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 Post subject: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:26 am 
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Having recovered from the options fiasco, DS2 is now trying to decide which degree he would like to do. He has narrowed his choices down to Economics or PPE. We have a friend whose son is in his final year at Nottingham doing Economics and another friend with a son at York doing PPE. They have offered to speak to him when they come home at Christmas. In the meantime I thought I would ask for opinions on these choices. How useful is PPE? Obviously I'm aware that several members of the Cabinet seem to have followed this path, however, my DS doesn't want to go into politics. I would be very grateful for your opinions and/or advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:51 am 
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have to remember that PPE is actually Politics, Philosophy and Economics .... which implies that you have to have an interest in all three - some economists may find P&P mind numbing (actually I reckon they ought to be interested but you can take a horse etc...).

Comes down to whether it is the pure economics (inc maths etc) that he likes or the broader "how does this fit in with everything else" sort of thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:41 am 
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Hello Fran17! I have been looking at this sort of question a bit because my DD - still quite young - wanted to know about various combinatiions.

Economics will mean quite a bit of Maths, so can we take it that the boy is happy with Maths?

PPE is actually a very broad combination, and usually most students end up not liking or not being that good at one. This may make the first year a drag, depending on which modules are compulsory. Philosophy can seem very dry to some or can overstretch some young minds whilst Economics can be a bit too mathematical for others.

This is why after a rash of PPE degrees around the country, some Unis are now either offering a very broad menu of options from Year 1 ('Human Sciences', excluding Economics but including a bit of History, International Relations, bits of Philosophy) or calling it 'PPS', with Sociology instead of Economics.

If it were me, I would love to do Politics and Economics, I just couldn't manage Philosophy, I don't think.

Economics is now a very, very popular A Level and appears to be a very popular degree, valued by high paying, blue chip employers. This will have influenced Unis to offer more Economis-heavy courses or Economics-alone degrees. And, of course, students make a bee-line for such courses.

But the most important thing for employers is the University's prestige. Nearly all those high profile politicians with PPE degrees did PPE at Oxford, many via leading private schools.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:01 am 
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Thank you both for your replies. DS is good at Maths but also enjoys philosophy and has a keen interest in politics. He is a bigger picture type boy so I think PPE may suit him.

I have been wondering if the prestige of the Uni is slightly more important when doing PPE. As you say JB the senior politicians all went to Oxford. It does worry me slightly that he isn't doing Economics A Level and I wonder if he is aware of what is involved in an Economics degree. I will chat to him in more detail over the weekend. He is the sort who quietly gets on with things so he has probably done lots of research without me being aware of it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:07 am 
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I did Economics* at Oxford and had tutorials with PPE students. There were plenty who hadn't done Economics A level. And the maths element doesn't get too technical unless you go down the econometrics route. The first year lectures started from very basics and I'm sure it is easier to pick up than all the background knowledge you would need from having a general interest in politics. I think for a bigger picture type person it is a great degree to get a picture of how the world works - I know that sounds naff, but at my old age now that is what I would have chosen to do.

* There wa no straight Economics degree so I did economics and management, but all my optional papers were economics and I tend to keep quiet about the management.

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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Thank you for your reply JRM. I don't think you should keep quiet about the management side of your degree. You went to Oxford.

My DS got home from school a little while ago and I showed him your posts. It turns out he has been doing a lot of research and feels he is leaning more towards PPE. He said to thank you all.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:28 pm 
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Fran17, my hubby loves to take the mick out of me for having done a management degree. It has become a bit of a family joke. I actually went for interview for the first year the course was ever offered (that probably gives my age away to anyone who cares!) and one of the questions they called me back to ask was 'If they offered me a place for PPE, what would I say?'

I think there is a 'type' for PPE and if he is interested in all the areas it would be a fascintating subject to study. I say tell him to go for it :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:14 pm 
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A very interesting thread, thank you. DD is considering PPE already (currently year 10) but as with all teens, she does change her mind as she goes along (we've already been through journalism and midwifery) so, we shall see!

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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:36 pm 
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JRM I think he might be the 'type'. PPE sounds very interesting to me. If that's what he wants to do we will support him.

Snowdrops, DS was very interested in Psychiatry and Law. :?: He thought seriously about both but ended up ruling them out. Now that he is in Year 12 I am hoping he is nearer to making a final decision. It is so much easier for them if they know what they want to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics or PPE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:19 pm 
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ATM she wants to go into politics. She has her work experience with our local MP in April, so we shall see, there's loads of time yet - or that's what I thought when she was ten, now look at us :shock:

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