Can Combined Honours Degrees Be Better Than Single Honours?

Are you having a tough time choosing between two subjects to study at your university? Don’t worry. Many students like you cannot decide which field to pursue that will help them build their dream career. Fortunately, most universities are now offering combined or joint honours degree programmes which enable students to pursue two subjects at once. But is it a good idea? Let’s find out….

Growing Popularity Of Combined Degrees

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Joint honours degrees have become widely popular among students attending universities as it allows them to study courses from different departments. A spokesperson of UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) claimed that around 58,255 students in 2013 had applied for programmes which offer joint honours degrees. Ian Eastwood, Programme Leader for Joint Honours Courses at MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University), says: “Applications have risen over the past couple of years and in 2013 to 2014, across the three years of our combined honours programme, we had well over 600 students.”

Why Study Joint Honours Degrees

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These courses undoubtedly allow learners to develop a wider range of skills which can boost their employability to a great extent. One simply cannot deny the academic and professional benefits of studying 2 different subjects, with broader options for modules and many more choices when you complete your graduation. Moreover, students who have acquired lower grades and are unable to study single honours degrees can pursue them as many colleges offer specific subject with another one as joint-honours programme. However, you need to be careful about which joint courses you choose as there are certain challenges associated with combined degrees.

Joint Honours Degrees Are More Challenging

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One of the biggest challenges of studying joint honours degrees is that you will need to possess a wide array of skills to pursue your course. The two different subjects will need you to follow separate approaches. Moreover, you will only get half of the volume of practice for assessment and feedback for every single subject, while your performance will be evaluated on the same way and merit as learners in single honours courses. Hence, the breadth and depth of your learning and knowledge for every subject will also vary accordingly as you have to divide your focus on two subjects.

Another prominent challenge of studying combined degree course is effective time management. You will find yourself struggling to manage your deadlines, book readings, presentations and seminars. Beth Melvin, first-year student of psychology with media and culture at Kingston University, says “It’s hard to prioritise which assignments to complete first, and I often get stressed about dividing my time equally.”

Are You Up For It?

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An excellent way to deal with the challenges is to opt for modules which complement one another, although it greatly depends on the programme. Still no matter what, I believe it is better to study two subjects and gain deeper understanding about different fields than just learning only about one. It gives you the opportunity to develop broader skill set and more diverse knowledge in your chosen fields.

If you are extremely passionate about your chosen subjects and good with managing time, then a joint honours degree course is the best choice for you. You will have to work twice as hard to meet deadlines, but the experience will be twice as good too. Moreover, employers also seem to prefer candidates with joint honours courses as it offers wider range of skills.

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