St Anne's has significant strengths in the PPE School, with Fellows in Philosophy, Politics, International Relations and Economics.
Teaching for the compulsory subjects is normally done in College, as is the teaching in those optional subjects that are related to the tutors' own interests.
The latter cover Aristotle, Plato, Ethics, International Relations, the Government and Politics of the United States, Public Economics and International Economics. Other optional subjects are taught by specialists in the relevant fields in other colleges.
PPE students at St Anne’s come from a wide variety of sixth-form courses. It is not necessary to have studied Politics, Philosophy or Economics before applying. While History and Mathematics are useful backgrounds, they are not essential; indeed classes in 'Mathematics for Economists' are provided for those who have not taken the subject beyond GCSE.
St Anne’s College has a reputation for being an outstandingly strong PPE School. It is friendly and supportive, but intellectually stretching.
The tutors in the School aim not only to build students’ confidence in thinking about subjects which they may not previously have studied, but also to build their capacity to think and write about them creatively and rigorously.
Tutors work closely and helpfully with one or two students in regular tutorials where essays are read, thought about and discussed. Tutorials are supplemented by reading groups, and by an annual academic conference at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, run jointly with the PPE Schools at St John’s, Wadham and the Queen's colleges.
The College Library has the finest PPE collection of any undergraduate college at Oxford, and has excellent holdings of academic journals.
St Anne’s students are intellectually hungry people who enjoy reading, thinking and writing. Most are from the state sector. They have excellent analytical skills, and are enthusiastic about studying hard. They are self-motivated, well-organized and fully committed to the course.
“Although a background in Mathematics is not formally required for admission, PPE applicants should have sufficient interest in, and aptitude for, mathematics to cope with the mathematical elements of the course. Mathematics is a particular advantage for the Economics component of the course, as well as for the first year logic course in philosophy, and for understanding theories and data in politics.
Last year around 90% of the applicants who were offered places for PPE had studied Maths to at least AS-Level, or equivalent. You may like to consider taking Maths to AS-level, or an equivalent qualification such as IB Standard Level, even if you do not pursue it further. It is useful to have learnt the basics of differentiation before starting your university course in PPE.”