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Anyone Reapplying to Oxford? (2023 entry)

Rejected from PPE, but come to be quite glad about that outcome - really opened my eyes to how much I am interested in philosophy (in isolation). Checked out the PPL course, and looking to apply to Philosophy and Linguistics this year granted I achieve strong enough A-Levels!

Is anyone thinking of/planning on reapplying?

Which course/college? Offers anywhere else?/gap year plans? :smile:
Hi there.
I wouldn't recommend PPL personally (Rejected from PsychPhil this year with TSA score of 95.8 - highest of anyone that applied). It is, of course, a very cool course, but it is unfortunately a gamble due to the acceptance rate (lower than PPE). If you are interested in Philosophy, it might be worth considering the Cambridge course - a brilliant course, with the opportunity to take modules in psychology and political philosophy. If you are set on Oxford (it is far more beautiful after all), it might be worth considering Philosophy and a Modern Language (picking Modern Greek, Italian, Czech or Portuguese if you are not taking a language to A-level). The rate for this course is extremely favourable.
I really hope this helps. Let me know what you decide.
Which college did you apply to last year and do you have a college in mind for this year?
A little more about the Cam course:

As with all Cambridge courses, philosophy treats reapplicants quite well. If you achieve 3A*s or better in your A-levels you are guaranteed an interview, and if your first college falls through, they cannot outright reject you but have to place you in the pool. (Search Cambridge pooling Criteria online.)

For some context by the way, regarding what I am doing, I am in a similar position to you (as you might be aware based on the previous post). I am deciding whether to apply for Cambridge philosophy or to apply for Philosophy and a Modern Language at Oxford (it would be beginner's Italian for me), based on the fact that I desperately want to study philosophy at Oxford in some form.
(edited 1 year ago)
Alternatively, if all you are set on is Philosophy at Oxford, Classics might actually be the best option. You can take up to 5 philosophy papers for finals, including modules which are both ancient and modern. This would be equivalent to the provision for Philosophy on the PPL course and whilst the Linguistics would be less theoretical, you would still be checking off that box of your interest. Acceptance rate is 40%. If you are from a state school, this might actually be even higher, since Oxford are working really hard to enhance outreach for the subject (probably one of the most stereotypically 'posh' ones they offer).

I really would like to reapply for PPL, but it just seems absurd to do so, when I prefer philosophy to psychology. If I apply for a course like Cambridge Philosophy or Oxford Philosophy and a Modern Language, I could get as close as possible to guaranteeing a place if I work hard in the run up to December, whereas no matter how hard I work for PPL, it will always be a gamble.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by OBPzer
Rejected from PPE, but come to be quite glad about that outcome - really opened my eyes to how much I am interested in philosophy (in isolation). Checked out the PPL course, and looking to apply to Philosophy and Linguistics this year granted I achieve strong enough A-Levels!

Is anyone thinking of/planning on reapplying?

Which course/college? Offers anywhere else?/gap year plans? :smile:

Hey. Just to let you know, I got your PM, but my account is too new to reply! Will do so here.

1. Thanks for the congrats on the TSA :smile:. How was yours if I may ask?
2. ChCh is so nice! I applied to Univ, because it seemed to have a great community for Psychology related courses (at the time I thought I preferred psychology)
3. I completely get you on the Cambridge question. I really think their course is perfect for me, but Oxford just seems right (shame I didn't seem right to them! :frown::wink::biggrin:). I am going to go to the Cambridge open day this July. The Oxford one seems like a waste of time, since I already know the ins and outs from last year.
(edited 1 year ago)
Re. feedback. They said they were very impressed with my TSA score (great :rolleyes:) but that my interviews were below the offer holders average. I am trying to juggle being bitter about the vagueness with my understanding that they have so many pieces to write. I just thought that given the obvious effort that went into my application, I might have got a bit more detail from them...

Was ChCh any better on the feedback side of things?
Reply 6
Original post by Brainded
Hey. Just to let you know, I got your PM, but my account is too new to reply! Will do so here.

1. Thanks for the congrats on the TSA :smile:. How was yours if I may ask?
2. ChCh is so nice! I applied to Univ, because it seemed to have a great community for Psychology related courses (at the time I thought I preferred psychology)
3. I completely get you on the Cambridge question. I really think their course is perfect for me, but Oxford just seems right (shame I didn't seem right to them! :frown::wink::biggrin:). I am going to go the Cambridge open day this July. The Oxford one seems like a waste of time, since I already know the ins and outs from last year.

TSA was a complete car crash for me, a combination of technical issues at the centre and just being generally underprepared - was in the late 60's

Loved the interviews, and was largely happy with the scores - highest being Philosophy and the lowest Politics. Feedback just consisted of scores - interview/TSA parts 1 and 2, no personalised comments at all, so there wasn't any 'explanation' as such. I assume just had comparatively weak performance, plus the terrible TSA didn't do me any favours 😂

Think I'll be going to the Cambridge open day too, no need to burn any bridges just yet...
Original post by OBPzer
TSA was a complete car crash for me, a combination of technical issues at the centre and just being generally underprepared - was in the late 60's

Loved the interviews, and was largely happy with the scores - highest being Philosophy and the lowest Politics. Feedback just consisted of scores - interview/TSA parts 1 and 2, no personalised comments at all, so there wasn't any 'explanation' as such. I assume just had comparatively weak performance, plus the terrible TSA didn't do me any favours 😂

Think I'll be going to the Cambridge open day too, no need to burn any bridges just yet...

TSA sounds like a pain and an unfair one at that. That all sounds pretty promising though to be honest. What even makes you consider PPL, rather than just giving PPE another shot?
Reply 8
Original post by Brainded
TSA sounds like a pain and an unfair one at that. That all sounds pretty promising though to be honest. What even makes you consider PPL, rather than just giving PPE another shot?


I suppose I just realised that whilst I am interested in Economics and Politics respectively, my actual engagement with the subjects tends to be through a philosophical lens anyway. I don't have an immense passion for modelling/History of British politics etc. all the elements I care to explore are covered within most Philosophy courses, wherever you go.

Felt from the interview, and talking to people who had received PPE offers, the focus/drive they held for at least two subjects justified their application, can no longer say the same for myself.

After only recently discovering Linguistics must say it's become a bit of an obsession. Built on my love for Wittgenstein, so having a blast.

How'd you make the jump to considering a ML?
Original post by OBPzer
I suppose I just realised that whilst I am interested in Economics and Politics respectively, my actual engagement with the subjects tends to be through a philosophical lens anyway. I don't have an immense passion for modelling/History of British politics etc. all the elements I care to explore are covered within most Philosophy courses, wherever you go.

Felt from the interview, and talking to people who had received PPE offers, the focus/drive they held for at least two subjects justified their application, can no longer say the same for myself.

After only recently discovering Linguistics must say it's become a bit of an obsession. Built on my love for Wittgenstein, so having a blast.

How'd you make the jump to considering a ML?

Yeah I guess that is fair enough. It is worth stressing that Cambridge are really good on Wittgenstein though. He is one of their course's selling points.

In terms of ML, I realised that I wanted to do Philosophy at Oxford but that taking it with something like Italian would give me a solid skill later in life and enable me to read lots of literature too. I am not quite sold though. I'm not anywhere near as enthusiastic about the ML side as the philosophy side, I am merely playing the numbers game. I need to see how engaged I can get with it...
Hey man.
Thanks for the latest. Think I'd rather avoid it though - friends have had bad experiences - hope you understand :smile:
Reply 11
Original post by Brainded
Hey man.
Thanks for the latest. Think I'd rather avoid it though - friends have had bad experiences - hope you understand :smile:

Totally get it - no problem!
Original post by OBPzer
Totally get it - no problem!

Cheers. Sorry about that. BTW, re. reapplying to ChCh, might be worth emailing the philosophy tutor there, thanking them for the interview experience etc., and explaining your predicament to them.

Also worth mentioning is that, whilst Oxford offers many joint honour philosophy courses, Cambridge has just the one but it fulfils most of the roles of the Oxford ones. So, Maths and Philosophy, Physics and Philosophy and Computer Science and Philosophy are all covered by broader metaphysics and logic modules than those offered on the standard Oxford courses and lots of philosophy of science options throughout. Psychology and Philosophy and Philosophy and Linguistics are covered by the option to take a PBS module and also very analytic focussed modules generally (see 1st year paper 'Meaning') and Philosophy and Theology is covered by the option to take modules from the Theology course.

It is also worth noting that Cambridge are far more flexible with switching course, so you could theoretically do 2 years of Philosophy and then switch into their Linguistics course for your final year.

But then you have Oxford...

I get it :biggrin:

I guess I'm trying to convince myself here. The old battle of head and heart.

How seriously have you looked into the Cambridge course so far?
Reply 13
Original post by Brainded
Cheers. Sorry about that. BTW, re. reapplying to ChCh, might be worth emailing the philosophy tutor there, thanking them for the interview experience etc., and explaining your predicament to them.

Also worth mentioning is that, whilst Oxford offers many joint honour philosophy courses, Cambridge has just the one but it fulfils most of the roles of the Oxford ones. So, Maths and Philosophy, Physics and Philosophy and Computer Science and Philosophy are all covered by broader metaphysics and logic modules than those offered on the standard Oxford courses and lots of philosophy of science options throughout. Psychology and Philosophy and Philosophy and Linguistics are covered by the option to take a PBS module and also very analytic focussed modules generally (see 1st year paper 'Meaning') and Philosophy and Theology is covered by the option to take modules from the Theology course.

It is also worth noting that Cambridge are far more flexible with switching course, so you could theoretically do 2 years of Philosophy and then switch into their Linguistics course for your final year.

But then you have Oxford...

I get it :biggrin:

I guess I'm trying to convince myself here. The old battle of head and heart.

How seriously have you looked into the Cambridge course so far?

To be fair, not too in-depth, I think in part because of a subconscious avoidance of Cambridge as a whole 😂, feels like giving up on Oxford once and for all.

But then again, I think the idea of doing a single honours course is also a tad daunting? Thinking about switching whilst there (at least right now) seems like a bit of a faff. In all honesty, assuming A levels go ok I think I'll go with what seems right and avoid the numbers game. The rejection this year helped put things into perspective, and most importantly 'intimately' introduced me to the learning style; a second rejection is invariably highly likely so hoping to take as much as I can out of it.

Do you presently have any other offers? Any ideas on how to spend the year off?
Original post by OBPzer
To be fair, not too in-depth, I think in part because of a subconscious avoidance of Cambridge as a whole 😂, feels like giving up on Oxford once and for all.

But then again, I think the idea of doing a single honours course is also a tad daunting? Thinking about switching whilst there (at least right now) seems like a bit of a faff. In all honesty, assuming A levels go ok I think I'll go with what seems right and avoid the numbers game. The rejection this year helped put things into perspective, and most importantly 'intimately' introduced me to the learning style; a second rejection is invariably highly likely so hoping to take as much as I can out of it.

Do you presently have any other offers? Any ideas on how to spend the year off?

Fair enough!

Not thought about what to do with the year off yet.
You have any ideas yourself?

Also, aside from ChCh, have you considered any other colleges yet? I'm trying to decide where I want to apply!

I'm thinking ChCh or Brasenose for Philosophy and Italian or St John's or Christ's at Cambridge if I apply for Philosophy
Reply 15
Original post by Brainded
Fair enough!

Not thought about what to do with the year off yet.
You have any ideas yourself?

Also, aside from ChCh, have you considered any other colleges yet? I'm trying to decide where I want to apply!

I'm thinking ChCh or Brasenose for Philosophy and Italian or St John's or Christ's at Cambridge if I apply for Philosophy

Exact same in terms of Cambridge! Assuming I apply for PPL, there are so few colleges where you can read Phil/Ling most of the deselection work has been done for me. Trying to shake ChCh for either Univ or Queens
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by OBPzer
Exact same in terms of Cambridge! Assuming I apply for PPL, there are so few colleges where you can read Phil/Ling most of the deselection work has been done for me. Trying to shake ChCh for either Univ or Queens

Oh nice. What made you choose those?
Original post by Brainded
Fair enough!

Not thought about what to do with the year off yet.
You have any ideas yourself?

Also, aside from ChCh, have you considered any other colleges yet? I'm trying to decide where I want to apply!

I'm thinking ChCh or Brasenose for Philosophy and Italian or St John's or Christ's at Cambridge if I apply for Philosophy


Hi, Italian is great at Magdalen, too. They have a fantastic tutor and amazing lecturers there. Try also with that for Oxford :smile: I will apply there for Classics and Italian(though not Beginner's level)

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