What's the point in minoring in something in uni?

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jaxp
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I want to go into engineering or psychology so my cousin recommended me majoring in engineering and minoring in psychology, but I don't understand what the point is in minoring in something? Since those two subjects are completely different fields, it's not like I could use my psychology minor to help with engineering. Also, would that cost extra money?
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artful_lounger
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Are you a student in the UK? Most using this forum are UK students or aiming to study at UK universities. UK degrees do not have "majors" or "minors" normally. That is North American university terminology. So in the UK it's a moot point anyway.
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_gcx
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Minors sort of exist in that we have joint degrees where one component forms considerably less of the degree than the other. (usually the distinction between "Subject x with Subject y" and "Subject x and Subject y") Most students study only one subject. They may be given opportunities to study outside this subject but generally this will only be recorded on the transcript and not on the degree title.
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jaxp
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Are you a student in the UK? Most using this forum are UK students or aiming to study at UK universities. UK degrees do not have "majors" or "minors" normally. That is North American university terminology. So in the UK it's a moot point anyway.
I'm from the UK. My cousin gave me this advice but he's also from the UK so I'm not sure where he got that from then.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by jaxp)
I'm from the UK. My cousin gave me this advice but he's also from the UK so I'm not sure where he got that from then.
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As above, other than a few specific courses (e.g. some liberal arts/natural sciences courses) you don't generally have a formal minor; some people refer to joint honours courses in the form "BA X with Y" as having X as the major and Y as the minor, but that's not really indicative of anything and I don't think using major/minor terminology there is very helpful.

The only uni with a formal minor that is independent of a particular degree is Southampton, which allows humanities students who happen to take a certain number of credits of external optional modules in the same area to have a minor recognised and listed on their transcript (which is essentially what a minor is in the US). The next closest is UCLs engineering programmes with their "IEP minor" programme, although the very restrictive requirements of this (and the fact it only accounts for 3 modules) makes me not really consider it a minor in the same was as they exist in the US.

In none of the above cases does a "minor" (whether it actually is a minor or just something called a minor) make any difference in the cost of attendance at uni, unless the modules you are taking as part of it have additional costs involved.

Also I'm not aware of any engineering degrees that would allow you to "minor" in psychology in any capacity. The closest you could come would be to take optional modules outside of engineering in psychology (note that due to accreditation requirements for engineering degrees, you are usually restricted to only one or two modules outside of engineering across the whole degree; also usually psychology departments have few or no modules available for external students for various reasons) and/or modules within engineering in human factors engineering/ergonomics. This wouldn't likely make much difference in terms of professional prospects as to do anything within the field of human factors engineering/ergonomics you would probably need a specialised masters in that field.

Essentially it's a non-issue and you don't need to think about it
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