Most university students slave over books for years in pursuit of lucrative careers. But then there are others whose choices leave the rest of us scratching our heads
Hats off to those students who spend sizable chunks of their lives dedicated to chasing degrees in grass management, surfing, horse psychology and other equally baffling subjects. Read on for some unusual higher qualification options being offered by universities around the world.
10. Bachelor of Circus Arts
Swinburne University of Technology offers a Bachelor of Circus Arts degree for aspiring performers. The three year degree is a tight rope walk that produces graduates with a wide knowledge base and physical skills acquired through practical studies of contemporary circus arts. Students learn to become confident performers with rigorous training in perfecting balance, agility and motor coordination. The course provides regular performance opportunities and specialisation prospects in areas like acrobatics, aerial and physical theatre.
9. BSc in Ethical Hacking
Students at the University of Abertay, Dundee can now learn how to crack codes, hijack computers, steal information and break into web servers by enrolling in the Ethical Hacking course. The qualification aims to turn the tables on illegal hackers by equipping students with the cutting edge technology and tools required to recognise and fight the increasingly sophisticated threat of computer hacking. Students also learn the legal issues associated with hacking and participate in workshops to widen their understanding of cybercrimes, digital forensics and cryptography.
8. B.Ed. in Harry Potter
The education studies degree at Durham University UK offers a ‘Harry Potter And The Age Of Illusions’ module which aims to analyse the Harry Potter phenomenon in its social, cultural and education context. The students are taught the relevance of the popular series to the education system in the 21st century and the reasons for its phenomenal success. Key themes explored during the course include – Home and Away: the Shock of Education, Harry Potter and the Remaking of England; Myths and Models; Gryffindor and Slytherin: Prejudice and Intolerance in the Classroom, and Muggles and Magic: the Escape from the Treadmill and the Revival of Enchantment.
7. B.A. in Masculinity
The University of Sydney offers Masculinity as part of an arts degree in Gender Studies. The course explores the changing economic, social and cultural circumstances and the way they influence masculinity. Reflection on the shifting role of men and masculinity in the workplace and at home is done through case studies and research into the changing representation of men into contemporary culture.
6. B.Sc. in Surfing
If surfing is your thing, here’s a chance to ride those waves and get qualified while doing it! Edith Cowan University of Western Australia offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Surf Science and Technology. But it’s not all boogie boarding and sun baking. The course is in fact intended for surf lovers interested in learning the scientific, business and technological aspects of the surfing industry. Students learn about ocean sciences, event management, business studies and performances.
5. M.A. in the Beatles
The Beatles will be forever credited for putting the English city of Liverpool on the map. In appreciation, the Liverpool Hope University has been offering a Master’s degree in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society since 2011. The university touts this as a one of a kind MA with access to Beatles specialists and academics. The course examines the significance of the music of the Beatles and offers insight into understanding popular music as a social practise. The qualification is aimed for people working in a number of fields including popular music, cultural studies, politics and gender studies.
4. Associate Degree in Turf Grass Management
A degree in grass management may not sound cutting edge, but some people obviously enjoy watching the grass grow. TAFE Institutes of Australia offer certificate and diploma level qualifications in Sports Turf Management, while Penn State University, University of Georgia and the University of Massachusetts are amongst the American institutes that have been offering the Associate Degree in Turf Grass Management for years. Students learn the science and culture of growing and maintaining different grasses used as coverage for various areas like golf courses, sport fields, parks and lawns.
3. BFA in Puppet Art
Want to be the one pulling strings? Step this way. The University of Connecticut’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Puppetry will train you to do just that. Puppetry is an ancient art which is an amalgamation of many disciplines including arts, sciences and humanities. Students are taught to write scripts, design and create costumes, make puppets and learn to work with them. Graduates have an opportunity to work in areas related to theatre, film production and toy designing.
2. M.A. in Death Studies
Hood College Graduate School of Maryland is proud to be one of the few and best institutes in United States to be offering an M.A. in Thanatology – the science of death. The course examines the relationship between the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of the living and the dying. The students are taught to work with the terminally ill and the bereaved, and to provide death education. Upon graduation students qualify as death educators, grief counsellors and grief therapists. The program aims to meet the growing demand for professionals in the funeral industry, hospitals and nursing homes
1. BSc Hon. in Horse Psychology
Did you think horsing around was easy? Well judging by the fact that universities are churning out shrinks to deal with the mental issues of horses, this clearly isn’t the case. Nottingham Trent University, UK has our equine friends covered with a BSc Hon. Degree in Equestrian Psychology. Horse psychologists spend their time learning equine behaviour and the intricacies of the human-horse relationship. The course covers sports psychology, horse welfare, extensive field work and research coupled with hand on training.