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7September2017

Flexibility to pursue multiple interests through joint degrees at UK universities

by The Red Pen

Flexibility to pursue multiple interests through joint degrees at UK universities

One of the key benefits of undergraduate study in the UK is the fact that if you have passion for a particular subject and wish to pursue it in depth, the UK offers a multitude of highly specialised degrees.

There are universities that even offer degrees in unusual subjects. At Cambridge for example, you can study Land Economy, which allows you to combine Law, Economics and Geography to understand their relationship to the built and natural environments. Or you could pursue studies in Applied Golf Management at the University of Birmingham, International Spa Management at the University of Derby or Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University.

Most students applying for undergraduate study may not have such unusual interests but may have multiple academic interests and are undecided about which one to pick.

Whilst UK universities are best-known for in-depth subject specialisation, what is a little know is that a student does have some degree of flexibility in pursuing diverse interests by pursuing a joint degree at universities in the UK. While the most common joint degrees tend to be in related subjects, such as English and History or Economics and Management some universities allow students to pursue their strong but diverse interests. For example, at Oxford, you can study an undergraduate degree in Physics and Philosophy.

The University of Exeter is particularly appealing for students who have such diverse interests, as it offers a Flexible Combined Honours degree in which you can combine any two subjects, like Biological Sciences and Economics or Computer Science and Criminology, Exercise and Sports Science and Film Studies, French, and Psychology, etc. This joint honours degree allows students to study otherwise unavailable subject combinations and customise their degree program to their own preferences.

Some universities offer joint degrees in more than two subjects. You can study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford. In this particular case, you study each of the three subjects equally in your first year and can choose to either drop one, or keep all three subjects for your finals’ modules in your second and third year. The University of Sheffield also offers a Combined Honours, which allows students to choose any combination of three subjects from the following; Similarly, King’s College London offers a Liberal Arts bachelor’s degree, which provides an interdisciplinary focus on the arts, humanities and social sciences.

There are practical benefits of completing a joint degree. Many employers view it favourably, appreciating an applicant who is more rounded and can demonstrate that they are strong in different subjects with a variety of skills. Further, if a student is undecided on what career path they are likely to take, a joint honours is a good way to keep options open. The only thing to keep in mind with a joint honours degree is that studying more than one subject means you would go less into depth into each.

If the United Kingdom is your preferred destination for higher studies, there is ample opportunity to take both highly specialised degrees as well as keep your options open through joint degrees. Whatever your interests, get in touch with us if you need advice on pursuing joint degrees, researching college options and finding courses that are a good fit for you.

To know more, get in touch

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