The eight degrees that include philosophy as a major component are:
Literae Humaniores (which incorporates philosophy, both ancient and modern; classical languages and literature; and ancient history, along with related areas such as philosophy and archaeology; there is much flexibility in the precise balance between the components). It is a four-year degree. The study of classical language, and of texts in classical languages, is compulsory, though it is possible to begin study of the languages more or less ‘from scratch’ as part of the degree.
Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). This is a three-year degree, the first year of which involves an equal study of all three areas. The final two years may concentrate on just two of the three areas, or all three, and may give greater weight to one than to the other(s) if so desired. There is no expectation that any candidate will have studied, or indeed will have had the opportunity to be taught, any of the three areas before application for admission.
Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL). This course allows for study of the human mind, human language, and cognitive science, together with questions spanning these within philosophy, which since antiquity has taken a great interest in the nature of both mind and language. Candidates apply to study two of the three subjects for the degree; exceptionally it is possible, with the approval of one’s college, to take all three PPL subjects after the first public examination ('prelims'), but the majority of students will follow two of the subjects throughout their degree. Psychology at Oxford is taught and studied as a scientific discipline, and it is usual for candidates applying for one of the Psychology pairings (either Psychology and Philosophy, or Psychology and Linguistics) to be studying at least one science subject in preparation for university entrance (for example, at A level or as part of the IB). There is absolutely no preference for psychology to have been studied before admission; traditional science subjects (biology and chemistry particularly) and mathematics may be just as, or more, useful in the study of psychology at university. There are no subject requirements for Linguistics, though prior study of mathematics and/or English language will be helpful. There is no requirement (for any PPL combination) that you be qualified in, or be a speaker of, a further language in addition to English.
Philosophy and Modern Languages. A four-year course, with the third year spent abroad in a country where the modern language is spoken. The precise level of fluency required for your modern language will depend on whether it is one that may be studied ‘from scratch’, but clearly a developed aptitude for study of language and literature will be an important criterion for admission.
Philosophy and Theology. A three-year degree drawing on core courses available to those studying for the Theology degree, alongside papers in philosophy including philosophy of religion. There are no specific entrance requirements in terms of subjects studied; preparatory work involving textual and historical study will be helpful.
Philosophy and Physics. A three-year or (more usually) four year course, the latter giving a Master's degree. It must be emphasized that strong performances in physics and mathematics will be expected before a candidate is admitted for this degree. Candidates for admission are asked whether they would consider a place on the single honours Physics degree instead, if they are not offered a place for the joint degree with philosophy. (There is no ‘right answer’ to this question; some candidates may prefer to take a different degree course elsewhere to a single honours Physics degree at Oxford, if they are not offered a place for Philosophy and Physics here.)
Mathematics and Philosophy. A four-year course, which, like the Physics and Philosophy degree, makes wide demands on candidates, and for which a very strong performance in mathematics will be expected at admission. Again, candidates will be asked whether they would be willing to accept a place on the single honours school instead, in this case Mathematics. And, again, there is no ‘right answer’; for some candidates, a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy at another university may be a better choice than single honours Mathematics at Oxford.
Computer Science and Philosophy. Like Physics and Philosophy, a three or four-year course; like Physics and Philosophy and Mathematics and Philosophy, a course that challenges its students in a variety of ways, from formal work in computation to essays in areas of philosophy relevant to computer science (more than one might at first think). Evidence of strong mathematical ability will be sought during the admissions process, but it is not essential to have previously studied computer science.