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PPE

Hi, I'm in year 12, an aspiring Oxford PPEist, my school is a very good grammar school and I feel my gcses were a bit subpar for PPE at 999988875, I'm doing 4 subjects plus an extended diploma with my predicted grades likely to be 3a* and 1a with an a*/a in my diploma. I am on Free School Meals (does this help me at all)

My questions:
a) Are my gcses good enough or will contextualisation hurt my application
b) will eligibility for FSM help my application in any way such as try to explain my slightly worse GCSEs
C) are my a levels good enough for PPE or do I need 4a*?
Hello, first of all I would like to congratulate you on your grades! I am also in year 12 currently and am interested in PPE, so I have been doing a lot of research on similar things which I thought would be helpful.

So, Oxford University's general admissions requirements for GCSE states that a high proportion of grades between 9-7 is considered, so with your grades you have no reason to worry about trying to explain your one GCSE that is not in that bracket, since many applicants have more. In regards to free school meals, receiving them is quite good as that can make you eligible for their Crankstart Scholarship which is a non-repayable bursary for up to £4250 per year of your tuition(I have included the link below for more details). Then about your A-level predictions, Oxford and all universities only really take into account 3 of your A-levels, even if you do more. Maths is recommended for PPE whereas history is deemed helpful but not necessary- so if you take that as an example, they may look at math as your third A-level rather than history. That being said A*A*A is the gold standard that they would accept you on- so no need to worry about that.

Crankstart Scholarship link- https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/fees-and-funding/crankstart/prospective-students
General admission requirements- https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/admission-requirements/uk-qualifications#:~:text=None%20of%20our%20courses%20have,for%20students%20not%20taking%20GCSEs.

Hope this helps:smile:
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, I'm in year 12, an aspiring Oxford PPEist, my school is a very good grammar school and I feel my gcses were a bit subpar for PPE at 999988875, I'm doing 4 subjects plus an extended diploma with my predicted grades likely to be 3a* and 1a with an a*/a in my diploma. I am on Free School Meals (does this help me at all)

My questions:
a) Are my gcses good enough or will contextualisation hurt my application
b) will eligibility for FSM help my application in any way such as try to explain my slightly worse GCSEs
C) are my a levels good enough for PPE or do I need 4a*?

Your GCSEs are definitely good enough. You're right that Oxford will contextualise your GCSEs, but they do this by calculating the number of 8/9/A*s you achieved compared to others at your school. The distinction between 8/9 is effectively removed. As for free school meals, this shouldn't affect the outcome of your application unless you have some serious socioeconomic disadvantage (care experience, etc). Unless you went to a different (and worse) school for your GCSEs, they'll take them at face value.

As for A levels, I know people that have gotten PPE offers with 3A*A, and worse. The important thing is that you do well in your TSA and interview. They're trying to determine your ability to adapt to new material, think critically, etc. A levels can be quite bad at assessing who is right for Oxford, and tutors are well aware of this.
Original post by please help me x
Hello, first of all I would like to congratulate you on your grades! I am also in year 12 currently and am interested in PPE, so I have been doing a lot of research on similar things which I thought would be helpful.

So, Oxford University's general admissions requirements for GCSE states that a high proportion of grades between 9-7 is considered, so with your grades you have no reason to worry about trying to explain your one GCSE that is not in that bracket, since many applicants have more. In regards to free school meals, receiving them is quite good as that can make you eligible for their Crankstart Scholarship which is a non-repayable bursary for up to £4250 per year of your tuition(I have included the link below for more details). Then about your A-level predictions, Oxford and all universities only really take into account 3 of your A-levels, even if you do more. Maths is recommended for PPE whereas history is deemed helpful but not necessary- so if you take that as an example, they may look at math as your third A-level rather than history. That being said A*A*A is the gold standard that they would accept you on- so no need to worry about that.

Crankstart Scholarship link- https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/fees-and-funding/crankstart/prospective-students
General admission requirements- https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/admission-requirements/uk-qualifications#:~:text=None%20of%20our%20courses%20have,for%20students%20not%20taking%20GCSEs.

Hope this helps:smile:

Crankstart is wonderful and has really helped me out, but they only grant it if your family income is below the £32,500 threshold. Free school meals aren't taken into account, as far as I know.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, I'm in year 12, an aspiring Oxford PPEist, my school is a very good grammar school and I feel my gcses were a bit subpar for PPE at 999988875, I'm doing 4 subjects plus an extended diploma with my predicted grades likely to be 3a* and 1a with an a*/a in my diploma. I am on Free School Meals (does this help me at all)

My questions:
a) Are my gcses good enough or will contextualisation hurt my application
b) will eligibility for FSM help my application in any way such as try to explain my slightly worse GCSEs
C) are my a levels good enough for PPE or do I need 4a*?


I think your GCSEs and A-level predictions easily meet the requirements so most definitely good enough! just need to focus on TSA and interviews :smile:
Reply 4
btw I found this article really helpful for deciding to study ppe! https://www.avaloneducation.co.uk/post/why-study-ppe

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