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I'm taking economics, maths and english literature. For my fourth A-level would classical civilisation or politics be preferred for Oxford's PPE course?
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm taking economics, maths and english literature. For my fourth A-level would classical civilisation or politics be preferred for Oxford's PPE course?
95% of applicants for PPE in recent years studied A-Level Maths.

A-Level Economics is fine, but it is 'mathematical' at degree level.

A-Level Politics would be more effective preparation for PPE than Classical Civilisation.

So you should do A-Levels in Maths, Economics and Politics if you can only do 3 subjects, otherwise take 4 A-Level subjects in Maths, Economics, Politics and English Literature.

The TSA tests are not easy, but your subjects will be helpful in the preparations for the TSA tests.
Reply 2
Neither is preferred more than the other. They’re both equally fine (also note that offers are made on the basis of three A levels).
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm taking economics, maths and english literature. For my fourth A-level would classical civilisation or politics be preferred for Oxford's PPE course?

I got in for 24 entry, originally i took maths, econ, politics and english lit
then i changed in the first week to maths, economics, politics and philosophy
the politics will probs help you gain an understanding of the subject and will probs make interview/ tsa essay/ writing ps easier
hope this helps
Original post by thegeek888
95% of applicants for PPE in recent years studied A-Level Maths.
A-Level Economics is fine, but it is 'mathematical' at degree level.
A-Level Politics would be more effective preparation for PPE than Classical Civilisation.
So you should do A-Levels in Maths, Economics and Politics if you can only do 3 subjects, otherwise take 4 A-Level subjects in Maths, Economics, Politics and English Literature.
The TSA tests are not easy, but your subjects will be helpful in the preparations for the TSA tests.



OP, it may assist to know that thegeek888 has not yet applied to or studied at any university, and some of his advice, although maybe well intended, is incorrect, and/or is based not on relevant experience but on things he has read on the internet. There is no reason why you should not study Classical Civilisation. That would be a good foundation for later studying PPE.

But, as already pointed out above, you only need to take three A levels in any event.

Good luck.

Miss S Byng MA (Oxon)
(edited 3 months ago)
Original post by thegeek888
95% of applicants for PPE in recent years studied A-Level Maths.
A-Level Economics is fine, but it is 'mathematical' at degree level.
A-Level Politics would be more effective preparation for PPE than Classical Civilisation.
So you should do A-Levels in Maths, Economics and Politics if you can only do 3 subjects, otherwise take 4 A-Level subjects in Maths, Economics, Politics and English Literature.
The TSA tests are not easy, but your subjects will be helpful in the preparations for the TSA tests.

ok, thank you this was. really helpful.
Reply 6
Original post by sfp04
Neither is preferred more than the other. They’re both equally fine (also note that offers are made on the basis of three A levels).

Thank you
Original post by Anonymous #2
I got in for 24 entry, originally i took maths, econ, politics and english lit
then i changed in the first week to maths, economics, politics and philosophy
the politics will probs help you gain an understanding of the subject and will probs make interview/ tsa essay/ writing ps easier
hope this helps
Would you say philosophy a-level helped you to prepare for the test and interview. Also, in regard to the tsa and interview how did you prepare? Thank you.
Original post by Stiffy Byng
OP, it may assist to know that thegeek888 has not yet applied to or studied at any university, and some of his advice, although maybe well intended, is incorrect, and/or is based not on relevant experience but on things he has read on the internet. There is no reason why you should not study Classical Civilisation. That would be a good foundation for later studying PPE.
But, as already pointed out above, you only need to take three A levels in any event.
Good luck.
Miss S Byng MA (Oxon)

Thank you, this really helps!
Reply 9
Of those 2, weirdly, they'd rather you did Classical Civilisation, as that'd be closest to 'History' which is a 'helpful' subject, whereas none of the subjects actually in the name of the degree are suggested subjects. Classical Civilisation could give you an understanding of some of the origins of Philosophy and Politics as we know them today. Bearing in mind that many sixth form colleges will teach the other subjects (perhaps not so many Economics) but not many, relatively, might teach Classical Civilisation, it could help you stand out. They do recommend doing Maths, which you are doing. Perhaps you could somehow shoehorn in philosophical and political interests in to what you do in English Literature. (On a personal note, is it kind of strange now that you decided to study English instead of Politics or Philosophy at A-Level?)
Why aren't you looking at the admissions section on the Oxford website which states this?
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 10
Original post by student456_233
Would you say philosophy a-level helped you to prepare for the test and interview. Also, in regard to the tsa and interview how did you prepare? Thank you.

Definitely (i study aqa philosophy), the moral philosophy section of the course (includes Kantian deontology, Aristotelian virtue ethics, Utilitarianism...) was very useful, actually inspired me to study ppe as it got me interested more in philosophy and so helped me in the interview, didn't help for test at all (TSA is not content based at all)
For the TSA i did all the past papers and i pirated some question book online and did all of those.
For the interview I prepared for it even before i knew i had gotten one, don't start preparing after you know you have got one (you will be too late)
I just made sure I understood everything on my ps (nothing from it came up) and practiced with friends and teachers
i also did one mock interview with someone in the year above who had gotten in
Reply 11
Original post by gtarr
Definitely (i study aqa philosophy), the moral philosophy section of the course (includes Kantian deontology, Aristotelian virtue ethics, Utilitarianism...) was very useful, actually inspired me to study ppe as it got me interested more in philosophy and so helped me in the interview, didn't help for test at all (TSA is not content based at all)
For the TSA i did all the past papers and i pirated some question book online and did all of those.
For the interview I prepared for it even before i knew i had gotten one, don't start preparing after you know you have got one (you will be too late)
I just made sure I understood everything on my ps (nothing from it came up) and practiced with friends and teachers
i also did one mock interview with someone in the year above who had gotten in

Imo they don't rlly care what a levels you do as long as you did maths, but i think other universities (if in a bad case oxford reject u) care slightly more, I know philosophy is definitely respected as an a level by LSE and Warwick, i wouldn't say oxford make the link between classciv and history and give you any points that way
honestly for oxford you could do either but for other unis I would say perhaps philosophy/politics would be stronger
Also i forgot to say but politics was very useful for my interview+ ps + getting me interested in the course+ reading
:smile:
hope this helps, happy to answer any qs
Your a levels are a solid foundation for Oxford PPE - I applied and got rejected post interview and I would say just start off by getting the best grades u possibly can for your a levels and when it comes to your application do super curriculars where you can show critical and analytical thinking as it will impress them. Also do not leave the TSA till last min as honestly that was what I did and I was stressed!! if I can help in any way lmm
For context I did maths econ and art for a level - I used to do sociology but dropped

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