Sponsored feature, words by Russ Thorne
Join honours at the University of HertfordshireIt can be tricky to choose between two equally appealing options. Peanut butter or jam, for example. Both are tasty, but which one is best in a sandwich? Well, why not have both? Ah, perfection!

And it's not just cheeky snacks where you can have the best of both worlds: this approach can also work with your degree. If you love two subjects and are struggling to choose between them, you might be able to put them together with a joint honours programme.

There are plenty of reasons to consider a joint honours degree. The University of Hertfordshire has a wide range of joint honours courses, and we caught up with one of its admissions tutors and a current student for the inside view on the perks of a joint honours degree.

1. You're not going to be landed with double the work

First of all, don't panic. Joint honours students aren't expected to finish two degrees in the time most students do one. “The amount of study and number of credits required to graduate is exactly the same as on a single honours degree,” says Carolyn Pegg, joint honours admissions tutor at the University of Hertfordshire.

The exact breakdown will vary between universities, but you'll divide your study time between your two chosen subjects. At Hertfordshire it's a 50/50 split in the first year. From the second year onward, you can continue to spend equal amounts of time on each subject, or opt to major in one subject. Take the latter option and you'll spend 75% of your time on your major subject and the remaining 25% on your minor subject. Some courses might work slightly differently; you can find lots more information on the University of Hertfordshire's website.

2. You get more variety in your studies

As with a single honours degree programme you'll need to think carefully about what subjects you choose, but the good news is that there are a lot of options to get excited about. At Hertfordshire, joint honours courses include business and computing, law and philosophy, mathematics and European languages, sports studies and psychology…and many more. You can see the University of Hertfordshire's full joint honours course list on its website.

With all that variety, you can pick two areas that really interest you and keep both sides of your brain busy as you study. “Joint honours students benefit from studying different subjects across disciplines, engaging with different learning techniques and approaches and acquiring a wide range of skills,” says Carolyn.

3. You'll meet more people

Join honours at the University of Hertfordshire
Following two subjects means you'll be interacting with two sets of students and staff, which can only be a good thing for both your social life at uni and your professional life once you leave. “You meet more people and have the opportunity to attend events connected with each subject,” says Carolyn. “You'll build up valuable networks for the future.”

Shubham Arora, a recent graduate of business and sports studies, agrees. “As a joint honours student, I found that you meet a range of people. You end up with a network that is not only diverse but also potentially twice as big as one you would develop on a single honours degree.”

4. You'll have more options for further study or employment

Once you leave a joint honours course the benefits keep on coming. If you're interested in further study you might find that you have access to more postgraduate courses because of the broad knowledge base your undergraduate degree provided, for example.

Plus, when it comes to job hunting you'll be able to cast your net wider, suggests Shubham. “A joint honours degree can essentially double the number of professions you can approach,” he says. “It enables you to select from a variety of career options and pursue a field that you feel more passionate about.”

5. You'll get a range of personal and professional benefits

The skills you develop and the experiences you have while you study are important and a joint honours course can offer a lot in this area, says Carolyn. “Joint honours students explore concepts from different angles,” she says, “and develop a skill set including time management and communication skills.”

Of course, pursuing two subjects can be tricky at times, but the rewards are more than worth it. “A joint honours degree can be challenging,” says Shubham. “However, it’s one of those challenges that can be positive for your development. You feel happy to have undertaken it afterwards, because it enhances you as a student and helps you become more employable overall.”

Find out more about the joint honours courses available at the University of Hertfordshire.