PPE in Practice II: From Theory to Practice

  • Period 6.
  • Mandatory course.


The PPE programme’s foundational courses that take place in the first year of study are, by nature, theoretically driven. The course ‘PPE in Practice I: From Theory to Practice’ (PiP I) aims to supplement the theory students acquire in their introductory courses with an applied and policy oriented course. The goal of PiP I is for students to define a particular policy question and, at the end of the course, to produce a policy brief on this question. The course will comprise both lectures and small group seminars. The lectures combine theoretical background material with examples and suggestions from visiting practitioners. These resources guide students as they use the tools they have acquired in their foundational courses to provide practical policy answers to the questions as formulated by the students. Lectures will cover three illustrative cases:

  • How does globalization affect income inequality and labour relations within different countries and how should we assess these implications?
  • How can benefits of advancing technology be weighed against privacy concerns? What are the positive and negative externalities of social media?
  • What are the economic and political implications of different types of immigration policies and how do they affect the assessment of those policies?

Seminars for PiP I follow the skills-based structure by providing a forum for student presentation. In the first part of the seminar students will present the initial draft of their policy briefs to their classmates. Following this presentation the class will discuss the brief, offering constructive criticism and pointing out areas that can be improved and expanded.


After completing the course, students will have gained:

A practice-based understanding of

  • How to use the skills they have obtained in the disciplinary courses
  • The benefits of multidisciplinary approaches to public policy

A theory-based understanding of the

  • Interconnections between multiple stakeholders in a globalised economy
  • Effects of immigration on wage rates, employment, and global poverty
  • Tensions between data collection, privacy, security, and well being

The skills to

  • Use PPE tools to generate interdisciplinary answers to policy questions
  • Gather information in order to prepare a policy brief
  • Present their original research in verbal and written forms
  • Use peer input to modify and improve their arguments

Related Courses