PPE | Prospective Students

Applying for PPE

How to apply

1. Admissions Test

All applicants must sit the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA), normally at their own school or college, in early November. It is your responsibility to register for the test. The registration deadline is normally 18.00 UK time on 15 October every year. For the exact test date in the year of your application, along with further information, details of how to register, and a specimen paper, see www.tsaoxford.org.uk.

2. UCAS Application

You need to apply a year before the start date of PPE by completing the online application form at www.ucas.com. Applications open in early September, and the deadline is 18.00 UK time on 15 October every year. Late applications cannot be accepted. See here for details of the UCAS application and here for advice on writing a personal statement for PPE.

3. Interview

Tutors decide which applicants to shortlist for interview, and which applicants to deselect, in late November or early December. Interviews for shortlisted applicants normally take place in early to mid December. See ox.ac.uk/interviews and www.ppe.ox.ac.uk/interviews for details.

4. Decisions

Decisions about offers of places for shortlisted applicants will use the full range of evidence available, including past and predicted exam results, the school report, the personal statement, the TSA admissions test, and the interviews. Shortlisted applicants are told whether or not their application has been successful in early January. See ox.ac.uk/outcomes for details.

Entrance requirements

  • A-levels: AAA
  • Advanced Highers: AA (for those applying in 2018 and after, AA/AAB)
  • IB: a total score of at least 39 points including core points, with 7-6-6 in subjects taken at HL
  • Or equivalent (see www.ox.ac.uk/intquals)

    Subject choices

    You may apply for PPE having done any combination of subjects at school; it is not necessary to have studied Politics, Philosophy or Economics. History and Mathematics are useful backgrounds, but are not essential.

    Although a background in Mathematics is not formally required for admission, PPE applicants should have sufficient aptitude for mathematics to cope with the mathematical elements of the course. Mathematics is a particular advantage for the Economics component of PPE, as well as for the first year logic course in Philosophy, and for understanding theories and data in Politics; it is useful to have learnt the basics of differentiation before starting PPE.

    Many successful applicants have studied Maths to at least AS-Level or equivalent. Therefore you may like to consider taking Maths to AS-Level, or an equivalent qualification such as IB Standard Level, even if you do not pursue it further.

    You can find statistics on the success rates of applicants with different A-Level subjects here (see under Course Statistics).