Is a joint degree right for me?

Ask any undergraduate student and they’ll tell you that choosing a course – let alone a university – can be a daunting task indeed. I certainly remember sitting in my room with a pile of prospectuses and very little idea of where to begin. If your heart is totally set on one course, that’s great. However, I certainly hadn’t got a clear idea of what I wanted out of my undergraduate degree. I thought I’d share a few pieces of advice on how I came to choose a joint degree, and whether it’s right for you too.


See which courses you meet the entry requirements for – you might be surprised!

I’m currently studying for an MA in Philosophy and Psychology and came to Edinburgh with AS/A Levels in Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Religious Studies. Every course is different, so do your research and contact the admissions office if you need to. I settled on a joint degree in PPLS because I didn’t want to give up the scientific study I loved and was still keen to keep up a humanities course too.



How much choice do you want in your degree? 

Studying a joint undergraduate degree means more compulsory modules, certainly in 1st and 2nd year. In my own personal experience, I had one free elective each year, whereas some of my friends on single honours courses had three of four. My advice is to consider how much you would like to dedicate yourself to one area of study – if you wish to study as much Philosophy as possible, for example, perhaps a single honours course is best.



What’s going to be best for your future career plans? 

If you merely want to keep your options as open as possible (like me!), joint degrees can be a fantastic way to do just this. Plus, I love my degree because I am gaining different skillsets from the two subjects, which I hope will transfer to my employability in the future. Consider what you’re really passionate about, though – if you love your subject, those late nights in the library will be so much more worth it.