Here are my top 5 things you need to know about a Humanities degree at the University of Exeter.
1. Flexible Combined Honours degree
A Flexible Combined Honours (FCH) degree gives you the option and freedom to study multiple subjects that interest you. The credits can be split in equal or unequal proportions between two to three subjects and on top of that you can also take a foreign language, do work placements and also get experience studying abroad.
Each student has to take a total of 120 credits each year, made up of 15 or 30 credit modules. For example, my friend Niki studied International Relations with Sociology and French in a 60:30:30 ratio in her first year.
The ratio of subjects will be reflected in your degree title. For instance, if you take two subjects in equal portions, it would be “A and B”; but if you study a major and a minor, it would be “A with B”.
An FCH degree is also unique in that final year students can complete an Independent Study project, which acts as an interdisciplinary dissertation.
Special thanks to Niki for helping me. For more info, visit http://www.exeter.ac.uk/fch/subjects.php
2. Study/ work abroad
If you suddenly decide that you’d like to experience studying or working abroad, do not fear because you can change your degree to one “with Study Abroad” or “with Employment Experience Abroad” in your first or second year. However, you MUST get a 2:1 in your first year in order to qualify. Studying abroad offers you the opportunity to learn a new language, explore other cultures around the world and meet international friends.
In addition, you can choose to spend up to one year doing a graduate-level work placement as part of your degree programme. The employment experience prepares you for your future career with the help of the university.
For more details on studying or working abroad, please visit
3. Sharpen your language skills
For any non-native English speakers, like myself, being in an English-speaking environment is very helpful for improving my English. As for other language lovers, you can take 30 credits in a language course through the Foreign Language Centre (FLC). Evening language courses in the FLC are also available for students, staff members, and the public.
For more information on learning a new language, please visit
4. Humanities courses at a different campus
You can also study History and English on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall. The modules are structured differently at the different campuses, with minimal crossovers. There are different module options at Penryn and Streatham because the lecturers at the two campuses specialize in different areas of the subject.
Here is Mikki’s experience, a second year English student studying at Penryn:
“In my first year, one of the texts that we studied was Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, a 1900s English author and playwright who lived in Cornwall for most of her life, hence the setting for many of her novels are based around the area. One of the main buildings on Penryn Campus is named after her too! As part of the week surrounding the text, the Penryn English department organised a kayaking field trip to Helford River in our first year to explore her inspiration for Frenchman’s Creek; several of our lecturers joined us in kayaks and there was a tour guide who pointed out and explained specific locations around the river surrounding Daphne Du Maurier. The module trips, despite being optional, give us a deeper historical insight into location and context in our texts and is invaluable to our course experience. The English department tends to do several field trips, depending on which ones you take – one of the more recent trips that we just had in Second Year is a day trip to Pendennis Castle.”
For more information on BA English at both Streatham and Penryn campuses, please visit:
5. Work experience
Some Humanities students opt to take a work placement in their third year, in order to gain more workplace experience. If you decide to do a year in work as part of your degree you will graduate with the degree title “with Employment Experience” or “with Employment Experience Abroad”.
I did a work experience module this year in order to boost my employability skills. I had to work 80 hours in total, attend workshops that prepared me for the work placement and participate in weekly seminars to help me get a better understanding of the workplace.
These work experience modules and placement years are very practical for giving you real-world experience and skills, and can help launch your career. If you need more guidance and assistance, the Career Zone is the place to go to for professional and tailored advice. They can organize CV writing session and other employability-related workshops open to all students.