Studying a language as part of a joint honours course

Studying a language is an excellent way to expand your linguistic comprehension skills

With an increasing number of joint honours courses becoming available across UK universities, choosing to study a joint honours course is a natural option for many students with multiple academic interests. As a joint honours Philosophy and Spanish student, I would like to discuss my experiences studying a language as part of a joint honours course.


Course Mechanics

As you may know, all joint honours students take modules with an equal number of credits across the two departments each year. For me, that’s 60 in the Philosophy department and 60 in the SPLAS department. While choosing joint honours might mean slightly less choice over your timetable since a lot of your modules are core – such as the Core Spanish Language module that we take every year – this ensures that all language students in the same year are of a similar level, so you won’t be missing out on any language learning! The majority of students I know study a joint honours degree; either a combined language course, like Spanish and Portuguese, or a joint honours course with one language and another Arts and Humanities subject, like myself.

Sia is a second year Philosophy and Spanish student

Styles of Learning

One of the key benefits to studying a language as a joint honours degree is experiencing two different learning styles. As you’ll be split across two different departments, each subject you study will likely encourage different skill-sets. For example, in Philosophy we are taught to use precise language and contrasting opinions to build essay arguments, whereas in a Spanish content module, developing a critical and analytical voice is prioritised. The respective departments will have their own ways of doing things, and may differ from each other in assessment structures and referencing styles. Attaining various approaches and skill-sets is definitely a bonus – it shows employers that you are a well-rounded applicant who can adapt to different environments!

The Benefits

If you have studied languages before, you’ll know that linguists are in increasingly short supply, so employers really do value them. As well as teaching you how to communicate with non-English speakers practically, studying Modern Languages allows you to further your knowledge of History, Sociology, Literature and Politics through the content modules. This will reinforce your skills in your other subject and vice-versa. In my experience, studying a language in a formal setting – such as part of your degree or classes at the Modern Language Centre – is much easier and more effective in the long-term than learning languages through certain apps!

For many language degree combinations at King’s, students can take on courses post A-level or equivalent, or as a beginner (ab inito). So, if you have wanted to pick up a language but don’t yet have formal qualifications, now would be an ideal time!


More information:

To explore the King’s Modern Languages courses page, click here

To read about studying abroad options with a Modern Language course, click here

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