BA/BSc Flexible Combined Honours

UCAS code Y003
Duration 3 Years
Typical Offer A*AA-ABB; IB: 38-32
Discipline Flexible Combined Honours
  • Cornwall (Penryn Campus)


Flexible Combined Honours gives you the opportunity to study unusual subject combinations and to customise your degree programme, making it distinctive and different. This is usually done by choosing two or three different subject areas for your first year. The number and proportion of subjects can be varied in your second and final years. It is also possible to drop a first year subject and start a new one or follow a new themed pathway from the second year.

All Flexible Combined Honours students study the same modules taken by students following Single Honours programmes within the University, so you will be studying alongside other students in that field. The scheme also offers the widest possible access to our range of subject disciplines. We ensure that you receive the best quality teaching experience with support from dedicated advisers to oversee your academic progress and help you develop your academic potential during your studies.

A feature of the FCH programme is that you have the choice to combine your main and subsidiary subjects to meet your own preferences. 

When you apply to join the programme you will need to specify the subject areas you want to study. Please contact Admissions and Student Recruitment in the first instance to discuss the possibilities by emailing

If you opt for the Flexible Combined Honours scheme at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall you can study either two or three subjects from the following list:

Business, English, Geography, History, International Relations, Mathematics and Politics may all be studied as your main or a subsidiary subject.

Environmental Law may only be studied as a subsidiary subject, and the number of module credits available within Environmental Law mean it can only be studied as part of a three-subject programme, comprising a main subject and two subsidiary subjects.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The Flexible Combined Honours degree enables you to combine modules from a number of different fields of study not otherwise available through an existing Joint Honours programme. These form a unique, approved academic programme.

All undergraduate degree programmes in the University are made up of a number of modules, each of which has a particular credit value, usually 30 credits and sometimes 15. You take modules to the value of 120 credits in each year.

So, for example, if you choose a Flexible Combined Honours degree over two subjects, you could take 60 credits each year from each subject, and if three subjects are followed, the areas could be arranged as 45/45/30 credits. The proportion of credits in each subject can be varied each year. If you are following a themed pathway, the modules simply need to add up to a total of 120 credits each year.

Each of the pathways has core modules which you will be required to study in your first year, as well as optional ones from which you choose.

In your second and third years you will have more choice of modules and you will be able to structure your degree to reflect your own preferences. You are also encouraged to include an independent study (dissertation) during your final year that will involve research.

Entry requirements 2017

Typical offer

A*AA-ABB; IB: 38-32

Required subjects

Dependent on subjects chosen. For details, see Flexible Combined Honours.

Completing your UCAS form

When completing your UCAS form for Y003, Y009, Y011 or Y012 indicate your proposed subjects under ‘Further details’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application using the abbreviations, separated by a space as below.

You may chooose up to three subjects:

BA Business Awareness
En English
EL Environmental Law
Gg Geography
Hi History
IR International Relations
ME Mathematics
Po Politics

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through lectures, tutorials and seminars, with a growing emphasis at each successive level on student-led learning. Science-based subjects will also include laboratory work and experiments. Our teaching emphasises the need to analyse, discuss and deploy ideas in a variety of settings and not simply on the ability to memorise. Modules are also designed to encourage you to think and write analytically about broad subjects. You’ll have on average between 10 and 15 teaching hours per week depending on the subjects you take and will need to allow for additional hours of private study. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term-time.

We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning such as our virtual learning environment which stores details of all modules in an easily navigable website. Students can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and take part in discussion forums.

As well as attending lectures and writing essays and assignments, you’ll be expected to make presentations in seminars or tutorials. We encourage your presentation work, because it involves you actively in the teaching and learning process and develops important life skills such as good verbal and visual communication and effective interaction with other people.

We’re committed to enhancing and developing your key personal and transferable skills. You’ll develop a range of professional skills, for example, time management and team working. You’ll gain valuable critical, analytical and communication skills. Technical skills will include accurate note taking from presentations, research and IT skills and you’ll learn subject-specific skills.

You’re encouraged to come either individually or in groups to discuss aspects of the subject with the lecturer during fixed consultation times. This encourages the development of informal tutorials with the agenda set by students.

Research-inspired teaching

We believe that every student benefits from being part of a culture that is inspired by research and being taught by experts. You will discuss the very latest ideas in seminars and tutorials and your teachers will be familiar with the latest developments in their field and their teaching will be highly relevant to contemporary issues. Regular research seminars are given by staff and by visiting lecturers which will also bring you the latest issues on a wide range of research topics.


You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, but a few modules are assessed on the basis of exam only. In addition to exams, some modules require assessed coursework that can take the form of essays and projects or presentations, while the practical modules tend to be assessed by the preparation of written reports, portfolios of work, practical assignments, field work notebooks and take-away papers to allow time for research. You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.


A Flexible Combined Honours (FCH) degree from the University of Exeter will provide you with a wide range of skills which will be useful in your future study or employment. The degree allows you to develop a particular interdisciplinary blend of knowledge and skills and to take responsibility for your own pattern of learning in a way that will be particularly attractive to employers. Once you graduate you’ll have access to a wide range of job opportunities that are frequently made more accessible because of the atypical subject combinations that you will have studied.

Many FCH students take part in the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award. These schemes encourage you to participate in employability related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market.

Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Many employers target the University when recruiting new graduates.

For further information about our employability services please see our Careers pages.

Contact us

Penryn Campus, Cornwall

Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801

Website: Visit the Flexible Combined Honours website