Your degree combination is a bit random

…Is something that I hear a lot. This time four years ago, I was getting ready to venture off to the big wide world of university. I was accepted to undertake a degree in Archaeology & Journalism Studies at the University of Winchester.

 

Why did I choose this?

Back in 2011, I started a foundation degree at college while resitting some of my A level exams to improve my grades. I wasn’t particularly happy studying this course and was merely doing it as my parents thought I
should study a degree before the higher tuition fees were being enforced. However, as one of my best friends Jack was also studying this course for a myriad of reasons but was only doing the first year before going off to the
University of Bristol, he encouraged me to apply to a degree course I would
enjoy. I was a bit reluctant at first but he kind of bullied me into doing it
and I am so glad that he did! Haha.

One afternoon in the college library (when I think I was really meant to be doing an assignment), I decided to start looking into degrees to study. I was primarily looking at Archaeology combination courses that included
Heritage, Islamic Studies, History and then Journalism Studies. I applied to a number of combinations but the Archaeology & Journalism Studies combinationreally caught my eye. This was for several reasons:

  • I didn’t want to study a history degree and my
    parents weren’t keen on the idea of me studying a photography degree.
  • Archaeology was my second favourite subject at
    college and I had a childhood ambition of being an archaeologist when I was
    about 8 years old. You can blame Indiana Jones and Time Team for that one!
  • I love learning about heritage and museums.
  • Then you may wonder where the journalism part comes in. I have always had an interest in writing and in my teenage years I used to want to be a music journalist. Growing up, especially through my teenage years, music had a big influence on me and has probably shaped a lot of my personality. As I enjoyed writing and the music I listened to, one day I hoped that I could meet the artists that I so loved by interviewing them.
    Although I now have no intentions of becoming a music journalist but seeing as it interested me, I thought well why not develop into another interest in case I got bored of studying archaeology for another three years.

After having made a selection of universities to apply to the next day I showed Jack. Now Jack being Jack, is very much an academic and is always looking into university league tables and what their rankings are. He
advised me that Winchester would be the best choice not just for the university but that it was a nice city and Frank Turner was from there (the most obvious reason to go there apparently…).

 Once I had my acceptances from the universities, I decided to make Winchester my firm choice. On results day 2012, it was confirmed that I was going to Winchester to study Archaeology & Journalism Studies as a degree.

What did I think of the degree?

When I got to university I didn’t realise that I was the only student on my exact course combination. At Winchester there was no major minor option. If your course was combined it was split 50/50 so that you
studied exactly half in each. Although you could specialise your dissertation but you would still receive a half and half joint degree. Another thing I didn’t realise was how bizarre my degree combination was to other people. To
me, the choice I made was on my childhood passions and it was offered on UCAS so why not go for it?

 However, what I did find studying this degree combination was that my interest in archaeology developed further. My interest in journalism, on the other hand, could be a bit hit and miss. There was some modules I thoroughly enjoyed and would spend hours doing further research on topics just for pure interests while some made me stress so much and have massive break downs. I remember one module specifically which involved making a
short Youtube documentary which is ironic as I am now slowly working my way into the world of Youtube! Although I think it was more the lecturer as she was fairly new and wasn’t particularly good at conveying to you what she meant and would then change the lecture times/days randomly which I couldn’t always attend which didn’t help. The sad thing was that that specific module was called Documentary & Photojournalism and was mainly the entire reason I wanted to study the journalism part of my degree. Unfortunately for me they changed it in my year to focus more on video rather than photography.

After already having studied archaeology for three years, I didn’t really have any issues with studying this side of my degree. I obviously had to work hard as unfortunately I am not one of those people that can put very little effort in last minute and still pass well. I, on the other hand, worked best starting about a week before and studying a few hours every day as I really can’t do all-nighters! It also probably helped that the majority of my friends studied archaeology and so did Greg for that matter so if I ever had any issues with anything there were plenty of people to ask for help.

Do I regret choosing this combination?

No actually. Despite the many breakdowns and stressful periods (poor Greg had to deal with) I had with the journalism side, I don’t regret it. Although I say it was just journalism I stressed about, although my dissertation was primarily focused on archaeology it also featured media and as I was very organised with my dissertation I had a breakdown at the very end while editing it rather than actually writing it. Given the opportunity, I think I would do it again but I would simply change some of the module choices. As you may have gathered, I started this blog at the very end of university and I have actually found my knowledge learnt from the journalism side incredibly useful for this blog.

 

Have you gone to university or are you going? What did you study?

 

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