have studied politics, philosophy or economics. All courses at Oxford are highly academic in nature, and require a great deal of reading. If you study PPE, you would usually be expected to write one or two essays each week. Therefore, you may wish to choose academic A-levels, and at least one that involves writing essays, as this will help to prepare you for the style of studying at Oxford.

History and Mathematics are recommended as subjects that can be helpful to you in completing the PPE course, but they are not required for admission.

However, although a background in Mathematics is not formally required, students should have sufficient interest in, and aptitude for, mathematics to cope with the mathematical elements of the Economics course. Mathematics is also an advantage for the first year logic course in philosophy, and for understanding empirical evidence in politics. You may like to consider taking Maths to AS-level, or equivalent, even if you do not take the full A2.
Some experience of studying History is also useful as a background, particularly for elements of the Politics course.

For the lack of essays you could consider as Oxford says: "Therefore, you may wish to choose academic A-levels, and at least one that involves writing essays, as this will help to prepare you for the style of studying at Oxford.". Maybe you could drop maybe further maths or chemistry for maybe history or English literature or even ancient history (Totally not a bias)

You should also think about doing the EPQ, Extended Project Qualification, here's an extract from the website again:

Although PPE applicants are not required to submit any written work with their application, it is good for the breadth of your application that you are studying the Extended Project (EPQ). The EPQ will provide applicants with the opportunity to develop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford. Candidates are encouraged to draw upon relevant EPQ experience when writing their personal statement. However, candidates are advised to prioritise their A-level study, as we do not include the EPQ in our conditional offers, so the final grades in A-levels or other qualifications are more important. The EPQ will however be a good indicator of your ability to conduct independent research and also undertake an extended piece of writing.
And for the jobs question, again an extract from Oxford!

PPE offers a good preparation for a wide variety of careers, many linked to subjects studied at Oxford. The careers most commonly chosen are in:
Banking and finance
Journalism and broadcasting
Social work
Business management
Many branches of the public service, including the civil and diplomatic services and local government
Recent Philosophy, Politics and Economics graduates include a hedge fund analyst, a primary school teacher, and a fundraising officer for a disease research foundation.
Hope you find what I've said useful
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Report 5 years ago
Also, although you specifically ask about Oxford, bear in mind that when you're applying to other unis, lack of essay subjects might be a problem (for instance, you won't be able to apply to Durham).
Badges: 16
Report 5 years ago
The thing about Oxford is that everyone applies with the top grades, so they literally pick and choose who they want to teach. The competition is fierce, so I would strongly recommend an essay subject.

Lack of one doesn't exclude you automatically, but unless you're clearly one of the very best, it's a big risk for them to take someone without a proven record of writing A-level essays (very different to GCSE ones).

However, I would e-mail a couple of admissions tutors directly.

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