Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
BA Hons Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Average intake at Wadham: 8
PPE is a highly flexible degree which allows you to shape your own path through it: you may choose to specialise in two branches at the end of the first year, or continue with all three. You can also explore a wide variety of disciplines under the overarching headings of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics – for example, you can specialise in Sociology or International Relations by choosing the relevant Politics options.
PPE is a very broad course. In the first year you study all three branches of the school, but in the second and third years you may drop any one of them. The Politics and Economics course is probably the broadest social studies course available in the United Kingdom, while the Philosophy and Politics course and Philosophy and Economics course each offer many combinations of subjects in these branches of the school. Sociology may be studied within Politics. You do not need to decide which branches you wish to specialise in before you start PPE.
The Course: BA Hons Philosophy, Politics and Economics
PPE at Wadham
In the first year, students are largely taught in College, but for many of the more specialised options from the Final Honours course the College arranges teaching by experts from other colleges. In the first year you may have three tutorials or classes a week; in the second and third years you will normally have only two. In addition, you will have seminars and lectures to attend every week in all three years. The course is challenging, but the tutors and the College work hard to provide a supportive and friendly environment in which to develop the required skills.
A Student's Perspective
Rachel, 3rd Year PPE Student
I thoroughly enjoyed my A-level study of both Politics and Economics, and so applying for PPE felt like a natural choice (albeit with some encouragement from my teachers). However, there is no formal requirement to have studied any of the subjects before, and indeed many PPEists have not. PPE is an ideal degree for anyone interested in gaining a greater appreciation and understanding of the world around them, as well as its prospects for change and improvement. The course is sufficiently broad that one can gain an understanding of a huge range of different topics. However, the huge number of modules offered also allows you to specialise more closely – for me, this has meant leaving behind Economics and focusing on comparative government and political sociology across the world.
Although I didn’t apply to Wadham, I feel incredibly lucky to have been pooled here, particularly as a PPEist. The college has a 24-hour library, but is only a short walk away from the specialist Social Sciences library, and the other central libraries such as the Bodleian or Radcliffe Camera. Because the college admits a relatively large number of PPEists per year, there are several specialist tutors here and lots of other students to call on for support or guidance throughout the course. The PPE tutors here work closely and supportively with students in order to help them to achieve their best. Although Oxford constantly presents new challenges, tutors are always on hand to offer help or advice – both in academic and personal situations. Wadham tutors’ genuine care for my well-being has made a real difference to my Oxford experience.