Dual and combined honours degrees

Dual honours and major/minor degrees allow you to study two subjects at once.

Students in Philosophy seminar

What are dual and combined honours degrees?

A dual honours degree has and in the courses title - Economics and Sociology for example. The split between the two subjects is roughly 50/50.

A major/minor degree has with in the course title. In this case there is more emphasis on the first named subject. The split between the two subjects is roughly 70/30.

These degrees are the same length as a single honours course but you'll choose fewer modules from the options available in each subject. The degree is just as valuable; the academic standard is just as high.

Why consider these degrees?

The breadth of scope in dual and major/minor degrees means that you'll need to develop good communication and organisational skills. These will help you whether you choose to enter the job market or continue your studies at the end of your course.

You could choose to study two contrasting subjects or study two subjects which complement each other. You also have the opportunity to study a subject that is completely new to you alongside one that is more familiar. Studying two subjects will allow you to explore ideas from alternative viewpoints, examine theories through a different lens or create solutions to issues using a combination of techniques from each subject area. 

Studying in two different departments means you will meet more students and experience a wider range of teaching styles and approaches. You'll also have support from an academic tutor in each department.

You'll be able to join student-run societies in either department. These are a great way to meet others and enjoy talks, guest lectures, trips and social activities.

Many departments offer extra-curricular activities where you can develop skills through various volunteering projects, placements or student-led activities.

I love that I get to study two subjects that I enjoy equally. I get to bring in knowledge that I learn in History to help my studies in politics and vice versa. I also get to benefit from the different knowledge that the academics in both of the departments have


BA History and Politics

More work or more choice? 

You study the same number of credits, 120 each year, on any degree programmes whether it is a single, combined or dual honours degree. 

You'll need to take any compulsory or core modules for each subject and if you have additional credits you can choose from the range of optional modules for each subject. For each module you take there will be an assessment or assignment.

You can read more about module choice for any degree programme in the online prospectus. You can also check any specific entry requirements for both subject areas.

Benefits for your career

When you graduate you will have expertise in two different subject areas giving you a breadth of knowledge, a wide range of competencies and skills associated with each area.

Studying two subjects may also allow you to branch out into various roles rather than being confined to one specific career path.

You'll be able to show that you are able to manage your workload effectively whilst studying in two different departments. You'll also be able to demonstrate your organisational abilities and communication skills, and the ability to be flexible and adaptable on your CV and at interviews.

When you graduate you'll also have greater freedom of choice if you do decide to carry on your studies beyond degree level. You'll be able to choose between further study in either one of your original subject areas or conducting research on a topic that combines both.

Dual and combined honours degrees

Student profiles - dual honours degrees

Photo of undergraduate student Jennifer Varlow

I feel confident to share my opinions in a supportive space, which has definitely developed my confidence in my chosen subjects

Jenny Varlow BA History and Politics

Dual student Jenny talks about how a wide range of module choices has allowed her to focus on her personal interests.

Photo of economics and politics student James Holden

You can choose the topics you are interested in

James Holden BA Economics and Politics

James recommends studying Economics with another subject.

Image of Becca Carpenter - BA student

My experience of studying in Sheffield has been nothing short of life changing.

Rebecca Carpenter BA History and Philosophy

In her final year, Rebecca reflects how her experience at Sheffield has exceeded her initial expectations.

Sociological Studies graduate Kieran Telford

In my work, I have to be confident, personable and approachable - these are skills that I learned during my time at the University of Sheffield

Kieran Telford BA English Language and Sociology

Kieran's Sheffield experience was unforgettable, not only because he chose a course that combined two of his favourite subjects, but because he made the most of the opportunities on offer with the Department's Sociology Society. Following graduation, Kieran has launched a career in Sheffield and says he has no plans to leave the Steel City any time soon!

SLC student Finlay Ward

The general advantage of doing a dual honours degree revolves around the variety of different skills it gives you.

Finlay BA Business Management and Modern Languages and Cultures

Finlay discusses the advantages of studying a dual degree.

Anna Ludlam, BA History and Philosophy

Sheffield offered me a course that I was desperate to study and that I felt would bring out the best of my skills

Anna Ludlam BA History and Philosophy

Anna is from London and has recently completed a dual honours BA in History and Philosophy at the University of Sheffield.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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