Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Courses offered

BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE): 6 students per year.


Michael Drolet, BA, MA, PhD
Jack Seddon, BSc, LLB, MPhil
Matthew Williams, BSc, MSc, DPhil
Henry Thomson, BA, MA, MS, PhD

Course overview

The Honour School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics is one of the largest in the University. The College admits about 6 undergraduates each year. The first year is common to all undergraduates, and consists of introductory studies in all three subjects. The First Public Examination is at the end of the third term of the first year. Thereafter, candidates may offer all three subjects for the Final Honour School (the 'tripartite option'), or offer two subjects only (the 'bipartite option'). Candidates are required to take eight papers in total for Finals. Each subject has 'core papers'. These are currently: in Philosophy, Ethics, and either Knowledge and Reality, Early Modern Philosophy, Plato or Aristotle; in Politics, two from: Theory of Politics, Comparative Government, Political Sociology, British Government and Politics since 1900, and International Relations; and in Economics, at least one of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Quantitative Economics. In addition candidates will take optional papers. The choice of further papers is very wide indeed - in the School as a whole, there are around fifty optional papers - and any candidate may offer a thesis in lieu of one of them.


There are no specific pre-requirements, and candidates may take any subjects at A-level (or equivalent), although it is helpful to have studied Mathematics or History at A-level (or equivalent). Although a background in Mathematics is not formally required for admission, PPE applicants should have sufficient interest in, and aptitude for, mathematics to cope with the mathematical elements of the course. Mathematics is a particular advantage for the Economics component of the course, as well as for the first year logic course in philosophy, and for understanding theories and data in politics. 

All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) and will need to register to take the test, either at their own school or at an examination centre. Candidates must make sure they are available to take the test at this time. For further information about the test, a specimen paper, and how to register, please refer to the PPE Test website. Further information about the PPE course can be found on the university website at and the department website at Further advice on A-levels and equivalent qualifications for students interested in applying to Oxford is available at For information about international qualifications please go to