Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University

Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University

first Christmas of sick thorn I read a book fa so introductory book to philosophy and thought this is great I'd already had an interest in current affairs and politics and probably cool to study that this book on philosophy hooked me I came into politics because I can't help feeling we can have a better world and I still feel that and I don't think you can improve on something if you don't understand it to begin with you start off the course very broadly we make every first-year do the same thing everybody does philosophy politics and economics exactly the same across the whole University you can drop one of the three subject the end of your first year it's not you don't have to but most people do drop one I suppose what I would say what's really good about the nugget of pp is that that understanding the world we live in I've lost me requires different skills from political science and political science is different from reckon omics but what they do is they help you to grasp how the world works I think in my first year the most challenging thing was definitely economics because I've never ever done any economics before no I'm good at mathematics it was varied it had to approach it with a very different mindset from the word approach one of the features of the university level economics and certainly economics in Oxford is that it involves a broad range of methods of analysis and certainly a much wider range of skills and students might expect given their experience of economics at school do not let the maths and the economics put you off because the maths and the economics first week tonight is only about first year if you really struggle with it but there is so much support that you will manage it by the time you've got to your third term in your second year you want your options and you've got you're not constrained to a certain regimented selection but actually there's room to maneuver after the first year you could easily meet a PPS who doesn't do any of the same papers as you so you're only overlap is what you've learnt in the first year never be fully on your own and that's the important thing is even if even if you're the only person in your year in your college doing a particular paper which is very possible you've got your tutor you're seeing every week you've got anyone else in the university is doing that paper who your tutor will know about and whom you may all have a tutorial with one of them as well so if you're very interested in one very specific things PPE is is not really the cause for you it's more of a course for those people who have wider horizons it's always interesting it's always stimulating it's always challenging it it forces you to to confront questions you don't know were there it gives you an understanding the way things work in a very short space of time starting acting quite deep and nuanced there's a certain paradox about PPE that in the almost the only university you can't do politics on its own or philosophy on its own or economics on its own the aggregate of those proved to be greater than the sum of the parts Oxford is a particularly well resourced university each of the departments provides their own library facilities each of the colleges provide their own library facilities so one advantage for students is that core textbooks are always available the alumni of the course our fantastic lots of people go into politics and business and law and things like that so you have a lot of resources to draw on kind of people coming back to the university or interested to visit and give talks Supreme Court judges both from the UK and the u.s. cabinet ministers prime ministers from various countries presidents heads of state comment speak well the most striking thing about Oxford is the tutorial system that ability to have a discussion with somebody is put to you in a position where you can really learn not just how you might your conclusions but how you might come to your conclusions which is a more important skill for the future you realize that you're being pushed to develop your own thoughts and your own you begin to take a distinctive mindset oh it's a film about many other places you're not being encouraged to understand what you're being given but not maybe go beyond that whereas of politics undergraduate may face a reading list that looks intimidating just because the sheer number of pages a philosophy undergraduate reading list is intimidating very often because it's difficult to read we often say that somebody is like reading a subject with a tutor so it's not that the tutor is giving you answers or talking to you in a tutorial it's like we're both together looking at the books together and examining them and having a discussion about the text that we've read and it's important to recognize that after the reading there's got to be a period of reflection of maturing one's ideas so it may be that a typical week there'll be a day's philosophy reading and a day's philosophy thinking before the writing actually takes place the workload at Oxford is you know it's intense I came from a from a state school where if I did five or six essays a term you know that was pushing it you know here I do two a week about having a new way of looking at the system allows you to make mistakes and allows you to to read and think and to get things wrong because you then discuss and debate and pursue questions with your tutors I think things I think they've become better again just providing a distinctive viewpoint and evaluating what otherwise to say rather than just presenting a for and against it's about constructive an argument and bring it back up as argument even if you don't necessarily agree with what you're arguing it's think it's a really important skill to be able to go forward a case or something you have to be really curious I think that's what makes a really good undergraduate to curious and a bit of stamina determination to keep going when it gets difficult because the whole point of coming to university is to encounter difficulties and to get through them you don't need to have a lot of background knowledge because many people haven't studied these before but what we're looking at is looking for is that interest and that ability to think on their thing on your feet I always say to people please practice and what we call the TSA the thinking skills assessment test and it will help you get past that point of getting an interview you have to get a reasonable mark in the TSA to put yourself in a position where you get an interview another good advice to conceal what you're thinking in in to you you should always tell us everything that you've thought about in relation to a problem be prepared to have a question that you don't know the answer to don't panic but think about how you would go about solving it or about bringing up what would be the issues that you would want to consider in order to go about solving it and tell the interviewer about them they want to see how you approach the question how you think because your whole degrees and we spend doing that week in week out you're engaging with things you've not read before thoughts you've not thought before right you've not seen before and you're gonna be having to think through them reading is the most useful thing to do the course is about reading the literature that you're interested in widely and thinking about it somebody who has studied hard at school but not read beyond that or not you not keeping up with current affairs and so on it's not particularly perhaps suitable for the course but I feel that at a level you don't tend to go into looking at your subjects as a subjects they don't tend to look at kind of what it means even to study politics which you do at Oxford something that can be helpful get started to thinking a living about women the way the interviews worked for me was I had an interview in each of the three subjects so I won philosophy interview one politics interview in one economics interview that's not always the case sometimes they'll combine them or do all three at once and then do several interviews for all three at once colleges do it differently but for each they want you to do well they may ask you hard questions but they want you to do well so so they're not going to sort of they're not going to sort of send you out just like that because you've stumbled or whatever they want you to do well they want to see how you think you are very well prepared for lots of different careers and of course employers know that and I'm a keen to come and look at people who study PPE and to give them jobs former students have often gone on to work for the government in the Treasury working on various aspects of economic policy in central bank's in financial services industries a good number of don't be be think about politics but not necessarily being politicians they may think about civil service or working for government in different kind of capacities I've got friends that are gonna end up in the third sector in charity work and end up in teaching can end up in politics business P P set up for all sorts of things you know the friends are gonna duel or conversions and you know go to the bar or work solicitors as an as a degree I can just tell you this it's invigorating and stimulating is exciting you know it pushes you it really pushes you

7 thoughts on “Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University

  1. Is A-Level Maths a must? I've looked for alternatives to PPE as my teachers say that it is. But I know with my heart that this really is the course for me.

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