Being a joint honours student; the good and the bad

Is it worth it?

being judged birmingham double the workload expensive intelligence joint honours less choice stuck in the middle student tab the tab university of birmingham UoB variation

So you couldn’t decide between your two favourite subjects when trying to choose what to do your degree in. You thought your uncle was oh so clever when he suggested doing both. After all, a joint honours course couldn’t really be that much harder right?

Little did you know what you were letting yourself in for.


Being stuck in the middle

You have a split identity for the whole of your uni life. You don’t fully belong to either of your courses. You’re a drifter. A total nightmare when it comes to battle of the courses bar crawls and other events.

Less choice

You have less choice. For some courses, there are compulsory modules as well as optional ones. As you do less credits than the single honours people, this often means that you only have one module which you can actually choose what you want to do. A nightmare decision when you have to pick one option from a list of loads you like the sound of…

Double the workload

You have so much work. While it’s not quite twice the work load of a normal degree, it might as well be. Not only do you have two subjects rather than one to study for, you also have even more background work to do to make sure you actually understand. And no, you can’t avoid this unless you want to look stupid in front of the people who have devoted three or four years of their life to that one subject. The result is, you spend hours in your room studying while your other housemates spend their time relaxing with their light workload.

Expensive books

The cost. You have twice the amount of books to buy and you can’t even reuse any because everything is so different.

Being judged

Everyone judges you. Why would you voluntarily do a joint honours course? Why would you voluntarily do extra work? You must be a nerd. Period.

Missing out

You miss out on years abroad and course trips because of your other subject. You merely have to stay at home and watch as your single honours friends go off gallivanting around the world on their study tours without you.

But it’s not all bad.


More variation

Joint honours means that you have a great amount of variation. Doing two different subjects prevents you getting bored and keeps what you’re learning about fresh and interesting.

More freedom

At UoB you even have the option of adjusting what percentage of your degree each subject takes up. So if after first year, you find you prefer one over the other, that’s not a problem! You can take more modules in that subject. Not like those single honours people who are stuck with their uninformed decision to study a subject for three years which they now hate.

More knowledge

You look highly intelligent because you have that in depth university knowledge about not one, but two subjects! Your hard to please family member (come on, we all have at least one of them) is finally proud of you because you’re doing a significantly hard-core course for them to boast about.