Written by Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Psychological Science student Stephanie White.
The choice to study a combined double degree in law and psychology wasn’t always an obvious one for me. Psychology has always been my passion, so adding a second degree to my studies was far from my original plan – it was only the week before classes commenced in my first semester that I decided to enrol in a Bachelor of Laws as well as the Bachelor of Psychological Science. Although a spontaneous – and somewhat rushed – decision, studying a dual degree has been one of my best decisions yet (other than the decision to study at Bond in the first place)!
Thinking you might be keen on studying a double degree with law? Whether you’re interested in psychology, journalism, business, commerce, arts or international relations, here are six benefits to combining your interests with law at Bond.
1. Broadened career opportunities
Although completing a singular Bachelor of Laws will equip you with the skills to work as a successful and competent lawyer, it’s important to remember that a second degree is a whole other qualification that will leave you with an entirely new skill set. Having two qualifications under your belt as you enter the workforce enables you to apply for jobs in two completely separate industries (or perhaps even more, depending on your degrees). As I near the end of my time at Bond, I find it very encouraging to know that I will be eligible for graduate jobs in both law and psychology. In my opinion, the more potential jobs I’m eligible for, the more likely I am to find my dream career!
2. The chance to establish your passion
Another benefit to studying a double degree at Bond is that you are afforded more time to establish your true interests and career goals. In a combined degree, you have elective units scheduled into your study plan, which means you can test the waters with a range of fun and unique subjects. For example, my electives include law subjects such as Climate Law in Context and Family Law and Miscarriages of Justice, as well as psychology electives like Love, Sex and Relationships. If you’re indecisive and interested in everything like I am, this perk alone will have you enrolling in a double degree tomorrow!
I started my combined degree at Bond interested in pursuing a career in either forensic or clinical psychology, with the aim of helping people improve their mental health. However, since taking family law as an elective, I am now interested in becoming a solicitor and helping people in a legal capacity. With each new day, I seem to change my mind about my future career path, so I take great comfort knowing that all three of these career options (and many more) are possibilities for me as a future graduate of both a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Psychological Science.
3. Pathways to unique careers
For many students, pursuing a double degree with law will open up whole world of unique careers. These are niche jobs that only really become available when you combine law with another specialised area of knowledge. For example, a Bachelor of Biomedical Science / Bachelor of Laws graduate possesses the right knowledge to pursue a career in medical negligence or malpractice. Likewise, graduates of a Bachelor of International Relations / Bachelor of Laws have valuable interdisciplinary knowledge to embark on a career in international law, human rights law and international business – careers that might not have been as accessible having only studied one of these degrees.
For graduates of a double degree in law and business (such as the Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Actuarial Science), this might mean the opportunity to work as a tax law specialist, an intellectual property lawyer, a consultant, or in high-level corporate positions. Bachelor of Journalism / Bachelor of Laws alumni might find themselves in defamation or media law, while graduates of the Bachelor of Psychological Science / Bachelor of Laws could land a job in criminal law evaluating the motivations and behaviours of criminals. These careers are unique and demand specialised, interdisciplinary knowledge. So, if you’re thinking that your passion might lie somewhere in the middle of two sectors, industries, or interest areas, then it’s definitely worth considering a double degree with law.
4. A universally useful qualification
I am often asked, “where will studying law and psychology get you?”or “what kind of career comes out of studying those two degrees together?” Although it might seem like an unlikely combination, these degrees complement each other in the same way that law can complement commerce, actuarial science, journalism and international relations. My experience of working in law so far has shown me that a background in psychology will give me the tools be an empathetic, sensitive, and patient future solicitor – just like a background in law will set me up to be a diligent, thoughtful and logical psychologist.
5. Lifelong critical thinking skills
Studying law has taught me so many life skills that I would not have otherwise taken the time to learn. For example, I can adequately read and analyse contracts, I have developed sound negotiating and dispute resolution tactics, and my critical problem-solving skills have improved beyond measure.
No matter what career you end up working in, the critical thinking skills you learn from studying law will be immensely beneficial. Throughout your time in the workforce, there will be ample opportunities to apply these skills to deliver standout results.
6. More time as a Bondy
One of the main benefits of studying at Bond is that your degree is accelerated because of our three-semester-per-year schedule. While this notably allows you to enter the workforce up to a year ahead of your peers, it also means that your time at Bond is over in the blink of an eye! If you’re anything like me, two years is just not enough time to take advantage of all of the amazing experiences Bond has to offer, such as clubs and societies. Had I continued studying only the Bachelor of Psychological Science, I wouldn’t have had time to be the Bond University Student Association’s Advocacy Director, be a convenor for the Bond Children’s Holiday Camp, get involved with the Bondstock Committee, or play social netball.
Studying a double degree is beneficial because it provides you with enough time to fully enjoy your university experience – and in particular, your Bond experience (which is a little different to the traditional university experience). Once you start at Bond, I can guarantee that you won’t want your time to be over in a mere two years. Don’t forget, if you choose to study a double degree with law, you’ll still graduate far earlier than your peers at other universities – so, what are you waiting for?
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