Philosophy, Politics and Economics

I remember my first Philosophy tutorial opening with the serious question – “So, how do we know that the external world really exists? Should we care?”  – Eleanor, PPE

In 2020, 50% of our PPE finalists graduated with First Class Honours.

Trinity has a strong history in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and admits each year a group of six students. The three-year course provides a general introduction to each of the subjects in the first year, followed by the opportunity for specialisation. We have Tutorial Fellows in each of the three subjects, along with a number of College Lecturers, which means that much of the teaching takes place within the college. Your College tutors are responsible for organising all your small-group teaching (tutorials and classes) and play a key role in overseeing your development throughout the course. The University Departments organise lectures and classes to supplement the tutorials.

PPE is an intellectually challenging course and we welcome applications from students with enthusiasm and interest for the subjects, intellectual curiosity, and strong skills in mathematics and written English. Applicants should be prepared for a demanding but rewarding schedule of work, involving both independent and group work. PPE students are usually taught in tutorials, with the exception of some Economics options which are taught in classes. Students will typically attend two tutorials a week throughout their course. In the first year, students take introductory courses in each of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. In years two and three, students may opt to specialise in any two of these subjects, or to continue in all three. The tutors set practice exams at the start of most terms so that students consolidate their learning and prepare for their university examinations. Our students achieve excellent results.

PPE freshers during their first week at Trinity in October 2018

Our tutors in PPE are all active researchers in their specialist areas:

Dr Anil Gomes, Tutor in Philosophy, works on topics in the philosophy of mind and on the theoretical philosophy of Immanuel Kant. He teaches a broad range of papers across the course, including Ethics, Knowledge & Reality and the Philosophy of Mind.

Dr Steve Fisher, Tutor in Politics, researches public opinion and voting (including election forecasting). He teaches the Introduction to the Practice of Politics component of the first-year course and the optional course in Political Sociology for the final examinations. The college typically also has lecturers in Political Theory and International Relations. We prize our excellent relations with other colleges, which ensure our students receive expert tuition for whatever topics they choose to study.

Professor Andrea Ferrero, Tutor in Economics, teaches the core macroeconomics modules for first- and second-year PPE students. At MPhil level, he also teaches the Macro-Finance part of the Macroeconomics sequence  and one module for the Advanced Macroeconomics sequence in the Department. The College library is well-stocked in all three subjects, with the core courses are well provided for.  The Bodleian Library (the main University Library) is right opposite Trinity, and all three departmental libraries are within easy walking distance. The College has an active and successful PPE society, run by undergraduates, which invites a range of speakers to Trinity each term.

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