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Joint Honours – twice as nice or double the trouble?

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Joint Honours. Twice as nice or double the trouble? Either way, joint honour degrees are becoming more popular UCAS choice in recent years and as a joint Music and Drama student, I feel somewhat ‘qualified’ to give you the highs and lows of, as quoted by Hannah Montana, ‘the best of both worlds’…

Why don’t we start with the pros?


If you don’t quite know what you want to study, or are stuck between a couple of subjects, a joint honours degree gives you far more flexibility, and the freedom to explore two subjects in detail. In my experience, it also gave me double the amount of modules to choose from, which was very handy when a module cropped up that didn’t look so appealing!

Meet more people

Studying two subjects gives you the chance to get involved in two different departments and meet more people! I’ve definitely found that I’ve sided with one subject over the other, but it’s still nice to meet and see different people all the time in lectures and seminars.

Career Opportunities

A dual degree helped me explore multiple career options, and ultimately made me change career paths as I explored both subjects at a higher level. Even if this isn’t the case for you, learning to balance two or more subjects may prove useful in an employment market which increasingly values flexibility.

However, juggling different subjects does come with its cons…

Time Management

Although I think it’s a myth that studying a dual degree means double the workload, it does mean you have to be good at time management. Readings, assignments and deadlines could crop up all at once, and it can be a challenge to equally divide your time and attention between both departments. It’s useful to be aware of this before jumping in!

Stretched between two departments

Although it’s great to be involved in two departments and meet a variety of people, sometimes you can feel a little stretched out. In first year it often felt like I was in a bit of a limbo because I couldn’t properly invest in one subject, but you soon get the swing of it as you realise where your interest lie.

Overall I’ve loved studying joint honours, and I’d tell anyone thinking about it to go for it! It meant I could continue studying the two subjects I enjoyed at a higher level without having to choose between the two, and gave me so many opportunities, and a ton of variety. Check out more Student Made blogs to hear other people’s experiences at Manchester – from a PhD journey, to a Master’s student reflections 🙂

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