Philosophy, Politics and Economics


Applicants may also wish to consider History and Economics, History & Politics, Economics & Management or the other Philosophy courses.

Why study PPE at St Hilda's?

PPE is regarded as one of Oxford's premier degrees. St Hilda's has a very strong tradition in all three subjects, one that stretches back over several decades. Students come to us from many different academic (and cultural) backgrounds. St Hilda’s has a reputation for being a friendly and informal place. The academic atmosphere is demanding, of course, but at the same time it is very supportive.

We are strongly committed to supporting students to achieve their full potential, regardless of background, and this is evident in the results students achieve at examinations. Last year, over a third of our first year students achieved distinctions at Prelims, and our students regularly achieve firsts at Finals.

One of the advantages of studying PPE at St Hilda’s is that our intake is relatively large. This is beneficial because with a large peer group, there is a great deal of opportunity for co-operative studying, informal discussion and exchange of ideas. This makes for a vibrant and supportive community of students with common interests and goals.

The PPE tutors organise talks and debates and aim to integrate our undergraduate and graduate community. Our discussions spill over from tutorials to informal social events. St HIlda's students soon learn to feel comfortable to develop and express their ideas - whether in politics, philosophy, or economics. Outside of the classroom, PPE students have been active in the St Hilda’s JCR (Junior Common Room), and have served on various University committees.

Subject tutors

St Hilda’s currently has the following Tutorial Fellows in PPE:

Dr Matthew Parrott (Philosophy)
- Dr Louise Hanson (Philosophy)
Professor Petra Schleiter (Politics)
Dr Anders Kock (Economics)

Additional teaching is covered by:

- Dr Richard Povey (Economics)
- Dr Roger Teichmann (Philosophy)
- Dr Daniel Devine (Politics)
- Dr Carl Müller-Crepon (Politics)
- Justin Jackson (Politics)

After St Hilda's

PPE is one of the best known schools at Oxford, since it has produced many public figures. For instance, Zeinab Badawi, who is a presenter of The World programme on BBC Four, and Global Questions on BBC News, studied PPE at St Hilda’s. The reputation of the school is well deserved, since it offers an excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. Some of the more common choices are management consultancy, banking and finance, politics, journalism, broadcasting and advertising, social work, teaching, business management, civil and diplomatic service and local government. St Hilda’s Alumnae Association organizes a number of networking events to help graduates on their chosen paths. For more information, please see the St Hilda’s Alumnae Association Web Pages.

Further information

Tutorials and Lectures

Oxford is well known for its tutorial teaching. During a tutorial, the tutor meets with one or two students at a time, to discuss their essays, written in advance of the tutorial, and other issues related to the topic of the course. Tutorials offer students an unparalleled opportunity to engage in high level discussion, and receive detailed feedback on their essays and other written work. A great deal of PPE teaching is conducted through tutorials and small classes.

PPE is a very broad ranging degree, offering a wide array of choices spanning the three subjects. Students study all three subjects in their first year, and then typically continue with two of the subjects in the second and third years. During this stage, students can either divide their time evenly between the two subjects or concentrate more on one than the other. They are given a wide variety of papers to choose between – for example Philosophy of Mind, the Politics of Russia, or Econometrics. Each student puts together a set of papers to suit his or her interests and future career plans. So, each student ends up with a degree that is ‘tailor made’.

We are very fortunate at St Hilda’s to have tutors in PPE representing the three subjects, in addition to College Lecturers. As a result, much of the core tutorial and small class teaching takes place in the college. However, one of the exciting things about being at Oxford is the wealth of expertise spread around the colleges. It is standard practice here to ‘swap’ students for the study of more specialized topics, so that students are taught by experts, often world leaders, in their fields.

Lectures run by the Philosophy Faculty, the Department of Politics and International Relations, and the Department of Economics, all take place either at the Examination Schools, located on the High Street, at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter on Woodstock Road (Philosophy), or at the Manor Road Building (Politics and Economics). All of these locations are within easy walking or cycling distance from St Hilda’s. The Philosophy Faculty Library at 10 Merton Street, the PPE Reading Room at the Bodleian, and the Social Sciences Library at the Manor Road Building are all within easy walking distance.