3 Things to Look forward to as a Joint Honours Student

So you’ve chosen a joint honours course and you might be sat there thinking “oh no, what have I gotten myself into?”. Well banish those second thoughts and feast your eyes on this!

As a third-year joint honours student, a veteran of English and History I’ll have you know, I’m here to tell you about three of the best benefits to picking a joint honours degree. So sit back and enjoy!

A Different Perspective

For almost all of you, no matter how similar your two subjects are, there will be at least a few stark differences between them. Whether that be a different philosophy, different mark scheme, or different referencing (if you’re lucky enough to share one referencing system between courses, consider it a treasure!). On the surface, these differences may seem daunting and off-putting and, of course, they can be tricky. However, these differences are great for giving differing perspectives throughout your degree. Each obstacle you overcome will see you grow and blossom into the ideal student, like an essay-writing sunflower.

Moreover, no joint honours course would be valid unless the subjects were compatible. Therefore, for those concerned about doing two degrees, worry not! In all likelihood, each subject will interweave within each other, lending different methods and perspectives, such as a historian’s ability to analyse the context of a source, alongside the technical ability of a literary student. By the end of your first year, you’ll be combining your degrees without a second thought, partaking in a Lion King-esque ‘Circle of Life’ (or ‘Circle of Joint Honours ’) and will be loving each and every second!

Buy one get one free

Everyone loves a bargain! And who can resist the greatest bargain of them all: buy one get one free. That is, of course, essentially what a joint honours degree gives you. Do you want to pay the same price as everyone else, do the same contact hours, but come out with double the subjects under your belt? Do you want double the staff members and keen minds eager to mould you into the best you can be, whilst having pretty much the same effort as all those single subject students (the fools, am I right?!)? Then there won’t be a better option for you than a joint honours degree!

Now, this isn’t to say that a joint honours degree is twice the resources and half the effort. Say for example if, like me, you’re doing an English and History degree: although that means half the course content of each subject, that doesn’t mean half the work. Often, only the hardest working students will choose these degrees as they need full committment. However, if you put the effort in, the rewards of double the staff, double the resources, double the perspective (buy one get one free people!) will be felt in spades for years to come.

Socialising to the max!

Now you may have heard about the messy socials that occur in Club Salvation and if that’s your scene, then go for it, they’re great fun! But this section isn’t about that. When I say socialising, I mean both the multiple groups you’ll have common ground with and the two different sets of people ready to become your new university besties!

So many opportunities to make friends

Think about this for a minute: what will you be exposed to the most as a joint honours student, compared to single subject students? More students of course! This will be a trio of socialisation in your hands.

Firstly, your fellow combined students, ready to talk about how its either totally unfair that you have to do this work whilst the other students don’t or how it’s fantastic you don’t have to do that certain module that the single subject students have.

Secondly, you’ll have the two sets of single subject students, who from my experience are always eager to learn how your degree works (“pretty much the same as yours” is always a great response by the way). They make great friends to talk about half of your subject with and to discuss your recent work.

Lastly, there are the differing joint honours students. These students will be in the same boat as you, just maybe a slightly different boat! Therefore, they will be great friends to share what you love and don’t love about your degree and, of course, will share part of your degree.


Finally, back to socials where there are a plethora of options which will hopefully accompany your degree like a faithful hound (a hound who may or may not supply you with Tequila slammers).

If you’re an English and History student like me, both the Literature Society (LicSoc) and History Society (HistSoc) are great. They provide opportunities to meet and discuss novels, talk to likeminded people, take great trips around the UK and beyond and, if it’s your cup of tea, go on stupidly fun pub crawls dressed as Vikings. So what’s not to love?

Of course, the beauty of York societies is they don’t require certain degrees to join. However, for a further opportunity to bond with fellow students potentially on your degree, these societies and social opportunities, made even greater by the socially expansive joint honours, is yet another reason why you should be excited for your joint honours degree!

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Hi, I'm George, a 3rd Year English and History student. I chose York because it’s a Russell Group university, the campus is really pretty, and it was one of the universities that did joint honours in English and History. That was important to me as I really wanted to do both subjects.