GeorgeJC
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I have found myself in a dilemma... For a long time, I have wanted to pursue computer science at university, hopefully Cambridge given my predicted grades, however, I have recently stumbled across Oxford PPE, which until yesterday, I didn't know existed. Although computer science has always been fascinating to me, I have always relished in conversations of politics, finance, and the prospect of personal development philosophy can offer.

All three of those topics together rival with my passion for computer science substantially.
So, while computer science is a fascinating thing to learn, especially at world renowned institute such as Cambridge University, PPE at Oxford I think will establish me with an unrivalled understanding of the world we live in, not to mention I think I’d really enjoy studying it. If I did go ahead with PPE I think in my later life I’d study computer science with the open university, which I also plan to do with many other subjects. Your advice would be most valuable so thank you for your time.


I think I should add that I’m predicted an A* in maths, and A-A* in physics and Distinction* in IT (my school don’t teach CS). My GCSEs were mediocre, I got three 7s and one 8; this is because I only recently I started taking my education seriously, however, since secondary school I have taken a huge step up. Your advice on what option you think I should take and whether or not you think I’d get accepted in the first place would be amazing, thanks again.
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Oxford Mum
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Thank you for your message. I will hand you over to a real expert on PPE: utilitarianism , an offer holder for PPE at Oxford.

Here is the chapter she wrote about getting in:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6436380

These other unis offer PPE:

https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...ables/rankings

(can't see where Cambridge offers it though!)

PPE is a popular subject, though, I think the average 8s/9s for offer holders is about 8.

Is that true, utilitarianism?

But you have 5 choices, so whatever happens, you have the chance of studying PPE at other unis as well.
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RichE
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I can't think of many degrees further apart than CS and PPE. What reading or investigation have you done about PPE? PPE is nowhere near as mathematical a degree as CS, and the type of philosophy that is in PPE (more political and social) is quite different to the philosophy of interest to CS and maths students (AI, language, mind). I'm not trying to put you off PPE, it would just be reassuring to hear more about why PPE intrigues you. You A-level choices would be quite unusual for a PPEist. BTW, are you aware there's a CS and Philosophy degree at Oxford?
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GeorgeJC
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(Original post by RichE)
I can't think of many degrees further apart than CS and PPE. What reading or investigation have you done about PPE? PPE is nowhere near as mathematical a degree as CS, and the type of philosophy that is in PPE (more political and social) is quite different to the philosophy of interest to CS and maths students (AI, language, mind). I'm not trying to put you off PPE, it would just be reassuring to hear more about why PPE intrigues you. You A-level choices would be quite unusual for a PPEist. BTW, are you aware there's a CS and Philosophy degree at Oxford?
My father studied philosophy and he could go on for hours about how beneficial it was throughout his life despite never finishing the course. To be honest with you I haven't looked into much of philosophy as of yet, however, I am interested in how it can make you more of a critical thinker, I could go on but given that I don't know too much about it, I think it's best I don't say something wrong and make a fool of myself. Politics on the other hand is something I have taken great interest in over the years. I believe I'm quite good at presenting an argument and enjoy listening to my oppositions. I don't know a massive amount about the actual political structure of Britain or other nations but am very keen to learn. I don't know what else to say about politics without writing a full essay on my opinions, other than I find it captivating and would love to understand it to a further level. Lastly, econ... Money is something I hold with great respect, and understanding how it works is something I feel compelled to do. I have set up a demo trading account numerous times, one time I made a turnover of 60% in a couple of months. Again, something I would be delighted to understand. These were all topics I planned to educate myself on separately later in my life, but all together at a world-renowned institute makes me feel light on my feet. I am aware that Oxford offer CS, it was just the last time I looked into my options Cambridge was more appealing. Sorry for being so brief please tell me if I can inform you of anything else. Thank you so much.
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RichE
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I particularly mentioned the CS+Phil degree - I know Oxford and Cambridge both offer CS.

Sorry if this is a bit blunt, but I didn't find your response about PPE reassuring, from a point of view of what you know about it currently, and from a point of view of applying. If you haven't looked into much philosophy as of yet, and don't know much about politics but think you debate well, and equate economics with money, then I can only recommend you find out more about these subjects and whether they're really for you. Otherwise making a competitive application will just be impossible.
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GeorgeJC
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(Original post by RichE)
I particularly mentioned the CS+Phil degree - I know Oxford and Cambridge both offer CS.

Sorry if this is a bit blunt, but I didn't find your response about PPE reassuring, from a point of view of what you know about it currently, and from a point of view of applying. If you haven't looked into much philosophy as of yet, and don't know much about politics but think you debate well, and equate economics with money, then I can only recommend you find out more about these subjects and whether they're really for you. Otherwise making a competitive application will just be impossible.
Please don't apologise, I thank you for your honesty. I realised the same thing when I was writing it, I agree I need to look into it more. I'll take your advice and look into the topics. Again, thank you so much.
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RichE
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(Original post by GeorgeJC)
Please don't apologise, I thank you for your honesty. I realised the same thing when I was writing it, I agree I need to look into it more. I'll take your advice and look into the topics. Again, thank you so much.
I hope it was helpful. One thing I'll say for philosophy is that it is so various - and I can see why Oxford only offers joint degrees in it. What excites political/theological/sociological/mathematical/legal/linguistic/psychological/physical philosophers really can be very different, and even if some underlying question is of interest the emphases and methodologies can be very different.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by GeorgeJC)
My father studied philosophy and he could go on for hours about how beneficial it was throughout his life despite never finishing the course. To be honest with you I haven't looked into much of philosophy as of yet, however, I am interested in how it can make you more of a critical thinker, I could go on but given that I don't know too much about it, I think it's best I don't say something wrong and make a fool of myself. Politics on the other hand is something I have taken great interest in over the years. I believe I'm quite good at presenting an argument and enjoy listening to my oppositions. I don't know a massive amount about the actual political structure of Britain or other nations but am very keen to learn. I don't know what else to say about politics without writing a full essay on my opinions, other than I find it captivating and would love to understand it to a further level. Lastly, econ... Money is something I hold with great respect, and understanding how it works is something I feel compelled to do. I have set up a demo trading account numerous times, one time I made a turnover of 60% in a couple of months. Again, something I would be delighted to understand. These were all topics I planned to educate myself on separately later in my life, but all together at a world-renowned institute makes me feel light on my feet. I am aware that Oxford offer CS, it was just the last time I looked into my options Cambridge was more appealing. Sorry for being so brief please tell me if I can inform you of anything else. Thank you so much.
It seems to me that you would benefit from doing a little reading about philosophy if it is of particular interest to you. Then you can make an informed opinion. You don't have to talk about philosophy on TSR if you don't want to. And no, you will not make a fool out of yourself. We all have to start somewhere.
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utilitarianism
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Thank you for your message. I will hand you over to a real expert on PPE: utilitarianism , an offer holder for PPE at Oxford.

Here is the chapter she wrote about getting in:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6436380

These other unis offer PPE:

https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...ables/rankings

(can't see where Cambridge offers it though!)

PPE is a popular subject, though, I think the average 8s/9s for offer holders is about 8.

Is that true, utilitarianism?

But you have 5 choices, so whatever happens, you have the chance of studying PPE at other unis as well.
Thanks for the tag, Oxford Mum !

Hey OP! GeorgeJC sorry for the late reply to this thread - I forgot to hit enter on my response!

I am not surprised at all that you are interested in PPE and CompSci, so I hope that is reassuring to hear. Two of my A-level subjects were Physics and Further Maths, which some may think are atypical for a PPEist, but they are really not - Further Maths is the fourth most popular A-level amongst Oxford PPE offer holders (after Maths, Economics and History).

In fact, I really loved my STEM A-level subjects, to the extent that I debated applying to uni for CompSci+Phil/Physics+Phil. The main reason I wanted to do them joint honours with Philosophy is that I also loved writing essays and did not want to leave that behind, and I enjoyed discussing the philosophy of physics in my A-level Physics lessons - like you, I had only scratched the surface of philosophy at the time, and did not really know a lot about it.

However, I decided that I loved Economics the most and I definitely wanted to take it forward to uni. If you think about it, Economics, CompSci and Physics are not really that different - they are all based on building models to simplify complex ideas. Then, I had a look at the Philosophy modules offered in the PPE course - there are LOADS! From ancient philosophy to philosophy of science/physics/maths, and logic and langauge, you will be spoilt for choice! Personally, I'm looking forward to studying the more analytical philosophy modules, but the freedom of the course means I can change my mind closer to the time.

The Economics in PPE can also be very maths heavy if you wish - there are options in econometrics, microeconomics and game theory, which I assume would be of interest to someone of your academic background.

Overall, PPE offers a bit of everything and everyone ends up doing different modules. It is great if you do not know exactly what you want to study yet, as you can keep your options open by having three subjects, each with a huge range of modules, available to you.

I have also replied to the DM you sent me about your specific situation regarding GCSE results. However, to anyone else that may be lurking on this thread - the average offer holder has 9 A*s/9s/8s. These will be contextualised to account for your performance compared to your year group at your school. Therefore, if you only got 2A*s but this was top of your year, the contextualisation will be of benefit to you. If your results were poor both in raw terms and in contextual terms, you should still apply, as there is still a chance you could get in - for example, if you very well on the TSA. Another option in this situation would be to apply on a gap year, once you have your achieved A-level grades, but there is nothing to say you couldn't give it a shot in Y13 as well.
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