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History & English joint honours watch

    • Thread Starter

    Hi all,

    My question is - if I were to do History & English joint honours at uni, would I be able to pursue either at postgrad level? If I applied, for example, for an MA in medieval history, would the university look down on me for having done joint honours (ie. having done only half the amount of history someone with a pure history degree would have done?)

    Or vice versa to be honest - I know I would quite like to do further study after my degree but like History and English equally.

    And the same goes for the Cambridge ASNC course: if I did that, would I then be able to go into doing medieval English Lit. or History afterwards?

    If it's OK, please only reply if you actually can answer my question. Thanks.

    Yes, it's possible. But you should look at the course requiements. Most MA courses in History or in English, will require a good upper second class degree in the respective subject, but they are normally quite flexible of the subject area and you shouldn't encounter any problems. However, as I say, this is something you should check individually with the universities as specific conditions of the entry requirements vary between unis.

    Also, as I mentioned in your other thread, don't think in so much detail about MA degrees before you have even started your degree.

    I am a single honours English student. Undergraduate degrees allow a lot of flexibility, which I did not realise before undertaking one. Your joint honours will have core units for both subjects so I would not question whether or not you are doing "half the amount of history someone with a pure history degree would have done". It is nonsensical. There are a number of joint honour students in my classes that are far better at English than some of the single honours. In a number of the humanities subjects the difference between single and joint honour students is generally the breadth of their knowledge rather than any intrinsic value; the courses are exceptionally modular, and independent in their aims.

    I will be entering my third year in September, and my non-English option was a creative writing unit in the first and second year but I did not want to do that this year. Since English is part of a Interdisciplinary Studies department, I contacted the programme leader of philosophy, and I asked if I could study one of their units. They made a suggestion but I wanted to do a specific unit (philosophy of mind), which was a core unit for third-year. I convinced the programme leader that I would not struggle despite the fact I have never taken philosophy, and it would be beneficial to my extended essay in English.

    In summary, if you enjoy English and History equally then I would suggest undertaking a joint honours - that is what it is there for. If anything it will expand rather than limit your choices.

    I've just completed a joint honours degree in English and History, and as far as I can see (from phoning around uni departments etc.), no, it shouldn't affect your chances of getting on an MA in either English or History. Best to phone the appropriate uni departments to be sure, though. :yep:
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Updated: August 9, 2009

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