Please help...I don't know if it is worth it for me to apply to Oxford PPE?

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eli254
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I finished my first year at Durham this year (BA Politics), and i'm thinking about applying to oxford for PPE because I really think the course suits me better academically. I have never applied to Oxford before because it never appealed to me until my first year at durham.

I don't know if it is worth it for me to apply though. I didn't think PPE would be the right course for me until now, and I really don't think I can do another year at Durham.

And i'm sure tutors would be wondering about how if i wanted to switch a degree programme so badly, why didn't I just apply to other uni's with the PPE programme like KCL, UCL, even Durham again...but the truth is I didn't feel challenged enough at Durham and I don't think I would feel challenged enough at other schools I just listed.

I also really like how Oxford structures its PPE programme and its academic environment. But i feel like if I wrote down in my personal statement on UCAS that the reason why i'm only applying to oxford's PPE (and no other uni) was i didn't feel challenged enough at Durham....it would look completely ridiculous because I couldn't even manage to get anything higher than a 2:1 (except for a 72 in one module, but also got a 59 in one module ugh ).

I got a mid 2:1 for my first year.

i know i rambled on a lot, but i just need some truthful advice, and if its even worth it for me to apply, and what oxford thinks about students applying with a 2:1.

i know it sounds like i'm only applying to oxford because of its prestige, but it really isn't the case, and i would really appreciate it if people could help me with this keeping that in mind as hard as that might be.
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fefssdf
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Good luck
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eli254
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(Original post by fefssdf)
Good luck
Thanks mate. Still not sure if I will apply but thanks for the well wishes regardless.
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eli254
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bump...help would be appreciated!
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hrunting
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If you're applying this year, you'll have finished two years at Durham already by the time you could potentially start at Oxford. I would advise just finishing your degree. Perhaps find a job that challenges you afterwards.
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jneill? :holmes:
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post-grad-u-ate
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I would change to the PPE course at Durham as you'll more likely make the change there but there is no harm in trying for Oxford except putting all your eggs in one basket and making yourself feel bad for not getting in and also keeping feeling how you do about your current course which is a great course and very prestigious.

You may have this 'what if' in the back of your mind but you will always have that in all aspects and ages of your life so making the most of what you have and being more modest in making the change within Durham is not going to be a bad thing as Durham is as prestigious to many as Oxbridge is.

LSE and UCL both recently launched PPE courses so could try those too.

Maybe to challenge yourself is to get more involved on the battlefields of politics such as debating etc.

You could always go to LSE for their MSc Economics and Philosophy programme.

- Microeconomics, Macroeconomics
- Philosophy of Economics, Philosophy-Morals-and Politics, Rationality and Choice
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Doones
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(Original post by Hydeman)
jneill? :holmes:
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...10&postcount=1

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Newcastle456
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(Original post by eli254)
I finished my first year at Durham this year (BA Politics), and i'm thinking about applying to oxford for PPE because I really think the course suits me better academically. I have never applied to Oxford before because it never appealed to me until my first year at durham.

I don't know if it is worth it for me to apply though. I didn't think PPE would be the right course for me until now, and I really don't think I can do another year at Durham.

And i'm sure tutors would be wondering about how if i wanted to switch a degree programme so badly, why didn't I just apply to other uni's with the PPE programme like KCL, UCL, even Durham again...but the truth is I didn't feel challenged enough at Durham and I don't think I would feel challenged enough at other schools I just listed.

I also really like how Oxford structures its PPE programme and its academic environment. But i feel like if I wrote down in my personal statement on UCAS that the reason why i'm only applying to oxford's PPE (and no other uni) was i didn't feel challenged enough at Durham....it would look completely ridiculous because I couldn't even manage to get anything higher than a 2:1 (except for a 72 in one module, but also got a 59 in one module ugh ).

I got a mid 2:1 for my first year.

i know i rambled on a lot, but i just need some truthful advice, and if its even worth it for me to apply, and what oxford thinks about students applying with a 2:1.

i know it sounds like i'm only applying to oxford because of its prestige, but it really isn't the case, and i would really appreciate it if people could help me with this keeping that in mind as hard as that might be.
You don't have the grades for the PPE courses. The requirements are A*AA, even at Durham, which you don't have (saw your other thread). They won't even let you change internally and PPE is a lot more rigorous than politics on its own. Just finish your current degree, if you get a first, can try Oxbridge postgraduate.

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Newcastle456
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(Original post by post-grad-u-ate)
I would change to the PPE course at Durham as you'll more likely make the change there but there is no harm in trying for Oxford except putting all your eggs in one basket and making yourself feel bad for not getting in and also keeping feeling how you do about your current course which is a great course and very prestigious.

You may have this 'what if' in the back of your mind but you will always have that in all aspects and ages of your life so making the most of what you have and being more modest in making the change within Durham is not going to be a bad thing as Durham is as prestigious to many as Oxbridge is.

LSE and UCL both recently launched PPE courses so could try those too.

Maybe to challenge yourself is to get more involved on the battlefields of politics such as debating etc.

You could always go to LSE for their MSc Economics and Philosophy programme.

- Microeconomics, Macroeconomics
- Philosophy of Economics, Philosophy-Morals-and Politics, Rationality and Choice
They don't let people change easily from politics to ppe, even if they did, he'd have to do year 1 again. There is a world of difference in entry standards, content and rigour between the courses. From my experience, when they have let people change, they usually had high first year marks, which in this case, hasn't happened.

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eli254
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Thank you all! I wish I could apply, but I feel like it would give me more stress than anything so I guess I will just have to do my very best at Durham!
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eli254
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(Original post by Newcastle456)
They don't let people change easily from politics to ppe, even if they did, he'd have to do year 1 again. There is a world of difference in entry standards, content and rigour between the courses. From my experience, when they have let people change, they usually had high first year marks, which in this case, hasn't happened.

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Thanks for the advice! I did so bad in first year because of my mental health problems, and I feel like even if i explained that to oxford, it would come off as me wanting sympathy and would do me no benefit either sigh. But let's just assume I did end up applying...the mid 2:1 would definitely hurt me more than benefit, correct? (even with a strong reference from a professor)
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post-grad-u-ate
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(Original post by eli254)
Thank you all! I wish I could apply, but I feel like it would give me more stress than anything so I guess I will just have to do my very best at Durham!
Andrea Leadsom read political science at Warwick (8th) which is in the top 10 of uk universities along with Durham (6th) and she is the minister of state for energy and has been city minister and potentially next leader of the country and your degree at Durham could lead you to exactly the same places if you had the same ambitions.

So really concentrate on getting the best result in your degree as you can and get to work on your potential coupled with the potential you have and will have in with your degree in the future.

Now you should be looking at the opportunities available to you with a placement year which can be in the world of whitehall aka the westminster village. Big business like BAE Systems want political scientists, pharma like GlaxoSmithKline GSK, or somewhere like the Bank of England who look for research assistants and might find a place for a politics student. Energy companies like Centrica who own and operate British Gas, or BP, Shell and would be working somewhere like Canary Wharf.
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Doones
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(Original post by post-grad-u-ate)
Now you should be looking at the opportunities available to you with a placement year ...
Durham doesn't have a placement year for Politics.

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Newcastle456
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(Original post by eli254)
Thanks for the advice! I did so bad in first year because of my mental health problems, and I feel like even if i explained that to oxford, it would come off as me wanting sympathy and would do me no benefit either sigh. But let's just assume I did end up applying...the mid 2:1 would definitely hurt me more than benefit, correct? (even with a strong reference from a professor)
No it wouldn't matter. Although politics is a similar-ish course to ppe, I don't think this dropping out to reapply is sensible at all. You may even be auto rejected. Just continue on at Durham or switch to PPE if they let you, but don't hold your breath.

I also did PPE, although arguably better university than Durham for it, and got a low 2.2 in year 1.

I've since gone on to get 2.1s and 1st in all my modules (68% average on my degree with a 74% dissertation), and then just finished my master's at Cambridge, with 70+ in all 4 of my modules and PhD entry mark overall. Basically, for postgraduate 1st and high 2.1 is important, but they also care about references, your dissertation, extracurriculars related to subject, personal statement etc.
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Newcastle456
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Double posted by accident.
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eli254
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(Original post by Newcastle456)
No it wouldn't matter. Although politics is a similar-ish course to ppe, I don't think this dropping out to reapply is sensible at all. You may even be auto rejected. Just continue on at Durham or switch to PPE if they let you, but don't hold your breath.

I also did PPE, although arguably better university than Durham for it, and got a low 2.2 in year 1.

I've since gone on to get 2.1s and 1st in all my modules (68% average on my degree with a 74% dissertation), and then just finished my master's at Cambridge, with 70+ in all 4 of my modules and PhD entry mark overall. Basically, for postgraduate 1st and high 2.1 is important, but they also care about references, your dissertation, extracurriculars related to subject, personal statement etc.
Great! Thank you so much for your help! I think now I've really decided that it would benefit me much more if I stayed at Durham, and applied for postgraduate studies at Oxbridge
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(Original post by post-grad-u-ate)
I would change to the PPE course at Durham as you'll more likely make the change there but there is no harm in trying for Oxford except putting all your eggs in one basket and making yourself feel bad for not getting in and also keeping feeling how you do about your current course which is a great course and very prestigious.

You may have this 'what if' in the back of your mind but you will always have that in all aspects and ages of your life so making the most of what you have and being more modest in making the change within Durham is not going to be a bad thing as Durham is as prestigious to many as Oxbridge is.

LSE and UCL both recently launched PPE courses so could try those too.

Maybe to challenge yourself is to get more involved on the battlefields of politics such as debating etc.

You could always go to LSE for their MSc Economics and Philosophy programme.

- Microeconomics, Macroeconomics
- Philosophy of Economics, Philosophy-Morals-and Politics, Rationality and Choice
Wouldn't it be hard to do a Masters in Econ and Philosophy after doing a Politics undergrad degree?
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anonwinner
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(Original post by Newcastle456)
No it wouldn't matter. Although politics is a similar-ish course to ppe, I don't think this dropping out to reapply is sensible at all. You may even be auto rejected. Just continue on at Durham or switch to PPE if they let you, but don't hold your breath.

I also did PPE, although arguably better university than Durham for it, and got a low 2.2 in year 1.

I've since gone on to get 2.1s and 1st in all my modules (68% average on my degree with a 74% dissertation), and then just finished my master's at Cambridge, with 70+ in all 4 of my modules and PhD entry mark overall. Basically, for postgraduate 1st and high 2.1 is important, but they also care about references, your dissertation, extracurriculars related to subject, personal statement etc.
What are your thoughts on the quality/worth of postgrad courses at Oxbridge?

I've heard that they don't do tutorials for postgrad students, and that Oxbridge is generally less prestigious for postgrad than undergrad.
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Newcastle456
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(Original post by anonwinner)
What are your thoughts on the quality/worth of postgrad courses at Oxbridge?

I've heard that they don't do tutorials for postgrad students, and that Oxbridge is generally less prestigious for postgrad than undergrad.
Well, I completed my master's in a very competitive subject area (500 apps for 50-60 starting every year), they vary from field to field (some are 2 to 1, classics rtc). This is same for UG, there's a wealth of difference between doing say Law, Economics, PPE, Medicine than Land Economy, Celtic Studies, etc. Oxbridge courses just aren't the same competitiveness so it's not a binary choice. Of course, the university will play this down, but it's the same for colleges. Trinity is obviously much more competitive and prestigious than Homerton.

I had several tutorials across the year, small seminar classes (6-10 students) lectures with 4 students, lectures with 30-35 (never more, UG can have 100s) I was taught by the leading academics in my field (who don't teach UGS so much), world economic forum economist of the year in x, another CBE, etc etc. Contact time about 12 hours a week? More than my UG in honours years. My faculty is a postgraduate only one too and my course was half taught, half research, very different to most other subjects. I had 5 mini dissertations (4000 - 5000 words each and 3 exams for formal assessment). On top of that, I personally did 3 unassessed 2000 word essays but it was up to you how many you did, the academics would look at it but I just didn't have much more time.

I can't speak for other courses but I had world class teaching by genuine world leaders, our own lecture series was organised by the academics who brought in several leading figures and even our normal lectures, if they were in a niche subject area, they brought in the expert because they had the contact.

If I continue onto the PhD, I'll be taking the UG tutorials so it's getting to stage where it's redundant for me, i'm actually becoming an expert. I already work part time doing UG admissions help for Oxbridge and similar top institution entrance.

My course had several diplomats, un workers, lobbyists, I'd be mad to compare the cohort quality to my UG who were equally bright (maybe brighter) but just not as motivated or complete with real world experience.

To sum, I can't compare my experiences. I'm already working in the civil service and starting quite a prestigious graduate internship with a notable organisation soon and my range of options uk and abroad are immense. Another thing I'll add is I'm more proactive than most, basically it's what you make of your experience. I also was at a traditional old college and my university experience was very memorable.

I had many an interesting chat with the UGS (although some were absolute mugs [same with PG] but most great chat) over hall too about their subjects and have good memories, I'm only 22 myself.

On the labour market, when you apply for more senior roles in my field (development), you won't even get looked at without a master's, I can easily migrate abroad now, and i'm actually now thinking about a MBA in the US. Prestige etc has become redundant, university is a signalling device for some, it's probably very different if I didn't already have a prestigious PPE degree in the bag and was doing English or something.

At master's level you also interact with people from Harvard, top regional universities, Stanford, Chicago, Oxford, LSE, Warwick, it's just different. You are getting beyond point where people are just doing a subject which they are good at, people are carefully thinking about careers etc.

The university and UK gov also gave me £10k so I barely paid for my master's too in terms of tuition. Lucky, fortunate, I worked hard all I can say. Cambridge is life changing if you want it to be, it's what you make of it.
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