The Student Room Logo

Oxford PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) Students and Applicants

Scroll to see replies

Reply 540
read the actual text which had an edior's intro as well. published by oxford press
Reply 541
btw i should probably introduce myself to the forum like everyone else. basically year 12 student applying to ppe. got 8A*s, 3 As on GCSE (inc top 10in ICT) and 5 As in Biology, Chemistry, History, Maths and Economics. Got scholarship to sixth form and used to go to state comprehensive. havent done enough reading at all!!! also dont know how to prepare for PPE entrance exam.
Reply 542
also like to say many thanks to london_prophet for this useful thread
Reply 543
Hello everybody,

I have 2 questions:

1. I wrote a thesis for society studies last your that is about 22 pages of text. The subject of this thesis is "The role of the media in the conflict in Northern Uganda" (I'd have to translate it from Dutch to English). Do you think this is a good thesis to hand in as an essay?

2. How do you guys feel about making an open application. Is it a disadvantage? Would you recommend choosing a college?
I had the same problem (a good thesis that was very long - about 25 pages). Don't translate and hand in the whole thing, that would be too long. I translated the contents page and the conclusion part (about 3 or 4 pages) and they accepted it. Would that make any sense for your thesis?
I'm another hopeful ppe candidate, but i have a few problems. I have good GCSEs (10 A*s) but dropped down in history this year. Everything else is fine(As in English, Maths and Physics), but I suspect that a poor grade in History matters more than it would have in the others. I am aware that predicted grades are definitely taken into account, but it seems unlikely that the B won't harm my application. Is it still worth applying?

My extra-curriculars are also quite poor. I never took part in some of the, afaic, bull**** activities like young enterprise and paired reading/maths that my school puts on. Does having these on your application really matter? The message here seems to be that it doesn't, but I've read and heard quite a lot that says otherwise. A book, Oxbridge: The Real Rules, I read a while ago really pushed the line that admissions tutors are looking for 'well-rounded' applicants; that most successful applicants tick a certain number of boxes. Anyone else read this book? Should I just ignore this (there's nothing I can do now anyway)?

thanks for making this thread OP
Reply 546
Don't worry about extra-curriculars, they will have no direct relevance to your application, imo the only ones which help do so indirectly; things like debating which help with confidence/public speaking/thinking on feet etc. Ignore the Oxbridge book.

As far as the history goes, don't worry about it. I'm not saying it won't affect your application, but it will do probably less than you think. My own experience with A Level history was that it was marked appallingly, with marks awarded seemingly arbitrarily and ridiculous disparities between modules. You should definitely still apply. Excellent GCSEs and AAAB at AS, you will still have a very strong application. Your other A level subjects are all strong ones, in a combination that will go down well with PPE tutors.

Try not to worry about your AS mark, concentrate on doing as well as you can in your A2s, getting a good UCAS application together - try and get something put in your reference about nailing your A2s.

I haven't kept up to date with changes in the UCAS system - do you have to declare module grades? Do you still have to declare ASs? I remember my school didn't 'cash in' ASs, so I didn't even put them on my form. Has it changed?
Cambridge University described that book as 'counterproductive', and they wrote a lengthy rebuttal against the vast number of errors inside it (including spellings of colleges) and most importantly against the whole chapter on extra-curriculars.

The one published by Oxbridge Applications called 'Tell me about a Banana' seems much more accurate and relevant. The other one is by a Oxbridge-reject anti-establishment Guardian columnist who bears little relevance to the current admissions system. Furthermore it's stated in a number of places in the prospectuses of both colleges and on departmental websites that extra-curriculars are only important insofar as they demonstrate time management capabilities, which can equally be demonstrated by curricular activities.
Reply 548
so any ideas on preperation for the ppe entrance exam? im rather worried. xo
Reply 549
yes- me :smile:
Reply 550
I am also taking the SAT Reasoning Test in october and some subject tests in november and december because I am also applying to some American universities. Do you think Oxford is interested in those results?
I am a Pakistani student in my final year of A-levels at Karachi Grammar School. I had written to the admission tutor regarding my query and he gave me the URL of Student Room.

I am planning to apply for PPE for the session commencing in 2008 at Oxford. I am interested in analyzing problems from different perspectives and in my opinion PPE would give me that liberty. However, because I am an international student and one with financial need, I have to narrow down my list of 6 universities based on the level of scholarships and financial aid available to Pakistani or overseas students at these universities. Oxford, LSE and UCL are my top priority due to this factor.

But the problem is that LSE offers Government and Economics whereas UCL offers Philosophy and Economics. According to the admission tutor at Oxford if I apply for Politics and Economics at the other 5 universities, then it may not be a very big problem due to the fact that my reasoning and analytical skills will be displayed through my personal statement for the study of Philosophy and that I may use the extra space in the Oxford Application Form explaining why I want to study Philosophy. But UCL does not offer Politics and Economics. Should I opt for Philosophy and Economics everywhere (LSE offers it too).

If this is not appropriate, shall I go for a single honours degree in Economics at Cambridge and the other 5 universities?
London_Prophet had replied me personally, but I want other current students to advise me as well...
thanx! :-)
Sidra Mahmood
London_Prophet had replied me personally, but I want other current students to advise me as well...
thanx! :-)

what are your grades if you don't mind me asking mate, i might be able to give a clearer answer to you :smile: ...............
Reply 554
Sidra Mahmood
I am a Pakistani student.......... shall I go for a single honours degree in Economics at Cambridge and the other 5 universities?

In your application, the Personal Statement is supposed to be the least important part. Albeit, it does not entail that I am undermining the importance of the said procedure, but you are at liberty to expand your horizons. In the same vein, you can apply to closely related disciplines of social sciences. Moreover, you can also add an additional statement, when it comes to Oxford, if it seems appropriate to you, to be pedantic or whatsoever.
Reply 555
Hey everyone,

I'm applying to PPE as an individual through UCAS and as such I need to find an open centre at which to take the test, but it doesn't seem like the website is working. It did earlier, but now I can't access the list of open centres and register to take the test. Does anyone else have this problem, or is something just wrong with me and my computer?

I am considering an application to PPE,

I am an international student in France,
I am concerned about my GCSE's could a current student of PPE tell me if they will majorly put me at a disadvantage 3A* 2A's 1B 3C's (i only just arrived in the english system at this time and English is not my first language)

My AS's are better with A's in : maths,french,spanish,business studies
I achieved 99% in 6 of my units...

Could someone tell me what the least competitive college for PPE is ?
so far i have considered

St Anne's
St Catherine's
Lady Margaret Hall

Thanks a lot

P.S. thanks to the London_Prophet
Right well, I'm going to post this as a thread as well but I'll post a comment here too so that I look reeally desperate.
I'm just starting my AS levels at the moment, I've chosen English Lit., Maths, History, Philosophy and German. I'm a German speaker, not perfect though I'm pretty rusty and a lot of the terminology we cover at A2 is new to me. I'm doing the AS in January and then the A2 in June. I'm planning to carry all the other subjects to A-level.
I thought this would be fine but my tutor spoke to me yesterday advising me to drop a subject. She knows I want to apply for PPE next year and told me that it would be in my best interests to do fewer subjects and more extra-curriculars. She basically made it sounds like Oxford would actually think negatively of me doing 5A-levels. She also stressed how difficult I'm going to find the workload and that I'm likely to end up with 5B's instead of 4A's.
So now I don't know what to do basically. I really love all the subjects I'm studying (except for German really) and I wouldn't want to drop any of them. However I also don't want to make getting into Oxford any harder for myself than it already is. I don't really have ANY extra curriculars. I spend my weekends sitting and drinking in the town and running from police:rolleyes:. I always figured that a lot of people do 5AS's and then 4 A-levels and that the German A level was more or less just my version of an Extra AS. Then again my school sends about 50 people a year to oxford and my tutor sounds like she knows what she's talking about.
Right there I think that's it. A bit long winded I'm sorry but I hate being undecided and it's really starting to worry me. Any help would be great thanks =].
Reply 558
I don't think that any Oxford college would look down on you for having 4 or 5 A-levels (rather than the 'normal' 3). If you didn't mention anything that isn't directly related to your formal education on your personal statement, perhaps that would go against you (say if you only talked about academic stuff), but that's different.

If you can do 4 or 5 A-levels, and do them well (no point doing an extra one if you won't do as well in all your others), you may as well do them. It certainly won't hurt (all other things being equal).
Reply 559
ahh this is a great thread, i only wish i had stumbled upon it sooner...

could anyone who goes to/ has visited oxford shed some light on the differences between the colleges there? ive just finished reading the prospectus, and well *they all look exactly the same*. every single college has emphasized their relaxed atmosphere, tolerant, multicultural environment and so on. the prospectus also says nothing about the differences in academic prestige. our ib coordinator (who apparently has some emotional issues and has been exceptionally useless of late) told me that these things are "self-evident for people in britain", which doesnt help me much as i live in finland... i have heard though that there are huge differences in atmosphere among the various colleges - that some are significantly more elitist, conservative and traditional than others. as a staunch liberal and atheist, i would hate to end up in one of those... :|

also, i was wondering whether it is advisable to fill in the additional information box in the oxford application, and if so, what kind of things should i put there?


Quick Reply