Absolutely in love with politics - but can it lead me anywhere careerwise? Watch

the_innovator
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Hi guys, i'm 16 and about a year ago i just found that i loved learning about politics. i do feel like a geek because of it - is this normal to be so interested?

since suscribing to 'the economist' (its quite central: good) i've gained quite a large insight into the world's affairs and i'm studying it at AS level (politics) along with english lit, history, psychology and critical thinking.

Moving on, looking at the politics section of this forum has made me realise how aware other people are compared to your everyday person. naturally, i do feel embarassed to admit this to my mates and i'm not going to. however, since joining a debating club i've just found it to help so much on the academic side of things. even though i was managing As/A*s in all my subjects i still felt limited as to what was really going on in our society because tbh GCSE really didn't teach me as much as i would've liked to know.

with a view of studying law, can i actually gain much from this interest?

come on guys, i just want to know that i'm not alone
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Duran Duran
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You could try and do a PPE course, which will leave your options open if you want to go into politics or other careers too.
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the_innovator
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(Original post by The_Adarshster)
You could try and do a PPE course, which will leave your options open if you want to go into politics or other careers too.
yeah but if i were to do that course only Oxford would be appealing to me personally and i don't know if i would be able to get in despite having a look at the excellent PPE guide on the TSR Oxford forum.

comments? who feels the same?
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the_innovator
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Spoog!
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Of course it can!

There's more than one politics course at more than one uni, you just have to do your research a bit. The Vice-President I was working with at my college's SU is waiting on results for one at UCL, for example. That itself is very political, try getting involved with a Students' Union either at college or uni (if you're not already).

Talk to a careers advisor?
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Thud
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of course, look at the current government: bunch of careerists who have a interest in politics.
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Guy Secretan
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Why was his post warned? To be honest being a politician is quite a niche thing but if you go to a good uni then it will be quite useful for lots of jobs, of course you can always teach.
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Bismarck
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Because he was permanently banned before, and for some reason, the system allowed him to post anyway.
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notontsranymore
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hey man even though you're banning the guy continue the thread because i find it usefu as i'm pursuing law as well.
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notontsranymore
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oh and can you guys tell me more about the PPE and what are the chances of getting in at oxford/cambridge?
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RawJoh1
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(Original post by TopCat06)
oh and can you guys tell me more about the PPE and what are the chances of getting in at oxford/cambridge?
Cambridge don't offer PPE.

Chances of getting in vary between colleges. When I applied for PPE (at Corpus Christi, Oxford), there were 3 or 4 applicants to every place. That's actually quite a good ratio - reading History at somewhere like Durham you're talking 20 to 60 applicants per place.

I personally love PPE (though it's more PP now, for me). If you have any particular questions I'm happy to answer them.

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Apply for the degree you want to do. It's important to enjoy your degree. Don't be so bothered about employment prospects or whether your subject is a 'traditional' one or whatever. Do what you enjoy, that's the most important thing.
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notontsranymore
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(Original post by phawkins1988)
Cambridge don't offer PPE.

Chances of getting in vary between colleges. When I applied for PPE (at Corpus Christi, Oxford), there were 3 or 4 applicants to every place. That's actually quite a good ratio - reading History at somewhere like Durham you're talking 20 to 60 applicants per place.

I personally love PPE (though it's more PP now, for me). If you have any particular questions I'm happy to answer them.

---

Apply for the degree you want to do. It's important to enjoy your degree. Don't be so bothered about employment prospects or whether your subject is a 'traditional' one or whatever. Do what you enjoy, that's the most important thing.
Aww thanks m8 for that. i really enjoy learning about law too but i figure it will be the safer option. as i'm a british born chinese person will this damage my chances of getting a high ranking government role? i'll only really consider this if i manage to get into oxford, but i do really like the look of the PPE and what topics it covers.
so, how to you actually get into PPE?

p.s. my maths is only going to be a B at GCSE (everything else: A*/A). i'm not taking A level maths so i'm guessing the economics side of things will drag me down? but i do enjoy learning about it of course.
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notontsranymore
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and phawkins, how did you get into oxford? what was your personal statement/ interview like? (if you don't mind me asking)
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ForeverIsMyName
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(Original post by TopCat06)
and phawkins, how did you get into oxford? what was your personal statement/ interview like? (if you don't mind me asking)
I can answer that I think; excellent, and excellent.
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RawJoh1
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(Original post by TopCat06)
Aww thanks m8 for that. i really enjoy learning about law too but i figure it will be the safer option. as i'm a british born chinese person will this damage my chances of getting a high ranking government role? i'll only really consider this if i manage to get into oxford, but i do really like the look of the PPE and what topics it covers.
so, how to you actually get into PPE?

p.s. my maths is only going to be a B at GCSE (everything else: A*/A). i'm not taking A level maths so i'm guessing the economics side of things will drag me down? but i do enjoy learning about it of course.
Do you mean that PPE will be a safer option than a law degree? I'd advise against choosing a subject due to it being a 'safe option' or something like that, especially at Oxbridge. The workload down here is intense (and it seems especially so for Law), and if you don't love your subject, you won't enjoy your time here. If you prefer the PPE course content to Law, do PPE. If you prefer Law, do Law. It's impossible to stress how important enjoying your course is.

The sort of stuff you study differs a lot between PPE and Law as well. Researching course content is important, since Law at one university won't necessarily teach the same stuff as Law at another university.

I wouldn't imagine that not being ethnically white-British would damage your chances of:
a) getting into a good university to read for a good degree
b) doing well in the civil service

On maths:
There is no formal requirement for PPEists to have maths A-level. Many PPEists do (though this varies between colleges) though. Maths is only required for economics (especially microeconomics). Tutors will say that maths is helpful for logic (in philosophy), but I did not find this. I'm crap at maths, but not bad at basic logic.

I personally did not A-level maths, nor did 2 of my coursemates this year. If you don't have A-level maths, the odds are you will struggle with the mathematical parts of microeconomics (I did, as did my coursemates), but it is possible to persevere and get a 2:1 in Prelims (first year exams - these don't count towards your final mark in your degree) in Economics without A-level maths. Students who carry on with Economics after first year almost exclusively have A-level maths. Basically, unless you love Economics you will drop Econ if you don't have maths.

Whether tutors will consider a candidate with a B in GCSE maths I don't know. I'd imagine that 99% of applicants have A*. But, tutors will consider each applicant on his/her merits.
(Original post by TopCat06)
and phawkins, how did you get into oxford? what was your personal statement/ interview like? (if you don't mind me asking)
I don't mind at all.

You will have to have a strong personal statement. I was in a tricky position, since I was applying for different courses at different Unis (PPE at Ox, straight Philosophy elsewhere). I talked primarily about why I was interested in the 3 subjects (this is the most important part - tutors don't want someone who isn't interested) and then about extra-curricular stuff. I also mentioned two fairly advanced books I'd read. If you're a potential Oxbridge applicant though, I imagine your school/6th form college will give you help with your PS. I did about 4 drafts before I got it perfect.

The interview process for PPE is changing apparently. They're introducing a new test soon. I had a basic (and I mean basic!) test on word definitions and arithmetic/problem solving as well as my interviews, but you'd have this extra new test which I know little about.

You're interviewed by tutors in each of the 3 disciplines. In econ, I was asked to interpret some graphs (easy stuff, just read the axes). In politics, I was asked about where electorally savvy parties ought to position themselves on the left-right axis and then I talked about the deficiencies of the left-right axis and about the Nolan Chart. In philosophy, we talked about whether we can prohibit things which we harm no-one (eg. nudity). So yeah - I was primarily asked about the subject, but nothing that you'd need degree level knowledge of. I was also quizzed on some of the aspects of my personal statement (the extra curricular stuff).

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When it comes to deciding whether to do Law or PPE, I recommend you consult the student handbooks, as well as prospectuses etc.

Law: http://denning.law.ox.ac.uk/published/ughandbook.pdf

PPE: http://www.politics.ox.ac.uk/teachin.../ppe/index.asp

Hope that helps.
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notontsranymore
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loads of thanks phawkins: i'll make the right choice
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ForeverIsMyName
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Spout populist drivel and be an MP.
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notontsranymore
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(Original post by ForeverIsMyName)
Spout populist drivel and be an MP.
lol i'll consider it mate. as an MP though, what rights will i actually have?
because i actually DO want to make a difference for the better.
but i want to be a lawyer for a while. is it ok if i do this in later life?
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Arminius
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quite alot of Mp's pursue totally unrelated careers untill they later start getting into politics.

Then there are the Mp's that are more or less in it for the "career".

I personally think the best politicians are those that go into it later, after they have had a bit of experiance and not got too conditioned too the academic take on politics or spent too much time brown nosing party headquarters.

Politics should be about bringing something new to the table. Don't ask "i want to be a politician, what shall i do/say to achieve this?". You should just do what you do best and say what you think is best for the people you want to represent. (which is not the same as what others think you need to say in order to be elected).

In short, be a politican of principle! i don't think study of politics at uni is tremendously hellful except for its own sake. Knowledge of economics, socialogy, science, history and developing your own opinion on everthing is whats important
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cottonmouth
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(Original post by TopCat06)
lol i'll consider it mate. as an MP though, what rights will i actually have?
because i actually DO want to make a difference for the better.
but i want to be a lawyer for a while. is it ok if i do this in later life?

Loads of politicians werer lawyers first, particularly those who get to Cabinet level.

Just don't do anything abd now that will come out and ruin your life later. Its too late for some of us...journalism and law instead for me methinks.
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