Student Profile: Martin Yip
Degree: Philosophy, Politics and Economics
A Level: (IB Diploma Higher Level) Maths, Economics, Physics
From: Hong Kong
What do you enjoy the most about your course?
The thing I enjoy the most about PPE is its diversity, both in terms of the content and the people that teach and learn it. There are often interesting connections to be made between different parts of the course, and I found it interesting and constructive that my tutors and classmates can have vastly different viewpoints on many issues.
How is your subject taught?
The teaching of PPE mainly involves lectures and tutorials. Lectures offer more of a summary and the content is explored in depth in tutorials. In the first year we’ve had about 2 tutorials per week, amounting to 3-4 contact hours. When there are lectures, there are about 9 per week. (There is a component in Politics that requires four programming lab sessions also.)
How did you prepare for your interview?
I prepared for my interview mainly by reading books from the reading lists for prospective PPE students. I also subscribed to a few columns. My school was quite supportive and some teachers were willing to offer mock examinations or discussions. When I came to Oxford for the interview, I revisited my personal statement and my reading. I think it’s also important not to get too stressed and to keep an open mind, always ready to conjure and consider various angles on any issue.
What advice do you have for prospective students interested in studying your subject?
I would advise prospective students to make sure they are interested in all three components of PPE – otherwise it’s no fun enjoying one third of your degree and hating the other two thirds. Two things I would say are most conducive to studying PPE is logical reasoning and breadth of knowledge. That is to say, it would help to be able to discern the logical mechanisms underlying any theory, and also test them empirically with knowledge of the real world.
What do you like the most about being an Orielensis?
At Oriel, I am a part of The Poor Print, our student newspaper, the football team and the chapel choir. I appreciate the fact that whatever your interests, you can always find like-minded people and bond with them. People are always friendly and supportive of one another.