Last week on our blog we had a look at international relations. Not in the form of assessing current world conflicts, of course, but instead as a degree course. What we said is so refreshing about it is that it has an interdisciplinary degree, by which we mean that it combines together a range of traditional subjects like history, politics, economics and so on.

What we didn’t get round to talking about last time was the fact that international relations is certainly not the only interdisciplinary degree out there. So fear not if you read last week’s post and thought that while you liked the idea of combining different disciplines the focus on international relations is not of interest to you. For there are lots of other interdisciplinary degrees out there that might just fit the bill.

Area Studies

For students who fall into the arts, humanities and social sciences tribes, degrees in different types of area studies are one great way of pursuing an interdisciplinary degree. Within the rich variety of courses offered at UK universities, virtually every region of the world is covered. American Studies degrees have been big since the sixties, and European Studies courses have become popular in more recent decades. East Asian Studies is also becoming more popular and relevant than ever. And nowadays many universities’ modern languages courses count as a type of interdisciplinary degree, as not only do you learn a language, but you also study the literature, politics, history and other aspects of the people who speak that language. And with all of these degrees you often get the chance to spend a year studying or working abroad!

Conceptual combos

More scientifically minded people also have the chance to complete an interdisciplinary degree. For you guys it’s more a case of combining different strands of the sciences for a particular goal. This could take the form of certain specialist forms of engineering that require expertise in two or more sciences (for example petroleum engineering), or more lab-based sciences that straddle two or more of biology, chemistry and physics (for example biotechnology).

Dual/joint honours

If you can’t find a degree course that meets what you’re looking for in an interdisciplinary degree, then completing a dual or joint-honours degree is a great option. Often people overlook these degrees or pick two subjects that are very similar (for example economics and business studies, or French and Spanish), but depending on the university you might be able to combine two subjects that at first glance seem unrelated but in fact complement one another very well. Chinese and business studies is a perfect example of this.

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