The Myth of Joint Honours: English and Film Studies at Aber by Bethan Evans

There are many myths about doing a joint honours scheme at University that makes people question why on earth someone would put themselves through such an experience. Isn’t the work doubled, seeing as you’re technically doing two degrees? How are you meant to juggle the work of two different degree schemes successfully? Surely it is impossible to make course mates if you are continuously placed into different classes with different people? Is it harder than a single degree?

Honestly, there is a simple answer to all of those questions. One so simple that it may shock anyone who has thought up such questions as these. An answer so simple that you may think I’m lying to you, or am simply delusional. The answer to all these questions is this.

No, not really.

I know, too simple isn’t it? But it’s the simple truth. A joint honours isn’t any harder than a single honours degree scheme. Take this from someone who was never top of their class in school but is currently on track for a high 2:1. I decided to do this degree as I was passionate about the two different subjects and couldn’t decide between them, so I was overjoyed when I could do a joint degree here in Aberystwyth.

It’s definitely not twice the work load. I have the same amount of modules as any other course and have the same work load as anyone else. The only difference is that I don’t limit myself to only the one subject, as I can pick the modules I want from each scheme and study a degree, that I am incredibly passionate about, that enhances my interests. Why not study Shakespeare alongside a horror film module?

Only in Aberystwyth can you mould a degree to be exactly what you want it to be. The lectures realise that the best way to get students to  attend lectures and do well in a degree is to allow them to have more decision over what their degree actually is and teach it in a stimulating way. They got it spot on and it’s one of the reasons that I am so passionate about my degree and enjoy writing an essay… I know that’s a very weird statement for a University student to say but if you enjoy what you’re studying it makes you want to read more into the subject.


Small town, big community.

Another thing that is only possible in a University like Aberystwyth is the community. After all, in school I never thought I’d hang out with anyone from the football team, everyone seemed to fit into a certain category. Yet, here I am living with three football members, one also being the Captain of the chess team and another being obsessed with yu-gi-oh cards. I also live with a history fanatic that does medieval re-enactments and another guy who is a computer wizard. We are quite the odd bunch stuck together, like something out of an American sitcom. However it works out perfectly, as opposites really do attract.


More to learn than just a degree.

When I came to University I was worried that I’d be tied down to my degree and that’s all I’d learn, with all my hobbies would die away under the work load. To my relief, Aberystwyth doesn’t let this happen. There are so many clubs and societies that they can’t fit the society fair into a single building. You have everything from sporty clubs to the fantasy societies, and some you may never have even heard of before, making it is impossible not to find one that interests you. For me that was Korfball, which my friend had suggested we join despite neither of us actually understanding what to do. A year later and I have to say it was one of her best suggestions as I have met people I wouldn’t otherwise have met, and despite not always making it to the practice sessions,  I’m always accepted to the socials without question. I’ve also gone to free writing workshops which I had never thought I’d be confident enough to go to and made friends outside of my degree.


Therefore no, I don’t think a joint honours degree is any additional hassle and should definitely not be viewed as daunting. After all, Aberystwyth makes you love your degree and the people within it, as well as introducing you to different people and activities that make you grow as a person. It’s an experience you never want to end and will always always remember.