So you’re doing a combined degree. I too combine History and Philosophy, and let me tell you that a dual honour is certainly an honour. You’ve had your first few weeks of lectures, and deadline season will be soon. You’ve maybe got into the hang of how different subjects are taught, but have you gotten the hang of how to deal with your deadlines or workload?
I mainly talk from experience of Humanities or Social Science dual honours, and so I can’t tell you too much about the differences in science-related dual honours (although our MASH service certainly can!). However, I hope that my experience will prove useful nonetheless.
First thing’s first: don’t fret. You haven’t made a terrible mistake in doing a joint honours. You don’t have the workload of two different courses on top of each other – you still have 120 credits to complete, same as everyone else. You’d also be surprised how many people do dual honours. When I joined philosophy in first year, nearly half of the course studied a different subject as well.
Joint honours are great. You learn a larger variety of knowledge and skills, and get to know many different teaching styles (and people on your course)! Switching from doing lots of History reading to going to a Philosophy lecture is a nice refresher which helps one course break up the other. I’m looking to do a masters in History, but if I did nothing but History reading in my three years here, I’d definitely be put off! (Hopefully this paragraph isn’t read in my application).
However, to have a truly positive experience of both, you need to know that you’re doing well in them. The key thing to remember about doing a dual is that your work will be marked differently within each subject.
If you’re worried about writing an essay for a different department, the Departmental Study Guide is your bible. You should usually be able to find this on your subject or module’s MOLE page. This will tell in what way to write for your course, and also your referencing system (which is incredibly important!).
Secondly, there is a large amount of support available for dual students. You will have a personal tutor for each subject. If you have anxieties about doing two different subjects, consult them (its what you pay 9 grand a year for)! And finally, if you’re still feeling a bit out of your depth…there’s someone else you can turn to. Your knight in shining armour – 301 Glossop Road!
How? If your second subject is philosophy, a difference might be that you might need more training in developing your argument or critical thinking skills. Well, we have workshops on just those things! Does one of your subjects require much more group work? We’ve got you covered. Is the reading for History colossal? Check out our speed reading course! All these things are available to book on our website.
At the end of the day, just know that you’re not alone doing a dual honours, and that both your department and 301 are here to help. Have a good one!