PPE | Prospective Students

Course Structure

    All three branches of PPE are studied in the first year.




    General Philosophy
    Moral Philosophy

    Theory of Politics
    Practice of Politics
    Political Analysis




    Three written examinations, taken at the end of the first year.


    Course Changes

    The content and format of the course may change in some circumstances. Read further information about potential course changes

    You choose whether to specialise in two branches (be bipartite) or continue with all three (be tripartite). You take compulsory core courses in the branches you continue with, along with optional courses. You take eight courses in total.


    Core Courses




    Ethics plus one of:

    Early Modern Philosophy
    Knowledge and Reality
    Plato: Republic
    Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics

    Any two of:

    Comparative Government
    British Politics and Government since 1900
    Theory of Politics
    International Relations
    Political Sociology

    If bipartite, all three of:

    Quantitative Economics

    If tripartite, two of the above.


    Optional Courses

    A wide variety of optional courses is available to PPE students. More than 40 options were offered to students entering their second year in October 2017. Some of these options remain the same from year to year, whilst others are withdrawn or replaced, according to the availability of academics with the relevant specialisms. Courses on offer to PPE students entering the second year in October 2017 included the following: 




    Philosophy of Mind
    Philosophy of Science and Social Science
    Philosophy of Religion
    Philosophy of Logic and Language
    Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Criticism
    Medieval Philosophy: Aquinas
    Medieval Philosophy: Duns Scotus and Ockham
    The Philosophy of Kant
    Post-Kantian Philosophy
    Theory of Politics
    Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein
    The Later Philosophy of Wittgenstein
    Intermediate Philosophy of Physics
    Philosophy of Mathematics
    Philosophy of Science
    Philosophy of Cognitive Science
    Philosophical Logic
    Practical Ethics
    Thesis in Philosophy

    Modern British Government and Politics
    Government and Politics of the United States
    Politics in Europe
    Politics in Russia and the Former Soviet Union
    Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Politics in Latin America
    Politics in South Asia
    Politics in the Middle East
    International Relations in the Era of the Two World Wars
    International Relations in the Era of the Cold War
    Political Thought: Plato to Rousseau
    Political Thought: Bentham to Weber
    Marx and Marxism
    Sociological Theory
    The Sociology of Post-Industrial Societies
    Labour Economics and Industrial Relations
    The Government and Politics of Japan
    Social Policy
    Comparative Demographic Systems
    Politics in China
    The Politics of the European Union
    Advanced Paper in Theories of Justice
    Thesis in Politics

    Microeconomic Analysis
    Money and Banking
    Public Economics
    Economics of Industry
    Labour Economics and Industrial Relations
    International Economics
    Economics of Developing Countries
    Development of the World Economy since 1800
    Game Theory
    Behavioural and Experimental Economics
    Thesis in Economics



    The majority of courses are assessed by a written examination at the end of the third year, so the average PPE student would sit eight written examinations. However, students can choose to offer a Thesis or Supervised Dissertation in place of an examined course, and some other courses are assessed by coursework or a combination of written examination and coursework.


    Please see the student handbooks for brief descriptions of the courses in the previous tabs and the combinations in which they can be taken. Particular courses may not be available in any given year.

    Handbook for students entering the first year in 2017
    Handbook for students entering the second year in 2017 (applies over second and third years)