The higher education sector has always evolved with the times to take in new and exciting ideas such as the development of Media Studies degrees in the early 1990s across the U.K. and Europe. Whether it is parapsychology at Liverpool Hope University in the U.K. or zombie studies at the University of Baltimore, there is plenty of weird and wonderful degrees to be studied across the planet.
David Beckham at Staffordshire University
This 12-week program forms a significant part of the BA in Sports, Media, and Culture at this prestigious British college. Established in 2008, the program forms part of a broader view of the rise of soccer as the dominant sport in the U.K. and later the world with The Telegraph reporting the program covers soccer from its roots in the 17th-century to the present day. Not only is the position of the soccer icon as a global marketing brand explored but every aspect of his career and private life is delved into in a bid to discover the overall impact the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star has had on global culture from the 1990s onward.
Bagpiping at Carnegie Mellon University
Courtesy of stuff.co.nz
The pipes have been a significant part of the history of Celtic nations such as Scotland and Ireland for centuries. Carnegie Mellon University has developed a number of majors based around the playing of the pipes and the history of this unique musical instrument which has been enjoyed at the academic institution since the Kiltie Band was established in 1939. Students at the School of Music make up the band and the impressive major in Pipes and Drums which allows students to explore their musical talents and skills while being rewarded with a degree for their efforts.
Parapsychology at Liverpool Hope University
Courtesy of Psychic2tarot.com
Part of the postgraduate psychology course offered by this innovative campus is the research group into Parapsychology at Liverpool Hope University. The paranormal is now being seen as one of the leading areas of research for professionals and novice investigators alike in the 21st-century. The Parapsychological Association has a long list of academic institutions offering degrees and research opportunities from around the world including Liverpool Hope. The research group looks into the phenomenon which cannot be explained and attempts to bridge the gap between the world we understand and the dark recesses of our minds and homes.
The Robin Hood Studies Pathway at Nottingham University
Cortesy of TVTropes.org
The legend of Robin Hood and his band of merry men living in Sherwood Forest will always be linked to the City of Nottingham which plays home to the myth and fact of the story. Nottingham University offers a one-year Master's degree in the legend of Robin Hood and its place in the history of the city of Nottingham using original manuscripts held by the academic institution. A report by the BBC explains students use stories, songs, and art to explore the myth and its place in medieval history and the modern world.
The Beatles, Popular Music, and Society at Liverpool Hope University
Liverpool was the home of the musical genre known as "Mersey Beat" which was headed by The Beatles in the early 1960s. Liverpool Hope University now offers a Master's degree in The Beatles, Popular Music, and Society which looks at how the iconic band and its members reflected their working-class roots throughout their career together and apart.
Racetrack Industry Program at the University of Arizona
Much of the focus of obscure degrees is often placed on popular culture, but the horse racing industry has also played its role in developing some innovative academic programs. At the University of Arizona, horseracing enthusiasts are afforded the opportunity to explore the many different roles on offer to them in and around the racetrack.
Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion at Durham University
The study of literature is not often focused on modern writers, but the U.K.'s Durham University has developed its course looking into the works of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The module was first offered in 2010 and provided students with the opportunity to explore the social and educational context of the legendary fantasy series of novels. The Guardian explained the focus of the program is to explore the way the series of novels reflects the modern educational system in the U.K. Issues such as peer pressure and intolerance are explored by Rowling and can be examined by students who are looking at the experience of Harry Potter at Hogwarts.
Surf Science and Technology at Cornwall University
The U.K. may well hold the record for obscure degree programs with the inclusion of Surf Science and Technology at Cornwall University. A course taking in many of the locations around the county of Cornwall owned and operated by the institution, Cornwall University's location on Newquay's Tolcarne Beach is the focus of the work of those studying for this program. The focus of this degree program is on the development of the surf industry around the world and how changes to the environment are affecting the sector.
Zombie Studies at the University of Baltimore
Courtesy of foreignpolicy.com
This is one of the most famous classes taught at the University of Baltimore with media outlets such as the BBC reporting the start of the course in 2010. Innovations have been brought into this program which focuses mainly on the classic zombie movies and comics which have become a popular culture phenomenon in the last six decades. Zombie Studies provides a fantastic way into many different areas including literature and film studies through the development of various options opened up throughout the course.
Citrus and Horticulture at Florida Southern University
Florida is undoubtedly the home of the U.S. citrus industry with this program from Florida Southern University developed in conjunction with the backing of this industrial sector. Understanding all there is to know about the needs and requirements of the citrus industry in the 21st-century is the focus of a major focused solely on the citrus industry in the Southeast of the U.S.
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Featured image courtesy of HawesAndCurtis.com