This page lists most of the common questions we receive regarding combined honours courses. If you do have any other questions however, please feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
What do you mean by a Combined Honours degree?
A combined honours degree is a degree in which you study two or more subjects from different areas. So for instance, this may be Archaeology and History, Physics with Philosophy or French, German and Sociology. Some universities may refer to these programmes as joint or dual programmes, or triple programmes if three different subjects are covered within the course. The term ‘combined honours’ simply encompasses all these joint/dual/triple programmes in a clear way.
Is a Combined Honours degree a full degree?
Yes. A combined degree is a full degree, you do not receive two half degrees or a degree which carries less weight than that of a single honours degree. A combined degree provides you with exactly the same level of qualification as a single honours degree programme.
Is a Combined Honours degree a fall back option?
Not at all. Many students choose a combined course as their first choice, not as a back up. Most institutions offering combined courses have the minimum entry requirements at a very similar level to those of the single honours courses so they are not deemed as easier alternatives.
Is a Combined Honours degree more work?
Not really. Although you may need to be a little more flexible and organised, you will study exactly the same amount of credits each year as a single honours student meaning the workloads are very similar.
Is a Combined Honours Degree respected by employers?
Very much so. Feedback from employers states that they are keen on graduates with a combined honours degree, and many companies recognise the benefits that such a degree programme brings.
Is postgraduate study an option with a Combined Honours Degree?
Very much so. Although it is worth checking with the postgraduate course requirements beforehand, studying a combined honours programme in most instances increases your options for postgraduate study. If you study two different subjects, you will usually be able to choose a masters programme in either of their subjects. In addition, you will normally be able to pursue a PGCE/PDGE in either subject meaning that for those of you considering teaching, a combined honours programme offers you more options.
Will a Combined Honours Degree restrict which modules I can choose?
Not necessarily. Sometimes combined honours have less compulsory modules than single honours students and sometimes they have a few more, it is really down to the institution and the programme you are studying. Most institutions will list which modules are optional and which modules are compulsory for all of their programmes so it is advised you check individual programme information to see what modules are available for you to study.
Is timetabling an issue with Combined Honours?
In our experience, Combined Honours students have few problems with timetable clashes. The vast majority of institutions that offer combined honours courses have been doing so for many years and are very experienced when it comes to timetabling. In most cases you won’t have any more timetable clashes than a single honours student.
Do Combined Honours students study in the same classes as single honours students?
Although you may wish to check with the institution, the vast majority of modules open to combined students will also be open to single honours students as well. You will not spend all your time in separate classrooms, only studying with other combined honours students.
What about the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF)?
There is still no clear guidance on how subject-level assessments for the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework will work for multi-subject and combined honours degrees.
It may be the case that you will have to look up the assessment for each of the subjects/disciplines that you are interested in, although this will not answer questions about the structure of your programme. Some programmes are more integrated than others,. Some programmes simply put your two, or three, chosen subjects together.
When you are thinking about the differences, ask the programme team how the courses are structured and who has responsibility for managing your student experience. This will vary by university.
For more information about the TEF, please visit the website: