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Applying for a combined degree or joint honours?

I'm sort of in a situation because I am not left with a lot of unis that do Anthropology and Sociology (in one degree) after filtering out the ones that don't fit into my criteria (e.g. distance, not liking the actual modules, etc).

So I was wondering if I could somehow apply for both of them (at a uni that does both of those subjects)? I'm super confused with how applying for 2 subjects works when they don't show up together on the UCAS website, which is how I've been picking my choices so far.

In a last-ditch attempt to see if there's any other way I could still do both of my favourite subjects, I'm just wondering if there's anything I could do that I'm missing or getting wrong right now.

Any advice would be appreciated :smile:
(edited 4 months ago)
Original post by TeaOnRice
I'm sort of in a situation because I am not left with a lot of unis that do Anthropology and Sociology (in one degree) after filtering out the ones that don't fit into my criteria (e.g. distance, not liking the actual modules, ranking, etc).

So I was wondering if I could somehow apply for both of them (at a uni that does both of those subjects)? I'm super confused with how applying for 2 subjects works when they don't show up together on the UCAS website, which is how I've been picking my choices so far.

In a last-ditch attempt to see if there's any other way I could still do both of my favourite subjects, I'm just wondering if there's anything I could do that I'm missing or getting wrong right now.

Any advice would be appreciated :smile:

The immediate impression I got was that you would be going for a joint degree in Anthropology and Sociology. A quick google search shows 10 unis that offer this degree (or something closely related).

I am not left with a lot of unis that do Anthropology and Sociology (in one degree) after filtering out the ones that don't fit into my criteria
When there are about 10 in the country that offers the degree and you then get really picky about the nonessential stuff, I am not surprised.

So I was wondering if I could somehow apply for both of them (at a uni that does both of those subjects)?
As far as I know, UCAS allows you to apply to the same uni for different degrees in one application. However, I would have thought you would have wanted to do a joint degree as opposed to 2 different degrees.
If the application form doesn't allow you to pick 2 degrees from the same uni, contact UCAS to get it sorted out (ideally ASAP since the application deadline is coming up).

I'm super confused with how applying for 2 subjects works when they don't show up together on the UCAS website, which is how I've been picking my choices so far.
Yeah, this is where I would go to the unis' websites as opposed to just relying on UCAS's search engine.
If anything, I would use the league tables as a starting point for finding all the degrees available out there in the country (e.g. Complete Uni Guide, Guardian, Times, etc.). Even if for some random reason I chose not to use the league tables, I would do checks using Google.

Side note: if I am interpreting your statement correctly, you can't apply for 2 degrees as one option. You can have a degree course for each option, but then you would have to choose from the degrees that the unis would give you offers for. Otherwise, the sensible option would be to pick the joint degrees. Joint degrees would have their own UCAS codes e.g. https://www.durham.ac.uk/study/courses/anthropology-and-sociology-ll36/ - LL36
https://www.gold.ac.uk/ug/ba-anthropology-sociology/ - LL36
https://www.brunel.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/Anthropology-and-Sociology-BSc - LL6H

In a last-ditch attempt to see if there's any other way I could still do both of my favourite subjects, I'm just wondering if there's anything I could do that I'm missing or getting wrong right now.
Last ditch attempt...
Favourite subjects... considering anthropology isn't taught at A Level (unless someone corrects me).
If for any random reason you choose not to do both subjects as a joint bachelor's degree, the other options that I can think of from the top of my head include:

Do a bachelor's in one subject then a master's in the other - if you do this, I would recommend sociology first, because MAs in sociology tend to require an undergrad in sociology whereas anthropology doesn't at either under or postgrad as far as I know - do check.

Do 2 bachelors' - not recommended because you won't get funding for the second bachelor's and it would cost you an arm and a leg to do it again.


Personal recommendation: Do a joint degree in both subjects and be less picky about the unis. If you then for some random reason want to do postgrad in either subjects or a related discipline (or any discipline that accepts an undergrad in any subject), you would still have funding and the option to do so.
Reply 2
Original post by MindMax2000
The immediate impression I got was that you would be going for a joint degree in Anthropology and Sociology. A quick google search shows 10 unis that offer this degree (or something closely related).

I am not left with a lot of unis that do Anthropology and Sociology (in one degree) after filtering out the ones that don't fit into my criteria
When there are about 10 in the country that offers the degree and you then get really picky about the nonessential stuff, I am not surprised.

So I was wondering if I could somehow apply for both of them (at a uni that does both of those subjects)?
As far as I know, UCAS allows you to apply to the same uni for different degrees in one application. However, I would have thought you would have wanted to do a joint degree as opposed to 2 different degrees.
If the application form doesn't allow you to pick 2 degrees from the same uni, contact UCAS to get it sorted out (ideally ASAP since the application deadline is coming up).

I'm super confused with how applying for 2 subjects works when they don't show up together on the UCAS website, which is how I've been picking my choices so far.
Yeah, this is where I would go to the unis' websites as opposed to just relying on UCAS's search engine.
If anything, I would use the league tables as a starting point for finding all the degrees available out there in the country (e.g. Complete Uni Guide, Guardian, Times, etc.). Even if for some random reason I chose not to use the league tables, I would do checks using Google.

Side note: if I am interpreting your statement correctly, you can't apply for 2 degrees as one option. You can have a degree course for each option, but then you would have to choose from the degrees that the unis would give you offers for. Otherwise, the sensible option would be to pick the joint degrees. Joint degrees would have their own UCAS codes e.g. https://www.durham.ac.uk/study/courses/anthropology-and-sociology-ll36/ - LL36
https://www.gold.ac.uk/ug/ba-anthropology-sociology/ - LL36
https://www.brunel.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/Anthropology-and-Sociology-BSc - LL6H

In a last-ditch attempt to see if there's any other way I could still do both of my favourite subjects, I'm just wondering if there's anything I could do that I'm missing or getting wrong right now.
Last ditch attempt...
Favourite subjects... considering anthropology isn't taught at A Level (unless someone corrects me).
If for any random reason you choose not to do both subjects as a joint bachelor's degree, the other options that I can think of from the top of my head include:

Do a bachelor's in one subject then a master's in the other - if you do this, I would recommend sociology first, because MAs in sociology tend to require an undergrad in sociology whereas anthropology doesn't at either under or postgrad as far as I know - do check.

Do 2 bachelors' - not recommended because you won't get funding for the second bachelor's and it would cost you an arm and a leg to do it again.


Personal recommendation: Do a joint degree in both subjects and be less picky about the unis. If you then for some random reason want to do postgrad in either subjects or a related discipline (or any discipline that accepts an undergrad in any subject), you would still have funding and the option to do so.

Thank you very much for the extensive reply 🙂 Yep, I did mean a joint degree, and not applying to both subjects as separate degrees at the same uni to do both at once (which I didn't even know was possible?!).

The criteria I have isn't really a matter of being picky. It's due to limitations on location due to health and family reasons, and just generally not being a fan of the specific modules that a uni chooses to include in the degree. I figured that last issue would be likely, since anthropology is an especially broad subject with very different branches and fields e.g. biological, social, cultural, political, and many people have an interest in specific branches of socio and anth.

That was the reason I didn't go with Manchester - a LOT of the course is concentrated on criminological sociology and anthropology, which I don't dislike but which also is not my main interest. I'm aware there will probably always be some parts of your degree you don't LOVE, but I really want to go with something I'll enjoy the most if that's a possibility.

And yes! They are definitely my favourite subjects lol, despite having never studied anthropology officially. It's something I discovered through sociology (which I've been studying since GCSE and still study at A-level) and would really love to pursue. But for 2 of my options, I did end up going for just Sociology or just Anthropology. I didn't want to apply only to unis that offer joint anth and socio whilst knowing the location/course module wasn't a fit for me - because then I wouldn't realistically accept their offers if I received them, and would just be wasting my UCAS options lol.

I actually applied way back in October but have the option now to substitute one of my options after the subject I had an offer in was discontinued at that uni - hence the 'last-ditch attempt' to find another uni that does joint anth and socio, after I lost one of my options for that joint degree.

The doing one subject as BA and one MA did occur to me, but I'd love to study them both at once, especially if I decide not to continue onto Masters after, and also because they make for a great combination that'll keep me interested of the course of my degree.
(edited 4 months ago)
Original post by TeaOnRice
Thank you very much for the extensive reply 🙂 Yep, I did mean a joint degree, and not applying to both subjects as separate degrees at the same uni to do both at once (which I didn't even know was possible?!).

The criteria I have isn't really a matter of being picky. It's due to limitations on location due to health and family reasons, and just generally not being a fan of the specific modules that a uni chooses to include in the degree. I figured that last issue would be likely, since anthropology is an especially broad subject with very different branches and fields e.g. biological, social, cultural, political, and many people have an interest in specific branches of socio and anth.

That was the reason I didn't go with Manchester - a LOT of the course is concentrated on criminological sociology and anthropology, which I don't dislike but which also is not my main interest. I'm aware there will probably always be some parts of your degree you don't LOVE, but I really want to go with something I'll enjoy the most if that's a possibility.

And yes! They are definitely my favourite subjects lol, despite having never studied anthropology officially. It's something I discovered through sociology (which I've been studying since GCSE and still study at A-level) and would really love to pursue. But for 2 of my options, I did end up going for just Sociology or just Anthropology. I didn't want to apply only to unis that offer joint anth and socio whilst knowing the location/course module wasn't a fit for me - because then I wouldn't realistically accept their offers if I received them, and would just be wasting my UCAS options lol.

I actually applied way back in October but have the option now to substitute one of my options after the subject I had an offer in was discontinued at that uni - hence the 'last-ditch attempt' to find another uni that does joint anth and socio, after I lost one of my options for that joint degree.

The doing one subject as BA and one MA did occur to me, but I'd love to study them both at once, especially if I decide not to continue onto Masters after, and also because they make for a great combination that'll keep me interested of the course of my degree.

You dont need to apply to 5 choices. If you are happy with fewer then fine. Only 1 place you can go to.
Reply 4
You cant just combine two degree subjects because you fancy the idea - ie. apply for two subjects as two UCAS choices and hope the Uni will let you do 'both subjects at once' as one degree. It simply doesnt work like that. You can only apply for named degrees - ie. 'Anth and Sociology' where that is listed as a degree title on their website and on UCAS.

If you are running out of possibilities, have a look at multi-disciplinary degrees called 'Liberal Arts', 'Combined Honours' or 'Flexible Honours'. Whilst these are 'named degrees' they allow you to pick combinations of subjects to focus on. Each course has a different structure, and includes different subjects, so check carefully. Examples :
Liberal Arts | Faculty of Arts | University of Bristol
Combined Honours BA | Undergraduate | Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk)
Flexible Honours - School of Arts, Languages and Cultures - The University of Manchester
Flexible Study | Humanities | University of Southampton
Reply 5
Original post by swanseajack1
You dont need to apply to 5 choices. If you are happy with fewer then fine. Only 1 place you can go to.

I know 🙂 but I want to have as many options as I since, and apart from Exeter and Cambridge, none of my other options include both sociology and anthropology. So I was wondering if there was any other uni that does a combined degree for those subjects that I'd somehow missed (because I know sometimes you have to go on specific uni's websites and scour the internet, as not all courses show up on UCAS).
Reply 6
Original post by McGinger
You cant just combine two degree subjects because you fancy the idea - ie. apply for two subjects as two UCAS choices and hope the Uni will let you do 'both subjects at once' as one degree. It simply doesnt work like that. You can only apply for named degrees - ie. 'Anth and Sociology' where that is listed as a degree title on their website and on UCAS.

If you are running out of possibilities, have a look at multi-disciplinary degrees called 'Liberal Arts', 'Combined Honours' or 'Flexible Honours'. Whilst these are 'named degrees' they allow you to pick combinations of subjects to focus on. Each course has a different structure, and includes different subjects, so check carefully. Examples :
Liberal Arts | Faculty of Arts | University of Bristol
Combined Honours BA | Undergraduate | Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk)
Flexible Honours - School of Arts, Languages and Cultures - The University of Manchester
Flexible Study | Humanities | University of Southampton

Oh yeah, I probably worded it weirdly but I didn't mean just applying to 2 subjects done as separate degrees at one uni 🫠 I was referring to combined degrees, and was just wondering if I missed out on some unis offering a combined degree that includes both socio and anth. I was also referring to any other broad social science courses that include both of them too - not everything comes up on UCAS sometimes and I really didn't want to miss out on a good option 😓
But thank you! I will check these out.
Original post by TeaOnRice
I'm sort of in a situation because I am not left with a lot of unis that do Anthropology and Sociology (in one degree) after filtering out the ones that don't fit into my criteria (e.g. distance, not liking the actual modules, etc).

So I was wondering if I could somehow apply for both of them (at a uni that does both of those subjects)? I'm super confused with how applying for 2 subjects works when they don't show up together on the UCAS website, which is how I've been picking my choices so far.

In a last-ditch attempt to see if there's any other way I could still do both of my favourite subjects, I'm just wondering if there's anything I could do that I'm missing or getting wrong right now.

Any advice would be appreciated :smile:

Is there a reason you specifically want to do both anthropology and sociology? There's quite a lot of overlap - especially on the anthropology side where a lot of "social theory" used in sociology was borne out of anthropology. Also it's very likely that any uni offering both subjects will allow you to take optional modules from one in the other. Some might just have the two share a lot of modules in fact.

If there isn't a formal joint honours course or similar combined honours course that allows you to study both (e.g. BASc at UCL, HSPS at Cambridge, Combined Social Sciences at Durham - believe there are a few other similar schemes, liberal arts courses may also facilitate this), then applying to the two degrees as single subject courses at a single uni won't allow you to combine the two. You will still need to choose one single subject course or the other in the end.

I think you're getting too hung up on the name of the degree and not on the content. Forget what the degree title is - whether it's BA Social Anthropology or BSc Sociology or BSocSc Social Sciences or whatever - and look at the actual modules and content of the course. You can then find one which you like the content of and apply to that one. Ultimately the name of the degree is irrelevant.
(edited 4 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by artful_lounger
Is there a reason you specifically want to do both anthropology and sociology? There's quite a lot of overlap - especially on the anthropology side where a lot of "social theory" used in sociology was borne out of anthropology. Also it's very likely that any uni offering both subjects will allow you to take optional modules from one in the other. Some might just have the two share a lot of modules in fact.

If there isn't a formal joint honours course or similar combined honours course that allows you to study both (e.g. BASc at UCL, HSPS at Cambridge, Combined Social Sciences at Durham - believe there are a few other similar schemes, liberal arts courses may also facilitate this), then applying to the two degrees as single subject courses at a single uni won't allow you to combine the two. You will still need to choose one single subject course or the other in the end.

I think you're getting too hung up on the name of the degree and not on the content. Forget what the degree title is - whether it's BA Social Anthropology or BSc Sociology or BSocSc Social Sciences or whatever - and look at the actual modules and content of the course. You can then find one which you like the content of and apply to that one. Ultimately the name of the degree is irrelevant.

I agree there is overlap, but just doing one or the other would most likely cause me to 'miss out' on aspects of social sciences that I think I'd really enjoy - I'm not sure how in depth I'd study classical sociological theory for example if I took just anth, or e.g. studying specific cultures in depth and how social systems like kinship vary according to culture, if I took just a sociology degree.
But yeah, you are probably right that I'm hung up on the name of the degree 😓 I did ideally want a 50/50 split but I really don't want to miss out on some good courses that include both of them, even if only in some option modules and even if they go alongside other social sciences. But I don't really understand how liberal arts degrees actually work? I don't get whether I would have to start out doing a broad range of science, arts, and humanities subjects, or when you start specialising in certain subjects in a liberal arts degree, if at all. I've tried searching online but usually end up pretty confused (tho admittedly my research has been minimal because I got a bit intimidated by the confusion..)
(edited 4 months ago)
Original post by TeaOnRice
I agree there is overlap, but just doing one or the other would most likely cause me to 'miss out' on aspects of social sciences that I think I'd really enjoy - I'm not sure how in depth I'd study classical sociological theory for example if I took just anth, or e.g. studying specific cultures in depth and how social systems like kinship vary according to culture, if I took just a sociology degree.
But yeah, you are probably right that I'm hung up on the name of the degree 😓 I did ideally want a 50/50 split but I really don't want to miss out on some good courses that include both of them, even if only in some option modules and even if they go alongside other social sciences. But I don't really understand how liberal arts degrees actually work? Or when you start specialising in certain subjects in a liberal arts degree, if at all. I've tried searching online but usually end up pretty confused.

The "classical sociological theory" is also pretty much the underlying anthropological theory - you'll definitely study the usual Durkheim/Marx/Weber stuff on both courses I gather. Although yes you won't really engage with the ethnography stuff so much in a sociology course I think.

Really I think the major difference is the quantitative element as sociology tends to involve more stats and some experimental/field experimental elements. Which you don't seem that interested in - which makes me think you might be better served by an anthropology course, as you'll still cover the central social theory content while also doing all the anthropological material. Equally even if you might "miss" some of the sociology stuff you will most likely be able to take one or two optional modules a year outside your main subject which could be those modules you feel you aren't getting covered in the anthropology side (or vice versa).

In terms of the liberal arts degree structures, this basically is unique to each uni offering it. Some of them just kind of give you "carte blanche" over the uni's module offerings with a couple compulsory modules, others have a more structure approach. Sometimes you'll have a "named" subject of specialism in one and sometimes you won't.
Reply 10
Original post by artful_lounger
The "classical sociological theory" is also pretty much the underlying anthropological theory - you'll definitely study the usual Durkheim/Marx/Weber stuff on both courses I gather. Although yes you won't really engage with the ethnography stuff so much in a sociology course I think.

Really I think the major difference is the quantitative element as sociology tends to involve more stats and some experimental/field experimental elements. Which you don't seem that interested in - which makes me think you might be better served by an anthropology course, as you'll still cover the central social theory content while also doing all the anthropological material. Equally even if you might "miss" some of the sociology stuff you will most likely be able to take one or two optional modules a year outside your main subject which could be those modules you feel you aren't getting covered in the anthropology side (or vice versa).

In terms of the liberal arts degree structures, this basically is unique to each uni offering it. Some of them just kind of give you "carte blanche" over the uni's module offerings with a couple compulsory modules, others have a more structure approach. Sometimes you'll have a "named" subject of specialism in one and sometimes you won't.

Honestly I have no idea whether I'd say I prefer sociology or anthropology then🫠 stats and quantitative approaches in sociology isn't something I actually mind. I'd say the fact that sociology is on a more global level than anthropology (bar the comparisons between cultures, which even then is usually focused on two or three at once) is something I enjoy specific to sociology. But I just as much enjoy the in-depth ethnographic approach of anthropology, and its focus on specific customs and patterns of behaviour you may not study with a sociological approach that tends towards global patterns.

In that case, I think I'll take your advice and, if I can't find any combined degrees that fit my criteria, will look into courses that are named either socio or anth, but include optional modules from the other.

I'm still a little confused about the liberal arts courses though, even after doing some more research, as the websites are sort of vague. If I did apply to a liberal arts course, I would want to stick strictly to social sciences, and it seems to me like that isn't an option for any liberal arts course, even though they are unique to each uni. From the way they're worded on all websites I've seen and when just searching up what a liberal arts course actually is, it seems like you would be required to take subjects from arts, humanities, and natural sciences e.g. history, languages, biology... whilst I'm only really into social sciences. I am extremely sorry about all the questions I'm asking by the way😓
Original post by TeaOnRice
Honestly I have no idea whether I'd say I prefer sociology or anthropology then🫠 stats and quantitative approaches in sociology isn't something I actually mind. I'd say the fact that sociology is on a more global level than anthropology (bar the comparisons between cultures, which even then is usually focused on two or three at once) is something I enjoy specific to sociology. But I just as much enjoy the in-depth ethnographic approach of anthropology, and its focus on specific customs and patterns of behaviour you may not study with a sociological approach that tends towards global patterns.

In that case, I think I'll take your advice and, if I can't find any combined degrees that fit my criteria, will look into courses that are named either socio or anth, but include optional modules from the other.

I'm still a little confused about the liberal arts courses though, even after doing some more research, as the websites are sort of vague. If I did apply to a liberal arts course, I would want to stick strictly to social sciences, and it seems to me like that isn't an option for any liberal arts course, even though they are unique to each uni. From the way they're worded on all websites I've seen and when just searching up what a liberal arts course actually is, it seems like you would be required to take subjects from arts, humanities, and natural sciences e.g. history, languages, biology... whilst I'm only really into social sciences. I am extremely sorry about all the questions I'm asking by the way😓

Thought I might interject - sorry.

If it's of much motivation to take on the stats and quantitative elements of sociology, you can later apply for a job as a social science researcher through a government scheme if you have the right grades. See:
https://www.faststream.gov.uk/government-social-research-service/index.html
Original post by TeaOnRice
Honestly I have no idea whether I'd say I prefer sociology or anthropology then🫠 stats and quantitative approaches in sociology isn't something I actually mind. I'd say the fact that sociology is on a more global level than anthropology (bar the comparisons between cultures, which even then is usually focused on two or three at once) is something I enjoy specific to sociology. But I just as much enjoy the in-depth ethnographic approach of anthropology, and its focus on specific customs and patterns of behaviour you may not study with a sociological approach that tends towards global patterns.

In that case, I think I'll take your advice and, if I can't find any combined degrees that fit my criteria, will look into courses that are named either socio or anth, but include optional modules from the other.

I'm still a little confused about the liberal arts courses though, even after doing some more research, as the websites are sort of vague. If I did apply to a liberal arts course, I would want to stick strictly to social sciences, and it seems to me like that isn't an option for any liberal arts course, even though they are unique to each uni. From the way they're worded on all websites I've seen and when just searching up what a liberal arts course actually is, it seems like you would be required to take subjects from arts, humanities, and natural sciences e.g. history, languages, biology... whilst I'm only really into social sciences. I am extremely sorry about all the questions I'm asking by the way😓


I'd consider anthropology much more global. Sociology has at least historically focused a lot more on Western societies. It's not really as generalisable as you think which is kind of the point anthropologists make - the need to recognise that not all societies follow a Western capitalist format.

Usually liberal arts courses in the UK do require a language - although if you were interested in continuing anthropology to graduate level invariably you'd do fieldwork necessitating language study. I don't know of any outside of UCL BASc that even have the option to take STEM subjects ordinarily? In any event, something to explore.
Reply 13
Original post by artful_lounger
I'd consider anthropology much more global. Sociology has at least historically focused a lot more on Western societies. It's not really as generalisable as you think which is kind of the point anthropologists make - the need to recognise that not all societies follow a Western capitalist format.

Usually liberal arts courses in the UK do require a language - although if you were interested in continuing anthropology to graduate level invariably you'd do fieldwork necessitating language study. I don't know of any outside of UCL BASc that even have the option to take STEM subjects ordinarily? In any event, something to explore.

I do see what you mean and yeah, I am for sure no expert in Sociology OR Anthropology but I'd agree at least from what I've explored that the former seems to have a greater problem with eurocentrism. But I sort of meant the global part in the sense that sociological focuses of research tend to look at social issues, attitudes, patterns, etc, that can be found in most or all societies, or are starting to be found. Anthropology still does that, but also looks at specific customs and ways of life you'll only find in a select few places in the world. At least, that's the impression I've gotten from the little I've learned so far and from looking at uni modules. But again - I really am not an expert at all and totally see what you mean! I am probably just approaching this from a weird angle.

And yeah, I probably just got confused trying to navigate the uni websites. A few searches did mention liberal arts courses allow you to take different routes though, including natural sciences, and I'm just worried about applying to liberal arts without having an accurate idea of what it is, only to end up studying something I didn't intend to - so I really am probably overcomplicating this. In any case, thanks for helping :smile:

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