It’s a typical icebreaker during Freshers: the classic “what subject are you studying?” line. At the time, you’re nice, whatever the response. “Oh yes”, you faux-enthusiastically chirp, “Geography’s really cool”.  We cut through the bullshit and say what you really thought.

Archaeology and Anthropology

Glorified digging with an identity crisis, no-one really knows if it’s a knock-off version of Classics or History. We wouldn’t relish the prospect of trying to write 2,000 words about a pot fragment, either.


Believe it or not, Literae Humaniores was once the degree to have (circa the 1860s). Now, Classics has been reduced to being the easy option for the publicly educated. Just look at that 36% acceptance rate, and then try to spot someone whose school uniform didn’t include a gaudily coloured tailcoat. Yeah, we’re struggling too. Also, by doing Classics, you’re paying £27,000 to study languages that are about as alive as Bowie.


Harsh, you might protest. But writing isn’t hard. It’s just one word after another. Indeed, shit writing is positively easy (as this article proves). When applied to an extended essay on Wordsworth, it would probably still be enough to see you through with a middling 2.2.


We’re too mature to crack the crayon joke. But there’s a reason why only 14 colleges offer Geography. That’s because geographers are bloody dull, and the university powers that be rightly recognise this. Beige should be manifested in Oxford in the colour of colleges’ brickwork, not in a degree.

History and Politics

Just because you had an article in the OxStu about Vladimir Putin doesn’t make you the next Henry Kissinger. They’re just mathematically-illiterate PPEists, who mostly happen to have penises. HPol’s male-female ratio makes the Cabinet look like a paragon of gender equality. Boo. 

Materials Science

Sure, we get how this degree has big earning potential. But how many of you are actually spurned physicists? Plus, East Germany just called. It wants your faculty building back. Basically, MatSci can be summarised through a simple equation: 4 years of 9-5 labs + hideous brutalist building = materials monotony.


Another course with an obscenely high acceptance rate (33%). It seems anyone can just turn up and get in. But we’re assured Music is a legit subject, in spite of the high incidence of fanning about with assorted instruments, all in the name of “creativity”. All those slating Oxford over access need to pipe down, since this degree provides clear evidence that it’s hell-bent on becoming a sixth form academy à la Waterloo Road – if the northern accents were replaced by the received pronunciation of the Home Counties. 


A very serious degree for very serious people who are very serious about Physics. Sadly, this is how most of them speak as well. Lighten up guys, there’s always another spectroscopy lab next week.


Depressingly, this degree is just full of wannabe-Milibands or aspiring BoJos. Shame most of them have the social skills of a teaspoon, though. Misplaced self-confidence is another feature of PPE, and its students are the living, breathing, bullshit-laden embodiment of the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none”. Probably explains why Hunt, J. (PPE, Magdalen, 1987)  is doing such a fantastic job with the NHS, then.


Aside from the University Challenge genius of bespectacled demi-god, Charlie Clegg, is there really anything good about Theology? The fact you’re confined to a private hall to explore heavy, intellectually-tangled questions of existence and morality makes its about exciting as, err…being confined to a private hall to explore heavy, intellectually-tangled questions of existence and morality.

Ignore the prospectus. Some degrees are definitely better than others, he says, sobbing into his HPol handbook, with the spectre of an unfulfilling teaching career looming.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Self-deprecating comments about shit writing are less funny if they’re true

  2. Substitute theology for CAAH (if you have to look it up, it deserves to be on this list) and you’re gold

  3. Not that funny

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