Combined honours

  • Whilst the majority of future students at Brookes will be studying either single honours or named interdisciplinary awards, there remains a significant market interest in studying subjects in combination. As part of the new Academic Framework, the term "Combined honours" will only apply to in-faculty combinations (those programmes will remain in HSS only), the inter-faculty programmes will be called Interdisciplinary Named Awards.

    The combined offer will be rooted in the same principles and structures of programme design intended to enhance student progression, transition and attainment through three levels of study as the single honours awards and will work within the same parameters of choice and compulsion as single honours programmes. These programmes will also have two main management parameters:

    • Only specific combinations between programmes will be advertised through UCAS and the University website; students will not combine subjects freely.
    • Secondly, each combination will have a named academic who will be responsible for the student experience and quality assurance of that combination.

    Design principles

    • Level 4 Semester 1 will be fully Compulsory.
    • The Compulsory elements at each Level must prepare students for all Optional modules. There will be no pre-requisite status in the new awards; in consequence, modules that students cannot successfully engage in based upon the compulsory content should not be listed as Options in the Combined awards.
    • The list of Compulsory and Optional modules that constitute the combined offer for any programme cannot vary from one combination to another.
    • The modules made available as the combined offer will be validated as part of the Programme Specifications for the Single Honours programmes.
    • Beyond the requirement to take the Compulsory element of the combination, students can choose freely from the remaining Optional modules offered by each programme. 
    • The existing titles of Major and Minor will no longer pertain, and students can elect optional modules without regard for balance or other programme requirements. The status as a Combined award is guaranteed by the compulsory element.
    • In order to retain the status of a Combined award, all students must undertake a minimum of 30 credits from each contributing subject at each Level.
    • Students will graduate with the title of BA Hons in Programme A and Programme B. The title will be generated alphabetically, not by the relative number of modules chosen.
    • A dissertation/project module in each subject will be offered as Compulsory Options (aka Alternative Compulsories) for Combined students for fulfil the 30-credit compulsory element proposed to be the minimum requirement for single-honours and joint-honours programmes at Level 6. However, this will require the use of Compulsory Options wherein students can choose between dissertation/project modules from either contributing subject.
    • Students on Combined programmes will adhere to the same dates for module selection as all single honours students.
    • Each Combination offered will have a named academic who will be responsible for the ongoing quality assurance and health of each individual combination. This will include, but is not limited to, academic input to marketing, data collection, annual monitoring, general and specific enquiries and for responses to student issues raised via subject committees and student surveys.
  • Compulsory Credits x 90 (minimum)

    Optional Credits x 30 (maximum, from a choice of 60)

    • The 90 credits will be drawn from the Compulsory credits in the single honours programmes. The Optional credits may include the compulsory modules for single honours programmes as Options within the combined offer.
    • Programmes must ensure that (as noted in 2.3 above) the Compulsory content adequately prepares students for all modules offered in the combined programme at Levels 5 and 6.
    • Students can progress to Level 5 with a ‘5:3’ ratio of credits. This will also apply for Levels 5 and 6.

    Compulsory Credits x 60 (minimum)

    Optional Credits x 60 (maximum, from a choice of 120)

    • The Compulsory credits must be drawn from the Compulsory elements of the Single honours
      programmes.
    • The Optional credits can include modules designated as Compulsory in the single honours
      programmes. In the Combined programmes, these will be Optional modules.
    • Optional modules should only be offered if they are serviced by the Compulsory modules. 60 credits, is the maximum permitted, and not the minimum.
    • Some subjects MAY choose to offer only a fully Compulsory Level 5 content of 60 credits. However, students are only required to take the 30-credit minimum required for each contributing subject in any combination.
    Compulsory Credits x 30 (minimum, from a choice of 60)


    Optional Credits x 90 (maximum, from a choice of 120)

    • Single and Combined honours programmes will continue to offer dissertation/project modules as a compulsory 30 credit module (or two 15 credit level 6 honours interdisciplinary project/dissertation modules), so this does not represent a change to existing practice.
    • In Combined programmes, the Compulsory minimum 30 credits would also consist of
      dissertation/project modules. However, this will require the use of Compulsory Options wherein students can choose between dissertation/project modules from either contributing subject.
    • To ensure that students meet the following requirement (“In order to retain the status of a
      Combined award, all students must undertake a minimum of 30 credits from each contributing subject at each Level”), the list of Options will be limited to a maximum of 60 credits from each contributing subject. In this way, no students will be able to select more than 90 credits from one subject with the remaining 30 credits coming from the other subject in the combination.