What is a Joint Honours Degree? Meaning, Pros And Cons, & Courses

Joint honours degree

What are the advantages of studying a joint honors degree as opposed to a normal degree if you’re preparing to apply to college? The two sorts of degrees will be compared in this article along with a list of benefits and drawbacks for each. 

The two degrees will be examined in depth, perhaps resulting in many of your questions being addressed so you can decide which degree is best for you.  

If the two topics you combine have a strong connection, theoretically a joint honors degree could be superior to a normal degree. 

Your enhanced familiarity with a variety of areas may increase your employability. Two subjects and a full schedule are balanced with excellent time management.

In this article, we have compiled everything you need to know about a Joint Honours Degree. 

What is a Joint Honours Degree?

A joint honors degree combines many subjects into one degree, allowing you to study more than one subject.

Contrary to popular assumption, obtaining a dual honors degree usually doesn’t take any longer than obtaining a regular degree. Whatever you decide, a full-time degree will normally take 3 or 4 years to complete.

You have the choice to study a subject you excelled at in sixth-form college and combine it with a brand-new, unknown subject when pursuing a dual honors degree. 

You will be studying both subjects equally for this degree. To be more specific, you study one subject for half the time while studying the other for the other half. 

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What are the Advantages of a Joint Honours Degree?

You can study two subjects you enjoy in depth

Why not study both if you are interested in two different subjects? By pursuing a joint honors degree, you can take a variety of courses in both areas.

Since you normally earn the same number of credits for both, you might take more modules in one because it has fewer credits. 

This also means that your degree will have a wider range of content and evaluation methods, which is especially true if you study subjects as disparate as music and philosophy.

You can avoid modules you don’t like

For a dual honours degree as compared to a single honours degree, you study fewer modules in each topic, allowing you to design the course around your interests.

This implies that, although it does depend on the course, you may frequently pick the modules you like and skip the ones you don’t.

For combined honors students in some degrees, certain modules are required (especially in the first year), but many courses offer options, notably in the arts.

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You meet more people

You can interact with students from many departments in lectures and seminars when you are taking two courses.

It will be challenging to get to know everyone taking a single honors course because there will be so many of them. Since there are probably fewer of you taking the same combined honors course as you, you might get to know your classmates.

You’ll have more choices for your dissertation

Even though a dissertation in your senior year may seem far off, time will fly fast, so it’s still important to consider! 

It frequently happens that you can choose which of your two subjects you wish to write your dissertation about. 

This gives you more options, and you may talk about these things with instructors in both departments and access their resources. Certain departments require a dissertation, but you may typically opt-out.

These are just a few of the many advantages of pursuing a combined honors degree. Remember that most colleges will let you drop one after the first year if you decide that you don’t want to devote the full three years (or more) to taking two topics. 

It is hoped that after reading this, you will have a better knowledge of joint honors courses and be in a better position to decide if it is the best decision for you.

Finding a university that offers the dual honors program you wish to enroll in is the next step because not all of them will.  

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What are the Disadvantages of a Joint Honours Degree?

A drawback of choosing a joint honors program is that you can struggle to balance your two studies evenly and feel pulled between two faculties.

You might prefer one over the other and have a hard time balancing the two in your schedule.  

Additionally, because you are focusing on two subjects rather than one, your schedule might appear to be busier.

You will probably have two times as many feedback sessions and frequently conflicting deadlines, which can make you feel anxious and overworked.

Since single honors students only have to concentrate on one subject, it is simple to feel envious of them.

To be sure you comprehend the issue, you must conduct a lot of background research. You must also take into account the possibility of increased costs when purchasing books, materials, tools, and stationery for each of your disciplines.

What is a Standard Degree?

With a standard degree, you either study just one subject, or one major and two minors.  

If a course’s title contains the word “with” while you are looking for options, it probably refers to a major or minor, for example, engineering with math.

In this situation, engineering is the primary component of the degree, hence engineering will require more study time than math, which is the minor component. 

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Advantages of a Standard Degree

The benefits of pursuing a standard degree are obvious. If you decide to pursue that particular field after graduation, you will have the opportunity to expand your skill set in one area, which will assist in launching your career.

In general, it’s far simpler to concentrate on one thing rather than two things at once.

Disadvantages of a Standard Degree

If you are interested in several disciplines and are having trouble choosing one to pursue, you can feel as though your options are limited by simply taking one course. Additionally, if your passions start to feel like work or like a 

duty, you could feel exhausted and start to dislike them. 

After completing a degree, many students claim to have a solid understanding of whether or not they enjoy a certain subject.

Having only one subject to choose from can be a drawback of a normal degree if you find a subject you don’t enjoy.

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Honours Degree vs. Bachelor’s Degree

The main difference between a bachelor’s degree and an honors degree is the amount of study one undertakes during their undergraduate academic career.

Even though several bachelor’s degrees can be obtained with or without honors, getting an honors degree usually entails extra processes. 

This involves applying to an honors degree program, which is pursued as a separate one, in some countries. In contrast to a degree with honors, people obtain both a bachelor’s and an honors degree.

When looking into educational possibilities, distinguishing between different degrees can frequently be done by noticing the differences in the abbreviations that are used to represent the qualifications. 

For instance, a bachelor’s degree in the arts is typically abbreviated as BA, whereas a bachelor’s degree in the arts with honors is abbreviated as BA (Hons).

In the same way, a conventional Bachelor of Science degree is denoted as BSc, but a degree with honors is denoted as BSc (Hons).

A single honors undergraduate degree, in which students select a particular area of expertise to focus on, is another option to take into account. 

These programs frequently provide an integrated and coherent curriculum, enabling a thorough investigation of the selected subject of study.

This is different from studying distinct courses separately since it offers a concentrated and immersed learning environment.

How to Choose Between Joint Honours and a Standard Degree?

Choosing one degree over the other has no downsides because the success of any degree depends entirely on how you use it.  

As you can see, it is a popular option, thus you might find that they only accept a small number of applicants for the joint honors degrees due to rising demand and oversubscription.  

You might be thinking about which course is harder to take, however, the workload for a joint honors degree will be the same as for a regular degree.

You will take the same number of modules because you are only taking one of your two courses at a time. 

If you are having trouble balancing your classes, you must make sure that your university offers you plenty of assistance so that you do not feel overworked.

However, a drawback can be that your lecturers don’t realize you’re taking two different courses; as a result, the workload might first seem excessive and be viewed as a drawback. 

The key deciding element is the courses you have the opportunity to study because both degrees are thought to be equivalent, especially in terms of academic competence.

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How To Choose The Right Subject Combination For a Joint Honours Degree?

Your decisions are heavily influenced by your passions and areas of strength. However, you should make decisions based on logic and reality. Preferably, the subjects you choose should be related to the vocation you hope to pursue.  

The two topics don’t need to be closely related, but we do advise that you pick topics that are connected and overlap in some fundamental sense. 

You must be aware that choosing a topic combination that is drastically dissimilar from one another, like math and art, may be challenging. Choosing them would be pointless because they do not overlap. 

Your lecturers could frequently overlook the fact that you are taking additional courses, thus you might experience an overwhelming workload. 

On the other hand, picking courses in sociology and psychology would be a good example. They strongly relate to one another, therefore this would be a fantastic combo.

Additionally, you must examine your topic choices to ensure that they complement your career goals; doing so will help you land a job.  

What are the other Types Of Honours Degrees?

1. Single Honours Degree

You have the option to study stand-alone honors, which is regarded as an additional course, after completing your undergraduate studies.

To focus on one of your undergraduate courses, you can enroll in a course that combines three disciplines, such as Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. 

This type varies from integrated honors in that it requires an extra year of study, whereas integrated honors allow you to complete your honors requirements concurrently with your studies.

2. A Degree with an Honours Project

One of the simplest options for earning honours is this one. It would be a typical three-year degree that included a project or dissertation in the last year of study.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is an honours degree in university?

An honours degree in college refers to an undergraduate degree program that includes an additional level of study beyond the standard bachelor’s degree. It typically involves more rigorous coursework and a higher level of academic achievement.

How do you get an honors degree?

To obtain an honors degree, students usually need to meet specific academic criteria, such as achieving a certain grade point average or completing a designated number of credits or modules at an advanced level. The requirements may vary depending on the educational institution and country.

Can you do an honours degree in any subject?

Yes. Honors degrees are available in a wide range of subjects, including arts, sciences, business, engineering, and more. However, the availability of honors programs may vary depending on the specific discipline and educational institution.

Is an honours degree necessary for further study?

While an honours degree is not always a mandatory requirement for pursuing further studies, it can be advantageous when applying for postgraduate programs, especially in competitive fields or for prestigious scholarships.

Can I upgrade my regular degree to an honours degree?

Some universities may offer options for students with a regular degree to upgrade to an honours degree by fulfilling specific requirements, such as completing additional coursework or a research project. It is advisable to consult with the educational institution for their policies and procedures.


A dual honors degree could therefore increase your chances of finding employment. Employers emphasize time and time again how important it is for graduates to be organized and flexible in a professional job setting.  

Due to their different talents acquired via studying multiple topics, joint honour students are rewarded with maybe additional employment alternatives after graduation. It is quite valuable to be able to change between different kinds of jobs. 

Flexibility is becoming a more important employability trait, therefore being able to split your time between two studies will be beneficial once you graduate.



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