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Studying economics jointly with other subjects can be very beneficial. The subjects have numerous overlapping areas, and looking at the same or similar issues from different perspectives or with different approaches helps understand them more deeply and completely. Other parts may be very far or different from economics, which helps developing a flexible an eclectic mind.
The economics courses are the same for each degree programme. All degrees are structured in such a way that in the second and third year there is considerable scope for students to decide to specialise more or less in economics; and within economics students can choose from a fairly broad portfolio of options, allowing to specialise more on theoretical, quantitative or applied economics.
Economics at St Peter’s
St Peter’s offers all three main degrees involving economics: Economics and Management, PPE and Economics and History, taking around 15 students each year. We are also open to applications to study economics for one academic year as a visiting student (for further information on the visiting student programme click here).
There are five economics tutors at St. Peter’s — Dr Massimo Antonini, Dr Inés Moreno de Barreda, Ms Stefania Innocenti, Ms Jessica Millingan and Dr Arhat Virdi — all committed and enthusiastic tutors, and specialists in different areas of economics, from microeconomics to macroeconomics and development economics, from theoretical to applied economics. This means teaching in college is varied and students are exposed to different approaches and points of view.
During the first and large part of the second year, when you take mostly core courses, you can expect to be taught mostly in college by the college tutors. Once you start choosing your optional courses, you may be taught again by one of the college tutor or by an external tutor, depending on whether the course fall within one of their areas of specialisation. External tuition is arranged through a well established swapping arrangement administered by the department, which ensures that you are always taught by a specialist in the topics covered by the course.
Economics teaching consists of a combination of lectures (organised by the department), tutorials (usually in groups of 3 students) and classes (usually not more than 6 students) for quantitative courses or quantitative part of certain courses. For both tutorials and classes you are given reading material and you are expected to either write an essay or prepare solutions to a problem set. In tutorials and classes you will receive detailed feedback on your work, you will discuss and debate with the tutor and other students in further detail the most interesting and/or challenging parts of that week’s material, and you will be able to ask questions that you may have from your reading.
The combination of independent work and continuous feedback is the key advantage of the tutorial teaching at Oxford. The objective of the tutorial is to learn through a constructive scholarly exchange. Tutorials are not adversarial nor an exam; both economics tutors and fellow students at St Peter’s are supportive, friendly and willing to engage with each other’s questions and ideas.
The St Peter’s library has a very good economics collection, including all main textbooks, access to all main economics journal, and generally providing easy access to most items you are likely to require for your weekly work over the years.