When I tell people that I graduated with a joint honours degree in English Language and Sports Studies, I’m often greeted with some baffled responses. Because they are two completely different subjects, people don’t see the connection between the two, and, consequently, think that the lack of clear connection is a bad thing.
But after explaining how many different opportunities doing two different courses gave me, and that I now have the option to move into a broad and varied range of jobs, people are quick to change their opinion.
Graduating with joint honours simply means that I have one degree in two subjects. So, 50% of my degree is in English Language and 50% in Sports Studies. Listed below are three reasons why you should consider doing a joint honours degree, and why it can actually be beneficial in the long-run.
1. Broaden your options
Employers don’t see a joint honours degree in a negative way because it’s only 50% of one subject. In fact, having a degree in two subjects can increase your chances of finding work when you graduate.
My degree means that I can look for jobs related to English, such as journalism, public relations, copywriting or teaching, and jobs related to sport such as teaching, coaching, sports development, sports science and many others.
It can be beneficial for teachers because you can show potential employers that you have an expertise in two subjects and so can apply for jobs in two different areas. So I could become an English teacher or a PE teacher in the future.
2. Tailor your degree
When choosing a single honours course, the classes that you can choose are more fixed and chosen for you. That’s all well and good if you enjoy what’s picked for you.
But choosing a joint honours degree allows you to pick and choose the modules that you want to do, giving you more flexibility. Therefore, if there are certain classes you won’t enjoy, or won’t be very good at, you can miss those ones out and pick another one that suits you (providing it’s not a mandatory module, which means you have to pick it), as long as your timetable allows you to do so.
So, because I wasn’t interested in the coaching aspect of Sports Studies, I skipped those modules and opted for more sociology based ones. This made it more enjoyable for me and meant that I was picking subjects I was confident with.
3. Give yourself a backup
I always had a feeling that I wanted to go into sports journalism. But, when choosing whether to go to university, I wasn’t 100% sure that this was the career I wanted.
I, therefore, chose to do a broader degree, so that I didn’t get half way through a Sports Journalism degree before realising that career wasn’t for me.
Doing English allowed me to use my links to get published in The Guardian and some local newspapers in Worcestershire, whereas Sports Studies allowed me to establish links at the Worcester Wolves basketball team and Worcester City Football club where I did journalism based placements.
I always have two subjects to fall back on now, though, and so I will always have the security of being able to switch career paths.
If you are thinking about joint honours degree and have questions, send me a tweet @uwinsiders. Good luck!