Double the Degree, Double the Hassle?

I cannot believe that it has been a month since my last blog post, where has the time gone?

In all honesty, nothing much has changed. I still live in the library, where I eat my lunch and cuddle hot water bottles; the gym has taken a back seat while cheese-strings have taken the front; and I am still petrified about the future.

When I started this blog I intended to give students an insight into university life and impart wisdom concerning the dos and don’ts of university, but re-reading old blog posts, I really haven’t given much advice. So today I have decided to discuss the actual university degree, and hopefully help prospective students on their decision.

I am a Joint Honours student, studying History and Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, and although I do love my degree, it hasn’t been the easiest of journeys, as joint honours are actually quite difficult. When you first recognise the advantage of this kind of degree, you simply list all the positives but refuse to look at the cons.

Yes, it is true that a joint honours allows you the chance to combine two of your favourite subjects; it broadens your knowledge in diverse fields; it develops skills for different essay types; it expands your career path; and it can be quite fun.

BUT, this kind of degree does offer quite a few difficulties, and many which I have encountered in my university life, including; the difficulty in jumping between contrasting subjects; differences in essay writing; the exclusion from certain modules; the minority degree group; lack of student support in many cases; and conflict surrounding what dissertation you would like to do.

When I first went to an applicant day, I was not really told about the specifics of joint honours, but chose it simply because I loved the two subjects I was taking. Yet, when I arrived I discovered that the History aspect of my degree cancels out certain modules from the Religion criteria, and vice versa; modules which I would have absolutely loved to have taken.

Don’t get me wrong, my lecturers are great and like every other student, I love and hate certain topics, but joint honour students are a minority in a university and are often overlooked because you don’t really fit into a certain subject area.

Rarely does a university discuss with great depth and description what a joint honour student will partake in and the modules that are available…so if you are a prospective student and you are considering choosing a combined honours (like mine) then please understand fully what the degree can offer you and what it can cancel out for you. Explore your options through the university website; research course blogs and discover what past students had to say; ask questions on applicant days or email the lecturers.

Although there were aspects of my degree that got me really down and made me regret my choice, if it wasn’t for choosing a joint honours then I wouldn’t have discovered my true passion, as I had joined as a student in love with Religious Studies, and left as an aspiring Historian.

University is a big deal and an expensive adventure, so it is always best to make sure that you are applying for something that will truly make you happy.