As your education progresses, you gradually reduce the number of subjects you study. From frantically revising for 10+ GCSE subjects, to 4 AS subjects, to eventually studying your 1 degree course, as you get older your course becomes more tailored to your interests. If you are uncertain about selecting one subject to study solely for the next 3-4 years, or you have multiple subjects you wish to study further, a joint honours degree could be a great option for you. If you have not considered this before, or haven’t been aware of this as an option you will likely have a few questions.
How does the classification work?
If you do choose to study a joint honours degree, this will be classified as just one degree and not 2 separate degrees. You will split your study 50-50 between your two subjects, culminating in one complete degree by the end of your studies. Some may find the idea of studying two degree courses at the same time quite daunting. However, your time will be evenly split between both and you will only be required to do 50% of the course load in each subject (even if it may not feel like it at times!) Depending on what you would like to choose and what university you want to attend, there are different options for joint honours degrees. Any course with “and” in the title will be split 50-50 between the two courses. However if you select a course that says “with”, e.g. English with Spanish, then this is not a 50-50 split. Think of a “with” course title as the American equivalent of Majors and Minors. Majority of your exams and modules will be in your main course, and you will spend 25% of your time on your “with” subject. If you wish to pursue a language degree, there is even the possibility to combine 3 languages to make a “triple” modern languages degree course.
What course combinations are available?
The beauty of a joint honours degree is the ability to choose two subjects you are genuinely interested in and passionate about. There is also a lot of flexibility in course combinations, meaning you can combine two subjects from completely different fields if you want to. You could do French studies and Mathematics, or Human biology and musical theatre or even Chemistry with Business Management.
What’s even better is that you will get to explore two different departments. University can be an intense experience, and it can be easy for you to get overwhelmed with your studies. Having two subjects that are separate from each other can provide a welcome relief. If you are finding your history research assignment mind-numbingly boring, you can do a bit of your German translation homework to break up your day.
How will my timetable and exams work?
Some students may worry about the logistics of doing a joint honours degree. Will your exams clash? Will there be enough time for you to attend all of your classes without missing out on anything? For anyone completing a joint honours degree, the steps are not that different from those studying a single honours degree, as each student will have a variety of modules per academic year. As with any course, departments will communicate with each other to ensure that no one is missing out on anything and to make sure there are no exam clashes. One main bonus of studying a joint honours degree is that it allows you to meet a wider range of people within your first few weeks at university, meaning you get to meet more people than those doing a single honours.
Of course, if you have a few interests in different subjects but a huge passion in one subject in particular, it may be beneficial for you to pursue a single honours degree. However, if while you have read this you have felt inspired to look into the course combinations available at your university, a joint honours degree could be the perfect option for you!