Multiply your opportunities with a UNSW double degree

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Get more choice, more career opportunities and more knowledge with a double degree at UNSW. Despite the name, it doesn’t mean double the time or workload.

Uni is a time for growth and exploration and we’re here to help you find a path that is uniquely yours. Double degrees allow you to combine your interests and carve out a career path that is connected to your personal passions. Stand out when you graduate and boost your employability with the added perspective of a second discipline and specialist skillset that will set you apart.

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Available across every faculty Complete an extra degree in as little as 1 extra year  Over 100 double degrees to choose from

Find out everything there is to know about studying a double degree at UNSW and how there’s a combination as unique as you are. In this article we’ll answer:

Cheyenne UNSW Student

“I chose to study a double degree because I wanted to develop a diverse skill set that gave me a competitive edge in the workforce and challenged me to think outside the box. UNSW was the only uni that offered such a specialised degree that would allow me to pursue my specific passions.”  
Cheyenne Bardos, Bachelor of Commerce/ Bachelor of Media (PR & Advertising) 

How does a double degree work?

By completing the core courses of each degree at the same time, you can complete two bachelor degrees in less time than if you studied them back-to-back. In most cases, a double degree only takes one to two years longer than a single degree.

Two degrees doesn’t mean double the workload. Each year you’ll complete the same number of units as a single degree, eight courses across three terms. Plus, you’ll have more diversity in the courses you’re studying, with different topics to help keep you engaged. This allows you to mix up your study schedule, assignment time and exam preparation.

How you get two qualifications in less time

By combining two three-year single degrees into a double degree, you’ll study focused courses in each program, allowing you to complete two degrees in four years^.  See how this works in the example below which shows which core courses you'll complete in the double degree compared to the two single degrees. 

Diagram explaining double degree structure

*Excluded courses completed in the single degree program only.
^Double degrees vary in length, ranging from 4-6.7 years, depending on which programs are combined.

Why study a double degree?

When it comes to starting your career, you’ll have an extra dimension of industry knowledge and skills that will appeal to employers. Double degrees open up the career options you'll have available when you graduate from uni, as you'll stand out to employers as a graduate with a diverse and in-depth level of practical knowledge and skills. You’ll benefit from work-integrated learning where you’ll develop professional skills and gain industry experience that you can then apply to different fields.

We know each of our students has unique potential, different interests and doesn’t always fit in a neat box (or single degree!). This means our students choose double degrees for a range of reasons that help them reach their goals. Hear from some of our students to find out why they chose their double degree.


Deepen your knowledge in a field of interest

Double degrees are a great way to dive deeper into topics that complement your specialisation. Two degrees that are closer aligned in a field or industry can allow you to gain an all-round perspective and highly specialised skills.

For example, if you’re studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Computer Science, you’ll be gaining in-depth theoretical and practical expertise in computer systems and tools while grounding your understanding of business principles in the Bachelor of Commerce.

Adam Halmy chose his double degree with a specific industry and career in mind.

Adam, Engineering and Advanced Science student

“I chose to study a double degree because my future career goal is to work in the mineral mining industry. I’ve been able to learn all about processing equipment design and optimisation as part of my Chemical Engineering degree and about mineral structures and physical landforms in my Geography degree. It’s a perfect combination of skills to take into a graduate role in the mining industry.”

Adam Halmy, Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours)


Reinforce your knowledge with specialist skills

A broad education doesn’t mean losing the detail, it adds to your understanding and allows for cross-disciplinary learning where what you learn in one degree will bolster your other. You may be very clear about what you want to learn and what you want to achieve. For those passionate about an issue, double degrees offer an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding.

For example, a double degree in Law and Science will allow you to study today’s environmental challenges from two distinct perspectives. You'll gain a nuanced understanding of the challenges, the interdependencies, the compromises and, ultimately, the opportunities to make a difference.

Our Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) programs enable you to shape a field of knowledge to your wider interests, and is why they’re only offered as double degrees. It means our graduates can pursue their passion as a practicing teacher or lawyer but benefit from pairing their skills with the wider knowledge and context of a complementary field and profession.

Emily, Politics, Philosophy and Economics and Law student

"Choosing UNSW was an easy decision for me, it has such a dynamic environment and unique way of teaching. Studying Law alongside Politics, Philosophy and Economics has been the best decision I have made, there is such a strong intersection between the two degrees. Being able to study four disciplines has meant that no two academic terms are the same, and that is what makes this degree so interesting."
Emily Ramsay,
Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics/Bachelor of Laws


Pursue your passions and purpose

If you’ve got a passion which you’re not willing to give up or you want to add an edge to your skill set and stand out in the career market, double degrees are a great way to use your time at university to your advantage.

Double degrees allow you to expand your understanding of two study areas at the same time, so you can explore your passions while gaining recognised qualifications.

Your passions might seem worlds apart, but bringing them together is where innovation happens. At UNSW we encourage and nurtures new ideas through initiatives at our Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, Founders Program, hackathons and more.

At UNSW we recognise that the most unique challenges need unique answers. We’re here to encourage you to follow your passion and put it towards a purpose that will make a difference. Put your interests to work in a double degree that will encourage you to explore and develop your original thinking, skills and experiences.

Mohona, undergraduate Engineering and Commerce student

“I’ve never wanted to do just a single degree, it’s more of a liberal education that I’ve wanted. Anywhere else I have to do a major and minor system. What I was looking for in my degree was being able to study not just engineering but accounting, economics, management – things that would broaden my thinking. Since a child, I’ve always been called a jack of all trades, I thought I should capitalise on the fact that I can learn different things instead of just going into one area of study.”
Mohona Chakraborty,
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Bachelor of Commerce

A double degree, also referred to as a dual or combined degree, allows you to study two undergraduate or postgraduate degrees at the same time. Double degrees at UNSW are available in all six faculties and combine programs from the same faculty for in-depth study in an area of interest or across two completely different faculties so you can follow your passions and broaden your knowledge.

At graduation you'll receive two certificates, recognising the two qualifications you've earnt. 

Some of our most popular undergraduate double degrees include: 

A double degree will cost you more than studying a single degree alone, but you’ll be gaining an additional qualification and increase your career opportunities. Double degrees cost less than studying the same two degrees separately as single programs one after the other. This is due to fees being calculated by the courses (also known as units of credit (UOC)) you complete, which in a double degree can be as little as one additional year's course load.

Often known as a ‘vertical’ double degree, these programs combine a bachelors and masters degree to provide advanced specialist knowledge. Offered in areas of Engineering, Medicine, Science and Optometry, these double degrees prepare you for accreditation in your chosen profession sooner.

Examples of these undergraduate and postgraduate combinations include:

Daunted by the length of a double degree?

Studying two degrees at once does require you to commit to extra time at uni, but it’ll help you launch into a career with two qualifications. Double degrees allow you to graduate a lot quicker than two separate degrees, in as little as one or two additional years. But, if you’re driven to fast-track your degree, UNSW’s three-term calendar allows you to take nine courses per year and with an optional Summer Term so you can graduate sooner. Find out how to make your studies work for you with the flexibility of UNSW 3+.

Discover UNSW’s 3+ calendar