Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Both in the College and in the University, PPE has been the largest, and has long believed itself the liveliest, Honour School. New College is a significant PPE college, with a large intake of students and more tutors in the relevant subjects who are full Fellows and members of  the College’s Governing Body than most other colleges. This means that you will be interacting with academics with a great deal of teaching and research experience (not stressed-out postgraduate students); that we can cover a considerable proportion of the syllabus within the College; and that you will be part of a large cohort of students who will be facing the intellectual challenges of PPE alongside you. Many of the College’s PPE tutors also provide the core lectures in their subjects for students across the whole University – for example, the first term’s lectures provided by the University in  Philosophy, in Politics and in Economics have, for the last three years, all been given by New College’s tutors.

Of course each component of PPE is extensive enough to be studied to degree level and beyond on its own, but what makes PPE unique is the interaction between the three elements when they are jointly brought to bear on a particular issue. Within New College we take the interdisciplinary and practical aspects of the degree course seriously, and try to organise informal seminars and extra-curricular events which emphasise the links. Each year we run a series of PPE Seminars, focussed on a topical theme, open to all New College students engaged in any of the PPE subjects, and compulsory for all PPE finalists. Recent topics have been ‘climate change’ and ‘the economic crisis’.  

PPE tutors welcome applicants from all academic backgrounds. Previous study of Philosophy or Politics or Economics is not a requirement for admission, but the ability to think clearly and logically is. Some background in Mathematics is useful but many successful applicants will have specialised in other subjects, including Sciences and Languages. Admission is strictly according to academic potential. Outstanding academic attainment at the time of application is useful evidence of this potential, but the PPE tutors are also very anxious to admit those who possess equal ability yet who for one reason or another have not yet had the chance to achieve equivalent results. Apply: you may surprise yourself!

For further information on how to apply, entrance requirements and selection criteria, please see the University websitethe Faculty of Philosophy's websitethe Department of Politics and International Relations' website and the Department of Economics' website. Please also see the page on Philosophy at New College.

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