The University of Oxford Intake Process for Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

Nestled in the heart of the iconic city of Oxford, England lies one of the most prestigious colleges in the world: the University of Oxford. With a history that dates back over 900 years, this esteemed institution has been at the forefront of academic excellence and intellectual innovation for centuries. 

Among the many programs offered by the University, the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program stands out as a shining example of the caliber of education that is offered at Oxford. This undergraduate program has produced some of the most prominent and influential figures in government, business, law, and academia. 

In this article, we will delve into the intake process for the University of Oxford PPE courses, including details about the eligibility criteria, application process, fees and funding.

The University of Oxford Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Program Key Details

  • The University of Oxford PPE program duration: 3 years full-time (BA)
  • The University of Oxford PPE program acceptance rate: Interviewed – 34%, Successful – 11% (data from 2020-22)
  • The University of Oxford PPE fees: For the September 2024 intake, the course fee for international students is GBP 35,080 per annum. This is subject to increase, so it is best to check out the program’s website for more up-to-date information.
  • The University of Oxford PPE program application deadline: is 15th October each year (UCAS application)

The University of Oxford PPE Program Benefits

  • Job Prospects: With a PPE degree from Oxford, you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of fields and industries, including:
  • Government and Politics: Policy-making, think tanks, public administration, and government relations.
  • Law: Corporate law, international law, and public interest law.
  • Business and Finance: Investment banking, consulting, and financial analysis.
  • Academia: Professor or researcher.
  • Journalism and Media: Writing for newspapers, magazines, or online publications, or working in broadcasting.
  • Non-profits Organisations: NGOs, charities, and advocacy groups.
  • International Organisations: United Nations, World Bank, or International Monetary Fund.
  • Flexibility: The PPE program offers great flexibility, enabling you to customise your academic journey. In your first year, you have the option to specialise in two branches or continue with all three. 
  • Range of Disciplines: You can also explore a diverse range of disciplines, all falling under the broad umbrella of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. For instance, if you select relevant Politics courses, you can specialise in Sociology or International Relations.
  • Competitive Edge: In addition to the career versatility of the PPE program, employers often prioritise candidates who have studied at top-tier universities like Oxford, which can give PPE graduates an advantage in their job search.

The University of Oxford PPE Entry Requirements

If you are interested in applying for the PPE program, there are several requirements for international students in the PPE programmed at the University of Oxford that you need to meet. These include:

  • Obtaining A-levels with AAA grades or an equivalent international qualification.
  • It is recommended that you have studied Mathematics to A-level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or another equivalent.
  • It is not necessary to have studied Politics, Philosophy, or Economics. While History can provide a useful background, it is not essential.
  • You do not need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency during your UCAS application process. However, you must demonstrate the required level of proficiency by July 31st of the year in which you receive the offer.
  • All candidates are required to take the paper-based Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) as part of the University of Oxford PPE program admission process.

How to Apply for the University of Oxford PPE Program

Here’s a numbered outline of the application and admission process for the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program at the University of Oxford:

  1. Register for the TSA: You need to register for the TSA separately from your application.
  2. Submit your application: Submit your application online through the UCAS system before the mid-October deadline.
  • Fill out the UCAS application form, providing your personal information, academic qualifications, and a personal statement explaining why you want to study PPE at Oxford.
  • Along with your UCAS application form, you will need to submit supporting documents, such as academic transcripts and references
  1. Take the TSA: Take the TSA on the scheduled test date.
  2. Receive notification of your interview: If you pass the initial screening process, you will be invited to an interview via email notification.
  3. Prepare for the interview: Prepare for your interview by researching the program and practicing potential interview questions. 
  4. Attend the interview: Attend the interview in person or via video conferencing.
  5. Receive your decision: You will be informed of your admission decision via email. If you receive an offer, you will have a specific period to accept or decline the offer.

The admissions process for the University of Oxford’s PPE program may feel overwhelming, but fortunately, you won’t have to go through it alone. 

For over 34 years, ALLEN Career Institute has been a leading educational coaching institute, known for its exceptional quality and authentic approach to guiding students towards academic success in prestigious colleges for engineering and medical entrance exams.

At our ALLEN Global Studies Division, we provide personalized guidance and support to students aspiring for higher education at globally renowned universities, including the University of Oxford. Our expert counsellors work closely with you throughout the application process, providing invaluable insights and assistance in finding the right program, preparing documents, organizing standardized tests, and even applying for scholarships.

With our extensive expertise and commitment to excellence, you can trust us to guide you at every step towards achieving your academic objectives.

Tips & Strategies to Prepare for the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA)

The TSA is divided into two sections:

  • Section 1 consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and is designed to assess your problem-solving skills, including numerical reasoning, and your critical thinking skills, including your ability to understand arguments and reason using everyday language. Here are a couple of tips to ace this section:
  • Practice problem-solving questions to become familiar with the types of problems likely to appear on the exam, and brush up on your Maths skills.
  • Analyze and learn from the errors you make during all this practice.
  • Read the questions carefully, since many questions are deliberately worded to be confusing or misleading.
  • Section 2 is a writing task that aims to evaluate your ability to organize ideas clearly and concisely and communicate effectively in writing. Questions are not subject-specific, and you must answer one question from a choice of four. Here are a couple of tips to succeed in this section:
  • Familiarize yourself with the essay question format and structure, including the word count, time limit, and the type of question being asked.
  • Plan your essay before you start writing to stay focused and organized.
  • Use real-world examples and evidence to support your argument and make your essay more convincing.
  • Do not forget to proofread at the end.

Tips to Prepare for Your Interview

Here are some tips to prepare for your admission interview:

  • Know the course materials: The Oxford interview for PPE will test your understanding of the course content. To prepare, and read academic journals, newspapers, and books related to the course. Explore the Oxford PPE website to learn about course structure and topics.
  • Familiarize yourself with the format: The interview will usually consist of two to three 30-minute interviews with different faculty members. Familiarize yourself with the format, the types of questions that might be asked, and the interview process itself. You can also look for past interview questions and practice answering them.
  • Practice critical thinking and problem-solving: The interview will test your ability to think critically and solve problems on the spot. Practice answering challenging questions and presenting logical arguments. Review past interview questions on the Oxford PPE website.
  • Articulate your thoughts clearly: The interviewers will be interested in how you think and articulate your thoughts. Practice speaking clearly and concisely. Listen carefully to questions and take time to gather your thoughts before answering.


Embarking on the PPE program at the University of Oxford can be a challenging yet rewarding experience that can open up a wealth of opportunities in diverse fields. The program’s interdisciplinary approach provides you with perspectives and skills highly sought-after in today’s world. With academic excellence, critical thinking abilities, and a genuine interest in the subject, you can improve your chances of securing a place at one of the world’s most esteemed universities for a fulfilling career ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions

How competitive is the application process for the PPE program?

The application process is highly competitive as the average acceptance rate for 2020-22 was only 11%. However, with the right preparation and approach, it is possible to increase your chances of acceptance.

How long does the PPE program take to complete?

The PPE program is typically completed over three years full-time.

What kinds of career paths can I pursue with a degree in PPE?

The interdisciplinary nature of the program means that graduates are well-prepared for a variety of career paths, including in academia, law, politics, finance, and consulting, among others.

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