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Joint Honours No Dissertation

What is it?

Independent Study is basically the same as a final year departmental dissertation.

FCH students can take either a departmental dissertation or FCH Independent Study. Most FCH students take departmental dissertations, but you may find the potentially greater flexibility offered by Independent Study more suitable. If you need advice on which to take, ask an FCH subject co-ordinator or the FCH staff.

The Independent Study can be about a specific area of one of your subjects, or look at something that 'overarches' them. For example, if you are studying Psychology and Spanish:

A) subject-specific Independent Study:

  • (Psychology) How do we recognise faces?
  • (Psychology) What can be learnt from children's art?
  • (Spanish) The Numancia legend in literature and art
  • (Spanish) The culture of Flamenco

B) overarching Independent Study:

  • The psychology of Fascism
  • Why do people hold so strongly to Nationalism?

"I think the independent study module is such a great idea, to give a bit more flexibility for FCH students who might not want to be confined to one subject for such a big project. I would definitely recommend it to other students and I think if more people knew about it they would really enjoy being able to go into depth on something they find really interesting!" (Daisy, 2016-17)

Finding a supervisor

You choose the subject area in consultation with the appropriate FCH subject co-ordinator(s) or the actual supervisor(s) (if you already have one/some in mind) and the FCH Director.

You should try to arrange your supervisor during the spring term of your second year.

What to create?

The work can be a traditional text-based dissertation presented in paper or electronic form, or a combination of a practical element and written critique.

The nature of the Independent Study will determine the most appropriate media for presentation - there are no rules as such.

You will be expected to display a research element and critical academic depth in the work, just as in a departmental dissertation.

A joint honours degree (also known as dual honours, double majors, or Two Subject Moderatorship) is a specific type of degree offered generally at the Honours Bachelor's degree level by certain universities in Ireland, the UK, Canada, Malta, and Australia. In a joint honours degree, two subjects are studied concurrently within the timeframe of one honours.


A joint honours degree typically requires at least half, often almost all, of the credits required for each of its respective subjects. The two subjects do not have to be highly related; indeed, a true joint honours degree overlaps faculties, not just subjects. However, students often pick two subjects that are interrelated in some fundamental way (such as both subjects are in the arts).

Usually, joint honours degrees have higher requirements for entry than a single honours degree, requiring the approval of both departments concerned. The two subjects are then taken at the same levels and at the academic standards as those taking either subject as a single honours major. It is usual for these degrees to entail more study than a single honours degree (for example, both majors must be passed to earn the "joint degree" and honours must be obtained in the case of each major to earn the honours degree title); whereas this would normally apply to the only one subject major for a single honours student. In some cases, students would have significantly more final year project work and could be examined on this by both departments in question. Many British universities now have a dedicated Centre for Joint Honours Degrees which assists students with timetable structuring, etc.


A joint honours degree is different from BA (Hons.) degree where two subjects are listed in the degree title. In a single honours degree, one of these is a major and the other a minor; In a BA/BSc/BEng (Joint Hons.) both subjects are majors. A joint honours degree is also different from a double degree scheme: a double degree entails two separate degrees (e.g., a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts) each of which with their own electives, etc.


Selected examples of joint honours degrees:

  • Biology and Chemistry
  • Business and Management
  • Business and Economics
  • Computing and Business
  • Computing and Mathematics
  • Drama and History of Art
  • Economics and Accountancy
  • Economics and Management
  • Economics and Philosophy
  • Forensics and Anthropology
  • History and International Relations
  • History and Literature
  • History and Politics
  • Journalism and Literature
  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • A Modern Foreign Language and Linguistics
  • A Modern Foreign Language and History
  • A Modern Foreign Language and a Classical Language (for example French and Latin)
  • Modern Languages and History
  • Music and Education
  • Palaeobiology and Geology
  • Palaeontology and Evolution
  • Physics and Mathematics
  • Physics and Philosophy
  • Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Structural Engineering and Architecture

Notable people[edit]

The following person studied a joint honours degree.


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