So there are two different subjects you would love to study, and you can’t bring yourself to apply to one over the other. Maybe you can’t find them as a combined degree, or you like different subjects more at different universities. You want to apply for them both, but they require different approaches – and you only get one UCAS statement.
Oh, the humanity!
But do not fear. While applying for one degree is arguably easier, it’s not impossible to go for two different things, as long as they are vaguely related (e.g. both humanities). Here are some tips to get you started.
1. You will not be penalised for applying for different subjects
It is completely allowed. For example, a huge number of people who apply for Medicine also apply for Chemistry/Biology degrees – they are very different, but it is understandable that being interested in one subject, you would also enjoy the other. Universities are used to it.
2. Do not make your statement vague
Don’t do this in the hope that nobody will notice that you’re applying for two things,because then it won’t apply properly to either of them (and they’ll know exactly what you’re trying to do!). Just write about them both – the whole idea of the statement is to provide a bunch of reasons why you should be admitted to the course.
3. Don’t just split your statement in half
Starting with “I want to study Physics because…” then switching to “I also want to study Maths because…” looks like you haven’t considered why you’re applying for both (and also that you favour the first one over the second). Integrate them! Have a look at the point below…
4. Link them!
Your best friend is the art of linking your subjects together and talking about why they are important to each other. Take Art History and English and Creative Writing as your two subjects. You could begin your statement with “I would love to study a subject which, through the deconstruction of sources, tells us about progress and the human mind. I especially enjoy exploring history and social development through works of art, reading, and my own creative writing…”* before going more specifically into each one, openly saying what you have achieved in History, English, and Creative Writing. In short: before you start writing, draw up a list of what they have in common, how they complement each other and what you like about them. Ta-da, it’s your first sentence!
5. Be honest
If you’re still scratching your head, just remember to be honest. Presumably there is a good reason that you are applying for two different subjects. As long as it’s better than ‘I can’t make up my mind’ (in which case maybe a bit more research is needed), admissions officers will generally value your honesty. Remember, they’re primarily looking for people who a. meet the entry requirements and b. seem genuinely enthusiastic, no matter what else they’re going for. You aren’t expected to know exactly what path you’re on.
If in doubt talk to your teachers, your school UCAS adviser, or anyone who might be able to offer you support. Just remember – applying for multiple subjects is fine, and no matter how tricky it can feel, it’s always completely do-able.
*Please don’t actually write this. UCAS plagiarism software is pretty good.
Are you applying for two different subjects on UCAS? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: the Italian Voice / Flickr