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course choice v oxbridge

i tried to write this post and im not sure if it sent or just deleted itself??? im completely new sorry alkdladlajs
so im predicted all a* in my a levels and im trying to evaluate whether to settle for an oxbridge course or go for an ideal course from a lower ranking university. i know every soul on the planet has been screaming about how course choice is god for the last 15 billion years but realistically, as an english, politics and history students, is there truly any difference between english and politics at york and human, social and political sciences at cambridge? (i know there is and im doing a bad job at explaining but hear me out). i love all my subjects (politics the most) and aren't the rewards that come with an oxbridge degree worth settling for a slightly worse course? higher salary, more employability, FINALLY not having people constantly question my intelligence: sure, english and politics sounds nicer, but i don't know what to choose when you compare it to the rewards of an oxbridge degree (also: both ox and cambridge are closer to my home so visits are easier and the campuses are much prettier than york. also also: don't recommend me hispol at ox because i think a double hons at oxbridge would kill me lol)
tl;dr: is settling for a worse oxbridge course worth it when comparing the post-grad benefits to a better course from a low-ranking university?
What year are you in?
Joint honours degrees do not constitute more work than a single honours degree. You do the equivalent amount of work, you are just split between two (usually, sometimes more) subjects. It's not like doing two A-levels vs doing one A-level; it's like doing one A-level which is split between two subjects (e.g. religion and philosophy) vs one A-level that is a single subject (e.g. maths).

In any event I think the thing is to look at what your motivations are for preferring English and politics and assess if that's specifically unique to that course combination or if it's something you can get out of a single honours or other joint honours course there or elsewhere.
Reply 3
Original post by ageshallnot
What year are you in?

12- i’m applying as an independent in my gap year
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
Joint honours degrees do not constitute more work than a single honours degree. You do the equivalent amount of work, you are just split between two (usually, sometimes more) subjects. It's not like doing two A-levels vs doing one A-level; it's like doing one A-level which is split between two subjects (e.g. religion and philosophy) vs one A-level that is a single subject (e.g. maths).
In any event I think the thing is to look at what your motivations are for preferring English and politics and assess if that's specifically unique to that course combination or if it's something you can get out of a single honours or other joint honours course there or elsewhere.

yeah i don’t actually know whether oxford hispol is double hons or joint hons? all i know is that my sister is always complaining about how much work she has compared to other students 😭
my main motivation is that i love essay writing and history has fun content but its so much that it doesn’t actually allow for a lot of essay writing- also, i only started taking politics this year and i really enjoy it so idk if i’m ready to drop it yet. thank you for your help!
Original post by pevans07
yeah i don’t actually know whether oxford hispol is double hons or joint hons? all i know is that my sister is always complaining about how much work she has compared to other students 😭
my main motivation is that i love essay writing and history has fun content but its so much that it doesn’t actually allow for a lot of essay writing- also, i only started taking politics this year and i really enjoy it so idk if i’m ready to drop it yet. thank you for your help!

Joint honours is the terminology used in the UK. "Double honours" is not something that exists separately.

Note that at degree level studying is very different as is assessment. You can't really compare that to A-level. Also at Oxbridge youll have normally I understand weekly tutorials which you will be writing an essay for each of so will be writing 2-3 essays a week (whether single or joint honours).

You haven't really discussed what your specific interest is in English either by itself or in relation to politics. So I'm not sure I understand what the appeal of that is specifically.

In any event bear in mind history includes political history and so you'd necessarily be learning about the politics of the regions and periods you study. Also Oxford has a joint honours in history and English.
Reply 6
Original post by artful_lounger
Joint honours is the terminology used in the UK. "Double honours" is not something that exists separately.
Note that at degree level studying is very different as is assessment. You can't really compare that to A-level. Also at Oxbridge youll have normally I understand weekly tutorials which you will be writing an essay for each of so will be writing 2-3 essays a week (whether single or joint honours).
You haven't really discussed what your specific interest is in English either by itself or in relation to politics. So I'm not sure I understand what the appeal of that is specifically.
In any event bear in mind history includes political history and so you'd necessarily be learning about the politics of the regions and periods you study. Also Oxford has a joint honours in history and English.

my main motivation for english is that its sort of a break for me to really get analytical and argumentative with stuff- politics is great but you can only get so far whereas english you can basically say whatever you want given that its evidenced. like half of my essays are just RIPPING into the author and that is very therapeutic LOL. additionally, politics is usually offered as political science and science has never been my strong suit (i got by at combined science gcse but truly hated it)- its hard to gather from the course descriptions just how science-y political science gets. thanks for replying again! i promise i'll stop pestering you after this one haha
Original post by pevans07
my main motivation for english is that its sort of a break for me to really get analytical and argumentative with stuff- politics is great but you can only get so far whereas english you can basically say whatever you want given that its evidenced. like half of my essays are just RIPPING into the author and that is very therapeutic LOL. additionally, politics is usually offered as political science and science has never been my strong suit (i got by at combined science gcse but truly hated it)- its hard to gather from the course descriptions just how science-y political science gets. thanks for replying again! i promise i'll stop pestering you after this one haha

Politics and political science mean the same thing. Political science is more of a North American terminology though. Politics is ultimately a social science - it involves statistics but it's not going to be based in the natural sciences in a direct way.

Note that my understanding is English lit degrees are very much first and foremost degrees in literary analysis and so will focus very much on close reading of texts (analysing given quotes/passages down to the syntax and grammar used in the sentence) and using different critical/literary theory approaches (e.g. ecocritical readings vs poststructuralist readings vs other approaches) in your argumentation.

In any event at degree level all your essays will need to be analytical and based on sustained argumentation of a central thesis in your essay. You can't just do descriptive work at degree level (at least if you are aiming for a high 2:1 or 1st).

It's still not too clear to me what your specific interest in either (much less both) areas are (in relation to each other or alone). Which is why I'm not really sure why that specific joint honours course is preferable to you than a single honours course elsewhere. Employability for either (or both) subjects is the same - neither is related to a specific professional field and graduates of both disciplines (and the joint honours course) will be competing for the same roles on equal footing.

Really I think it should come down to your intellectual motivations for the course.

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