Hi! I’m Rhidian, and I’m a Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) student at Corpus.
I’m a non-selective state school student from Wales and I applied to Oxford on a whim, not thinking that I’d get in. But, even though the application and interview process can seem stressful, I’m really glad that I applied and especially that I got into Corpus, which is a really friendly environment. For my A-levels, I went to Hartpury College, a sporting college in Gloucester, to pursue my academic aspirations alongside a rugby career. While at Corpus, I’ve enjoyed exploring the avenues of PPE while maintaining my involvement in rugby. The combination of the two has allowed me to meet loads of new faces; I would highly recommend joining at least one of the many clubs and societies off the back of this.
The first year of PPE covers the fundamentals for each section of the course, and having only studied economics before coming to Corpus, which was something I had worried would be an issue, I have been able to get up to speed with the course due to its accessible nature. The first year of PPE is a chance to find the areas of the course which you have a strong interest in. As the course famously covers a broad range of topics, there will definitely be an area that appeals to you. The second year will give you a chance to pursue those areas of interest without exams. In first year, you will sit preliminary exams (Prelims) to gain your fundamental understanding, but these are for your own progression and will not count towards your degree. Your degree will be based on the exams at the end of your final year (Finals).
Corpus is central to Oxford; the college is ideally placed in the middle of everything that makes Oxford unique. Every student will recommend using a bike to get around, but Corpus is within a walk of the libraries, sporting venues, shops and cafes. Above all, Corpus is in the mix of colleges; meeting new people from different colleges is so much easier being a stone’s throw away from their accommodation.
Being a cosy college with a select few students, Corpus is a very close-knit group. You’ll quickly get to know all of the first-years, as freshers are housed in five buildings neighbouring each other, and most importantly you’ll connect with those on your course almost instantly. PPEists at Corpus work together to progress as a group; there isn’t an atmosphere of competition or comparison. We share notes and essays to ensure that nothing slips through the net, and everyone has a bank of knowledge on each topic we cover week by week. The workload of PPE can seem daunting but is in fact very manageable: we would typically have three tutorials1 a week, for which you would submit your work. The submissions for tutorials are not to be feared: they are an opportunity for you to show what you have learnt and present your viewpoint on a topic, which you can discuss and refine during your tutorial.
Please get in touch if you have any questions, especially around the course, interview process or sports here at Oxford. I hope to see you at Corpus!
1 Tutorials are regular academic discussion sessions usually with one or two other students and a tutor.
Resources categorised by subject and by Key Stage, as well as materials for applying to Oxford and finding out more about Corpus, can be found here.