Students, Undergraduates

Choosing Arts subjects

By Cassandra Murphy


An arts degree can be a scary thing. Your options are endless and every class looks as tempting as the next.  You go in knowing exactly what you want from your degree and come out after the four years with a completely different outlook. For me, all of the above is true after just two years. I went into the joint honours programme at UL with a plan almost set in stone, but everything changed. That is the beauty of the degree.

I started in September 2014 with the notion of becoming a psychologist. All that was left was to choose what I wanted to do with it. I knew I wanted to do a language. I always loved the thought of being able to communicate t was now a case of deciding on which one. I had a love-hate relationship with French throughout secondary school.  I loved the language, but the teaching and examination methods were not for me. I knew I was behind the others and I was not prepared for the anticipated humiliation in the class. So next was Irish. I walked into the lecture hall with my roommate and we took our seats. After five minutes of non-stop Gaeilge I decided it was best for me to give it a miss and ran from the class as fast I could. I didn’t even consider German. It was a language I could never find time for. Japanese didn’t appeal to me in any way. Which left me with Spanish. So I ran with it.

Both Sociology and English made sense for me. Sociology complimented Psychology. Each helps you understand the other. English on the other hand complimented me. It was always one of my best subjects so it only made sense to keep it on. It meant it would lighten my workload throughout the year. The continuous assessment and lack of an end of term exam was also a huge bonus.

I had one class left to take. I considered the many options. Mathematics, public admin, media, Irish music and dance. All things that appealed to me. In the end it was Criminal Justice that won me over. I was hooked. I had a slight bit of knowledge about everything else. I came to UL to learn so that’s what I was going to do. I knew nothing in terms of the Irish Legal system. It was going to be interesting. I planned on making it one of my minor subjects and only doing it for a year. I was aware it was a time consuming subject.

Plans change though. Now in my third year of my degree I can happily say I am working towards a degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. Where I want to go afterwards? Who knows! I like challenges and changing my opinion. That’s why I decided to spend a year of my degree in France. Give myself a chance to learn something different and fix my relationship with the French language. Arts degrees do not tie you down. Instead they help you find your wings.


About Cassandra Murphy:

I come from a little island off the South West coast of Ireland but moved to the big city of Paris for 6 months of coop. Normally I study psychology and criminal justice but at the moment I’m in France for Erasmus trying to string together a few sentences of French to avoid dying of starvation. It’s safe to say I like a challenge. 

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