Three’s a charm: The “why” of an interdisciplinary course
I often get asked why I chose an interdisciplinary course. Join me as I give you an insight as to why in this post.
I take EPP, a course that is reasonably new and for the uninitiated is Economics, Psychology and Philosophy. Other that my interest in pursuing behavioural economics, one of the reasons I’m glad I took EPP is because I never learn the same thing in a day. One day its social psychology followed by a philosophy lecture on epistemology and the other it is learning about aggregate demand and a statistics seminar. My mind is constantly engaged with various topics that form a unique connection in my thoughts. Everyone has a different perspective to learning and an interdisciplinary course gives wings to those perspectives. Secondly some subjects tend to be less intense than others and alternating between subjects makes you less likely to feel monotony and keeps you productive. This is not to say it’s all rosy. Assignments set by various departments can prove a challenge compared to a single department. Don’t be intimidated though, you’re still likely to have lighter workload with each subject having a different assessment technique. You might be writing an essay or studying for a test, but as a first year at least, there will be minimal pressure. Stick to a planned study schedule and you will be absolutely fine.
Most interdisciplinary courses involve introductory modules for each of the subjects in the course, which means you don’t have to know anything about them beforehand! In my course, I was only familiar with economics, and initially thought I’d be spending hours catching up on psychology and philosophy work. To my surprise, they have proved easier and more interesting than economics!! In fact, the modules you choose may mean that the subject you know well is actually the most challenging one.
Finally, by doing a course that’s drawn from various departments, you have the advantage of optional modules from literally any department. While the list you’re given in your first term doesn’t include everything, your personal interests are considered and you may choose to do any other module you wish, so long as you can offer a good justification. The only crazy bit is the insane number of options that will get your head spinning. Some interesting options you could have include Brain and Behaviour, Crime and Society, World Politics, Sociology of Gender, and many more. You could also choose to take languages instead of modules focused on other areas of study.
Moral of the story: In your search for the perfect course, don’t forget to take a peep at interdisciplinary courses. They will not disappoint and might just be the thing to take you where you wish to be!