Double Degrees: Concerns Regarding Overall Standards and Graduate Attributes such as Probabilistic Reasoning

Conference paper


Double degrees (also known as combined degrees) typically allow engineering students to complete, in just 5 years, two degrees that would ordinarily take 7 years to complete. This paper provides and discusses the results of a pilot study relating to engineering double degrees. The study participants offered opinions relating to non-engineering fields of interest, and why they enrolled in their current double degree course. The study found that double degree students appear to be interested in breadth, but not depth. This finding seems to contradict a prevailing view that double degrees offer students the potential to gain depth in a particular niche or “overlap area” between the two degrees. The paper also discusses double degree curricula, in particular, the subjects that are from a typical double degree. It is noted that some elements that would ordinarily be strongly associated with depth and critical thinking seem to be missing from double degrees. The issue is exemplified in this paper by focusing on one aspect of critical thinking: probabilistic reasoning.

Index Terms

engineering education critical thinking judgment and decision making probabilistic reasoning double degree combined degree 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology University of TechnologySydneyAustralia

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