Joint honours: Good or bad?

I came to Worcester because I knew I wanted to do both English Language and Drama.

English Language really interested me at A Levels and I’ve been involved with numerous productions since I was roughly 12.

I find doing joint honours is better for me as I don’t like doing same thing all the time.

There are some pros and cons of doing Joint Honours.

Let’s get the disadvantages out of the way.

1. Clashing.

Say you have one module you want to do in P.E. and another one in Psychology that tickles your fancy. You’ll find out one is at 9:15-1:15 and the other is from 12:15-15:15. This can happen from time to time, but the programme advisors do their best to help you.

2. Location.

There are two campuses – One in St. John’s that everyone lives near to and one in the city. Bit frustrating because if you have a lecture that finishes at 12:15 in St. John’s you walk fast across a nice scenic route to the City Campus for a lecture starting at 13:00. Maybe it’s just me that walks a bit slow… But still I guess this keeps you relatively fit on a weekly basis.

3. Final grade.

Some people think you get two seperate grades, but you actually get one. This means it’s graded 50/50, if it’s only one subject that you’re struggling in, it could bring down the subject you’re doing well in.

4. Different styles.

Sometimes it could be a tricky to switch from one kind of working style to the other. Especially if you’re doing drama… Going from a practical on-your-feet drama lecture to a really academic linguistics lecture is a bit tough as you want to move about.

5. The outsider.

You won’t go to all the lectures your mates go to because there are some mandatory modules that only single honour students can do.

For example, there was a drama module last semester called ‘Directed Public Performance’, where the whole year got split into two groups and worked so intensely with each other that they know each so well now.

There are so many in-jokes, but it’s nice to see people that wouldn’t usually work with each other bonding.

The positives

1. Dissie.

As I said in a previous blog post – the joys of doing joint honours is that you can choose which subject you do you’re in dissertation in. Other subjects like Drama, you can do a massive performance instead. It gives you a choice.

2. Linking.

It’s best to choose two subjects that go together well like Psychology and Sociology, or Art and Graphics. I don’t think biochemistry and history would be of any use. English language helps me out with Drama and vice versa. From studying dialects, I can create realistic lines for characters. Some scripts I use from Drama, can be used in English to show how the playwright uses power within the characters’ lines.

3. Twice the people

A great thing about the two subjects is twice the people you get to meet. You’re always meeting new people throughout different modules. There are some people in my year that I haven’t even met yet. But as I said, twice the people, more chances of making friends and more people to network with in the future. You also get two different sets of lecturers to help you out, so the benefit is you’re not with the same people, with the same lecturers each lecture.

4. Creative.

If you do one academic subject and one creative subject, it can be really beneficial. Say you had a really long lecture of sitting down for four hours, the next day (or later that day) you will also have creative subjects where you’re allowed to express yourself. Where you can be loud. Where you can have limited restrictions.

5. The future.

Since employers always stress the need for graduates to be “flexible, adaptable and creative in professional contexts”, joint honours students are in a strong position when it comes to finding a job; also it doubles the number of professions you can get into. The ability to switch between two subjects is a useful skill for many job applications.

To me, it’s a myth that joint honours students have more work than single honours. It’s the same amount of modules. Same amount of work.