13 unusual university courses from around the world


The course you choose at university will go far in helping further your career, and whilst some will pick core subjects such as english, maths or science, there are a fair few people out there that will choose something a little less obvious.

According to UCAS, there are over 37,000 different undergraduate courses in the UK alone, so it’s likely that you can find a course for pretty much anything you could possibly think of.

But what are some of the more unusual course options available around the world? We’ve dug deep and found 13 courses that you may find hard to believe actually exist…

1. The Beatles, Popular Music and Society

The Beatles

Nobody can deny the cultural impact that the Beatles have had on music, so it may seem unsurprising to some that there is a course actually dedicated to the Fab Four.

The course at Liverpool Hope University examines the band’s significance and ‘Beatlemania’ through identities and audiences, which can in turn help students to understand popular music as a whole.

2. Turfgrass Science

If you’re looking to set up your very own golf course at any point in your life then you’re going to want to consider this course.

The ‘Turfgrass Science’ course at Pennsylvania State University focuses on the applied sciences and business management needed to run your very own golf course.

3. A History of the Pig in America


The pig has played such an important role in American culture that Xavier University in Cincinnati has deemed the topic worthy of its own course.

The course takes a look at how pigs and the pork industry reflect trends in history, including a module all about the 20th century uproar over unsanitary pork packing.

4. The Sociology of Miley Cyrus

Yep, an actual course dedicated to the social behaviour of Miley Cyrus.

Skidmore College challenges potential students to throw everything they know about Miley out the window as they prepare to learn about the issues of race, class, gender and media that Miley Cyrus has reflected over in her career.

5. #SelfieClassHipster taking a selfie

It was pretty inevitable but there is actually a course out there for anyone wanting to study the art of the selfie.

The University of Southern California offers students the chance to examine how selfies reflect the culture we live in and the influence that self-identity has on us and those around us.

6. Maple Syrup: The Real Thing

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about the method behind producing maple syrup, then this very specific course over at Alfred University may be for you.

The course will explore the rich (and sweet) history of maple syrup, allow students to create their own syrup and also have the opportunity to go on a few field trips. It actually sounds quite fun, to be honest.

7. Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular ‘Logic’ on TV Judge Shows

Unfortunately this course over at UC Berkeley doesn’t offer up the opportunity to have an argument with Judge Judy herself, but what it does is look at is the illogical arguments that participants on TV judge shows try to make.

8. Politicizing Beyoncé

How does Beyoncé push the boundaries of race and gender? That’s one question you’ll answer at Rutgers University’s course about the singer and feministic perspectives.

Beyoncé is known for her ‘independent woman’ attitude and style, so the questions and debates brought up in the course could actually prove to be quite interesting.

9. Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse


According to Michigan State University the zombie apocalypse is on its way, but are we prepared for when it happens?

For those wanting to get some last-minute survival tips, the zombie apocalypse course is here to help. The main part of the course requires students to face up to their fears and take on multiple challenges and tasks to see if they can preserve the future of civilization.


10. The Simpsons and Philosophy

Think you’re a fan of The Simpsons? You’re not a true die-hard fan until you’ve graduated from this course at the University of California.

The course offers up a fun and unusual introduction to philosophy, linking studies from the likes of Plato and Karl Marx to the lives and times of Homer Simpson and the various other characters who reside in Springfield.

11. The Art of Walking

Walking can be a great way to unwind and relax, surely that’s all there is to it?

Apparently not. To many, there is an art form to walking that you can learn all about at Centre College. The course will take a look through the non-fiction and fiction of walking, the philosophy of art for walks and also include a fair few trips out to parks and gardens.

12. Jersey Shore: Depictions of Gender, Race and Class on the Shore

Professor Sarah Barry decided that the MTV hit Jersey Shore was worthy of its own course at Oklahoma University when she found out that one of the cast members identified herself as ‘tan’ on a job application, instead of her actual race.

The course takes a wide look at what social definitions of race and gender are, with plenty of references to the Shore dropped in for good measure.

13. Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion

Platform 9 3/4

The phenomenon of the Harry Potter universe has gone much further than the initial book series and movies.

Not only is there a theme park dedicated to the wizarding world, but there is now a course over at Durham University that delves into how the series has become so popular alongside gaining an awareness of the social and cultural background behind Harry Potter.

So, whether you choose to study sport science or the art of walking, make sure it’s something you are passionate about and interested in!

Adam Maidment is a content writer for the student accommodation provider Pure Student Living.

Image credits (top to bottom): Ivan Kopylov/123rf.com, Phanuchat Phasertpol/123rf.com, artbesouro/123rf.com, Dmitry Ezepov/123rf.com, Anton Brand/123rf.com, upperkase/123rf.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *