I did English and History in my First Year, but going into Second Year, I decided to swap to History as a single honours degree. In this blog, I’d like to talk about my experience of changing course.
I loved English and History in First Year — they had both been my favourite subjects at school, so it made sense for me to continue with both at uni. I still felt like I wanted to learn more about both subjects. I really enjoyed studying them side-by-side because there were many opportunities to use what I had learned from the other subject.
I think a lot of people will tell you that subjects feel a bit different at uni (in a good way, I think!). They required me to do a lot more independent work, which meant reading critical material and taking more control over my own learning. This suited me quite well for both subjects because I could learn about what I was interested in, and do so in a way that suited my learning methods.
I also thought the split between English and History was great — I took 1 English module, 2 History modules, and 1 crossover module. I had chosen to lean my degree towards History, but still felt like the English was covered well. Overall, I loved my degree in First Year, but decided to swap to History for Second Year.
As much as I had enjoyed both subjects, doing it at degree-level made me realise how much I enjoyed History. When it came to choosing my modules for Second Year, I noticed that there were loads of History modules I wanted to take, which for me was a good indication that History would suit me better. I had been thinking about it for a while, but this made it clear to me that I really wanted to swap. I felt really enthusiastic about going into then next academic focusing on History.
I contacted my personal tutor and asked if a swap would be possible, and for some guidance. He said that my reasons sounded good, and that there was a process for swapping courses. I then emailed the Director of First Year Studies for History, who asked me to put together a short statement explaining my choice, along with some grades I had received that year. I received his approval by the end of Term 3, sorted my new module choices, and was ready to go! Since I had already done a good portion of History in my course, the transition was probably much smoother. Of course this experience might differ for other people depending on different circumstances.
For me, this was the right choice. I have loved doing History this year, and I’m glad that I have been able to focus solely on it. For other people, though, joint honours is the better option because it provides a bit more variety and broader skillset. It really does vary, so I would strongly recommend thinking about what you enjoy the most, what style of learning suits you, and what you want to get out of the degree.
I hope this blog has been of some help!