Philosophy Undergraduate Open Day

This event is aimed at potential applicants interested in studying on one of the eight different degrees in Oxford which have philosophy as a major component. There will be talks on philosophical topics (one main lecture and some shorter, more ‘degree specific’ ones), a general admissions-related talk and a chance to talk to students already at Oxford.  You can find out more about the courses on the Undergraduate Admissions pages of the university website.

The event will be on Saturday 6th May 2017, from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.  Registration will be from 10.30am, and the formal programme will be over by 2.45pm, though we hope that some staff and students may be around for a little longer to field any remaining questions informally. Please fill out the registration form if you wish to attend.

The event will be held in the Andrew Wiles Building, an excellent new space next door to the Philosophy Faculty, and which is home to the Mathematical Institute.

The event is principally aimed at those in school year 12, who are thinking of applying to university next academic year. It doesn’t matter whether you are taking A levels; you could be taking the IB, pre-U qualifications, or other courses which would be suitable for university entrance.  You certainly do not need to be studying philosophy at present, or philosophical subjects studied under other labels – these are not an entrance requirement for any of our degrees.

We have agreed with our friends in the Maths Institute security staffing cover for a limit of 150 attendees, so sadly in order to make this open to as many potential students as possible we will have to restrict entry just to them. Please fill out the registration form if you wish to attend. This means that we cannot accommodate parents or teachers. There are, of course, many attractions in Oxford for family members who might be in the city for the day!

If you are interested in one of these degree programmes, and are on target to achieve results in your current qualifications at the level indicated, then yes, absolutely.  We’ll be pleased to see you, and hope you’ll find the day interesting.  A quick summary can’t cover all of the nuances of the full prospectus, but this table gives an idea:




Helpful (not required)

Standard Offer Grades

Literae Humaniores

Course I (only): Latin and/or Greek



AAA, IB 39 (666 at higher level)

Philosophy & Modern Languages

A modern language for chosen course



AAA, IB 39 (666 at higher level)

Philosophy & Theology



Essay-based subject

AAA, IB 39 (666 at higher level)

Philosophy, Politics & Economics



Mathematics, History

AAA, IB 39 (666 at higher level)

Computer Science & Philosophy


Further Mathematics or a science

An essay-based subject

A*AA, IB 39 (766 at higher level)

Mathematics & Philosophy


Further Mathematics


A*A*A, IB 39 (766 at higher level)

Physics & Philosophy

Physics, Mathematics

Mechanics module in Maths

Further Mathematics, Arts subject

A*AA, IB 39 (766 at higher level)

Psychology, Philosophy & Linguistics


Mathematics, science subjects

English language (for Linguistics)

A*AA, IB 39 (766 at higher level)


There’s a version of Literae Humaniores, Course 2, which does not require classical languages to A level (or an equivalent level in other qualifications); there are some modern languages which can be studied as a ‘beginner’ in Philosophy and Modern Languages.  For either, you’ll still need to have an aptitude for languages!  In Psychology, Philosophy & Linguistics (PPL) you apply for just two of the three subjects, and each pair has a separate course code, which is very different from Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE) where you apply for all three (though you can study just two from second year onwards).  For some degrees there will be a requirement to get an A* or equivalent in a specific subject; Physics and Philosophy will want an A* in Physics, Mathematics or Further Mathematics (or 7 at higher level on the IB in Maths or Physics).  Standard offer grades are listed for A levels and the International Baccalaureate, but can be found on-line for many other qualifications.

Sadly we cannot provide overnight accommodation for the event, which we appreciate will make it difficult for those from further away to come. We are investigating recording some of the talks so that they can be viewed more widely at a later date.

Lunch will not be provided, and the café in the building is shut at the weekend, but there will be an area indoors to eat a packed lunch if you bring your own food, and we hope there will be current students around to talk to.  There are a few local eateries, but the time allocated for lunch may make it difficult to get very far from the building and return in time for the afternoon sessions.

Data protection

We will need to take and store some personal details to handle your booking.  Because we plan to have degree-specific sessions in the afternoon it would be useful to know, to give an idea of numbers for room allocation, which degree you’re most interested in.  So we need your permission to use some specific information for the event. Please fill out the registration form if you wish to attend.

We also ask you for a few further details, which do not directly affect the running of this event but are part of a cooperative endeavour to help develop a wider picture of access to Higher Education.  You may well be asked for the same information from a number of universities for the same purpose.  See

It makes no difference in applying for the Open Day whether you give this further data and your permission, and you won’t benefit personally by letting the data be used.  However, future generations across the whole of UK education may benefit from our ability to track the usefulness of various types of training and events from school right the way through to getting established in a career.  So we’d be very grateful for your help.