Applicants are not expected to have studied any philosophy, politics, or economics at school, but should be interested in the three subjects and be prepared to put their minds to problems of philosophy, politics, and economics presented to them.
We recommend that applicants read widely around the three subjects to help prepare for applying. PPE tutors will look for commitment and motivation to the course, as well as evidence of academic potential. They will want to know that a student has really engaged with the three subjects and has a passion for studying them.
We also recommend that applicants obtain a reasonable grasp of the workings of the social and political world in which we live. Reading a good quality daily newspaper is crucial to a successful application, along with watching and listening to news and current affairs programmes.
You can find plenty of coverage of Economic questions in good quality newspapers, magazines, blogs and articles online, and television and radio programmes. For example, try the Financial Times, The Economist, and Prospect, which frequently include articles on economic matters; and the blogs and commentaries of economists and economic journalists.
For online resources the Economics Network website, Why Study Economics? has useful information for students considering a university course in economics, and a selection of interesting Economics blogs include:
There are several good “popular” introductions to economics, and other relevant books written for a general audience, that are accessible and interesting:
- Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist (Little, Brown, 2005)
- David Smith, Free Lunch: Easily Digestible Economics (Profile Books, 2003)
- Paul Krugman, The Accidental Theorist (Norton, 1998)
- K. Binmore, A Very Short Introduction to Game Theory (OUP, 2007)
- P. Dasgupta, Economics: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2007)
- Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot, The Tiger that Isn’t: Seeing through a World of Numbers (Profile Books, 2007)
- Roger E. Backhouse, The Penguin History of Economics (Penguin, 2002)
- Andrew Mell and Oliver Walker, The Rough Guide to Economics (Penguin, 2014)
Some useful introductory texts for Philosophy and Politics are available on the admissions pages for the course: https://www.ppe.ox.ac.uk/how-to-prepare-for-ppe .