Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions that may be of some use to you. If you have a questions that is not on the list, or you would like a more detailed answer then please don't hesitate to e-mail us at or call us on +44 (0)114 222 9707.

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  1. Why should I study Combined Honours?

    There are a number of reasons you might want to study combined honours. For many students, it is so they can continue to study two subjects they loved at school. For others it gives them a chance to study a new subject(s) without having to leave behind something they already know. There are also good career reasons to study combined honours. But, most students take combined honours because they realise they want to have a more flexible degree that will hold their interest and offer exciting opportunities for learning new things at the interface between disciplines.

    "Studying a Combined Honours degree was one of the best decisions I have ever made because it gave me the freedom to tailor my degree to what I wanted to do." - Luutske Ozinga

  2. How does Combined Honours differ from a Liberal Arts?

    A Combined Honours programme allows you to choose your subjects without having to take 'bridging' or general skills modules. All the modules you take are taught by the departments you are interested in. Core modules in those subjects are required, but they are focussed on the topics which interest you.

    "What I enjoy about studying a dual honours degree is the wider range of modules that are available to choose from. It makes it much easier for you to tailor your choices so that you really do get to study what you enjoy most about the subjects." Mary Smith

  3. Is a Combined Honours course more work than a traditional course?

    Not really, although you do have to be organised, flexible and focussed. You take the same number of credits (120 each year) as a single honours student. You can just divide your credits between your subjects. See the programme details for more information.(See the programme details for more information). Combined honours students need to navigate between disciplines and departments, however, and this sometimes can require additional work, although combined students feel their enjoyment in their programme more than makes up for this.

    "Dual honours degrees involve a little more organisation but the results are immensely satisfying: you can widen your knowledge, be part of more than one department and enjoy the benefits of different facilities, activities and of course more friends!" Miles Watson

  4. How does the credit system work?

    All full time students will take 120 credits each year. Dual honours students typically study 60 in each subject area however there is sometimes an opportunity to take 20 or 40 credits in unrestricted modules. Major/Minor students will tend to study 80 credits a year with their ‘Major’ department and 40 credits with their ‘Minor’. For those studying on the Triple Honours programme, you will study 40 credits each year in each of your three subject areas.

  5. Is it possible to transfer to a single honours course at the end of my first year of study if a dual honours course is not for me?

    Very few students feel the desire to move to a single honours course from a dual honours course after their first year. If this is the case however, some students are able to transfer successfully but this is decided on an individual basis and no guarantees can be given.

  6. Are Combined Honours students taught in separate classes?

    No. In most cases you will be taught alongside single honours students for the modules you are registered for.

  7. Is a dual honours degree attractive to employers?

    Very much so. In fact, based upon past statistics, dual honours students are more likely to be in employment six months after graduation than students who graduate with a more traditional programme. Employers recognise the fact that dual students will have demonstrated their commitment, independence and organisational skills by being successful on the course. Also, a recent survey of employers revealed that the things they were most looking for in new graduates were creativity, communication skills, numeracy, positive attitude or a ‘can do’ approach and flexibility. Dual honours graduates have these attributes and can highlight them on their CVs and in interviews.

  8. Am I more restricted in my module choice when choosing a Combined Honours course?

    It depends. For language subjects, there does tend to be a little less choice but with other subjects there is more flexibility regarding the modules you choose as you will have fewer core (compulsory) modules. To see what core and optional module options are available for dual programmes, please visit our modules page which can be found on the left-hand side menu.

  9. Is Combined Honours good for doing a PGCE/PGDE?

    If you are considering going into teaching but want to leave your options then open then a dual course is right for you. Many PGCE/PGDE's require you to have studied at least half your degree in the subject you wish to teach so studying a dual degree gives you two subjects which you could decide to teach in, rather than one. This means you will have greater flexibility and the wider range of knowledge your possess may be more attractive to schools when you are looking for that first job. For anyone who wants to teach languages it is usually required that you have studied at least two modern foreign languages.

  10. Is studying two subjects much harder than studying one?

    The University of Sheffield has a very strong Combined Honours background and we offer our dual  honours courses with the confidence that they are not only incredibly stimulating and valuable but that they are manageable too. Our Combined Honours programmes will require you to be organised and adaptable but you will be able to broaden your knowledge and acquire a wide range of skills whilst still only taking the same amount of credits as a single honours student.

    "Being a dual honours student at Sheffield gives you the best of both worlds; friends in both departments, two societies, a wide choice of modules and even more staff support. You are able to bring new perspectives from one side of your degree into the other and develop a wide array of skills from two departments." Joseph Priestly