Guide to UK Applications • Undergraduate

How Can I Pursue Multiple Interests in the UK with a Joint Degree?

POSTED ON 09/07/2017 BY The Red Pen

How Can I Pursue Multiple Interests in the UK with a Joint Degree? | The Red Pen

One of the key benefits of opting to go to the UK for your undergraduate studies is that if you have a passion for a particular subject and wish to pursue it in depth, you can. UK universities offer several highly specialised degrees and even some in unusual subjects. At the University of Cambridge, for example, you can study Land Economy, which combines law, economics and geography to understand their relationship 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 little known is that a student does have some degree of flexibility in pursuing diverse interests by pursuing a joint degree. 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 the University of 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 such as Biological Sciences and Economics, Computer Science and Criminology, Exercise and Sports Science with Film Studies, French and Psychology and many more. These joint honours degrees allow students to study unavailable subject combinations and customise their degree programme to their own preferences.

Some universities offer joint degrees in more than two subjects, for instance, 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 final modules in your second and third years. The University of Sheffield also offers Combined Honours, which allows students to choose any combination of three subjects. 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 other practical benefits to 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 various 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 in depth into each.

If the United Kingdom is your preferred destination for higher studies, there is ample opportunity to take both highly specialised degrees and 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.