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16 most unusual university degrees

Still haven't decided what you want to study at university? These are some of the wackiest university courses on offer, and we bet you haven't considered them before...

unusual uni degrees

Credit: Nikkolia (left), bbernard (right) – Shutterstock

A quick search of uni courses on UCAS brings up a whole array of weird and wonderful degree subjects that not only help you to stand out from the masses but also make for a pretty good conversation-starter at the pub!

We've trawled the UK higher education landscape to dig out some of the best degrees you've probably never heard of.

Cambridge Uni recently recruited a Professor of Lego. We're hoping a Lego degree will make it onto this list soon, so watch this space!

16 weird university degrees

  1. Baking Science and Technology

    unusual degree baking technology

    Credit: Comic Relief 2013 - Flickr

    First up in our rundown of career options you never knew you had, is Baking Science and Technology (Management) at London South Bank University.

    Who knew you could do a degree that taught you such invaluable skills as artisan chocolate training and advanced bread technology? Clearly, there's more to cake than just eating it.

    If you fancy yourself as the next Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood, then this two-year course will also teach you the management and commercial shenanigans to back up your new career move.

    And we're probably not the first to say this, but you'd definitely be the most popular person in your university halls with all that practice you'll be doing...

  2. Brewing and Distilling

    degree in brewing and distilling

    Students and alcohol go together like gin and tonic, so why not embrace this by enrolling on a Brewing and Distilling degree at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh?

    This is actually a popular degree and career path (alcohol is big business in the UK), so you'll need to fight off some stiff competition by having a keen interest in science and the brewing process, as opposed to just drinking the produce (although that would still be an undeniable perk).

    Top employers in the beverage industry often hunt down students with this degree, so contrary to what many might think, graduate employment rates are high.

    And just imagine your homework being to brew some homemade beer while your housemate slaves away over a 20-page Modern History thesis...

  3. Equestrian Psychology and Sports Science

    equestrian science weird degree

    Credit: Netflix

    Ever dreamt of becoming a horse whisperer? Well now's your chance!

    This Equestrian Psychology and Sports Science degree at Nottingham Trent University focuses on developing a better understanding of the horse-human relationship, as well as equine behaviour.

    The course is based in rural Nottinghamshire, and a fair percentage of your grade is based on your practical skills (riding or whispering, we're not so sure).

    The cherry on top? Some of your second year will be spent as part of an exchange at one of a number of universities from across the world. Neat!

  4. Horology

    alarm clock prank

    Credit: Walt Disney

    Thought to be the only course of its kind in the world, students on the Horology degree at Birmingham City devote their time to... well, time.

    Combining the art and science of time measurement, you'll not only set yourself up for a nice career in the luxury watch industry, but you'll also be able to nurture your inner entrepreneur in case you plan to start your own time-related business.

  5. Circus and Physical Performance

    degree in circus studies

    Credit: Jorge Royan- Wikimedia

    If studying Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance at Bath Spa University doesn't float your boat, then quite frankly we don't know what will.

    A top contender for the most fun degree we came across, students can even snag an opportunity to perform at Glastonbury.

    You'll learn a whole host of skills and receive top physical training from experts in the field. To be honest though, we shouldn't even have to sell this course to you.

    That said, this foundation degree course is definitely not for everyone and the circus lecturers take it very seriously... so no clowning around! Sorry, couldn't resist.

  6. Sexual Health Studies

    sex at university

    Credit: Universal Pictures

    The first of it's kind in the UK, the Sexual Health Studies course at UCLan might cause a few awkward conversations with the 'rents, but is a great shout for those looking for a career in sexual health services.

    Modules include cultural and sociological perspectives of sexuality, design and delivery of sex and relationship education and global perspectives of sexual health.

    Awkward looks aside, it's probably worth it for the long-term rewarding career.

  7. Hand Embroidery

    embroidery unusual university degree

    If you're really looking for the unique element of a course, you can't go far wrong with Hand Embroidery at the University for the Creative Arts, especially considering it's the only full-time BA hand embroidery!

    It might be a niche skill, but don't write this one off just yet – UCA claim the course is world renowned and has some pretty impressive connections, including Jasper Conran and Sarah Burton (for Alexander McQueen).

  8. Yacht Operations

    yacht operations weird degree

    Credit: Universal Republic

    Okay, so we can't promise that you'll get invited to super cool yacht parties all the time, but studying Yacht Operations at South Devon College will teach you how to navigate and maintain a boat, and give you the deets on offshore expeditions.

    You can even branch out to sailing and powerboats too, and once you've finished the two-year foundation degree, there's the option to top it up to a BA.

    If you've thought about a career in the maritime industry before, this could well be your in.

  9. Floral Design

    floral design degree

    You could study this as a short course, but why would you want to do that when you can get a full blown degree at in Floral Design at Myersclough College?

    This course teaches historical floral design, design trends and business planning to students wanting a career out of carnations.

    At the very least, your student accommodation would look and smell amazing with all of the flowers you'll have knocking about. That said, there'd be no excuse for service station flowers anymore – whatever the occasion.

  10. Dairy Herd Management

    dairy herd management weird degree

    This two-year Agriculture course with Dairy Herd Management, found at Reaseheath College, will set you up nicely for life with a whole host of dairy farming-related skills.

    Set in Cheshire, you'll get the economic, legal and managerial know-how on how to run a dairy business, as well as the chance to swot up on practical skills like foot trimming.

    And there you were about to go and buy your milk from Tesco...

  11. Puppetry Design and Performance

    puppetry theatre skills degree

    Credit: Walt Disney Studios

    If your childhood dream was to hang out with Sooty and Sweep, then Puppetry Design and Performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London could be your big break.

    Training for the future Muppets, this course is a specialist study area of theatre practice, and graduates have been known to find work at Cirque du Soleil, the London Symphony Orchestra, performing shadow puppet workshops and puppeteering at Thorpe Park.

    And ya know, while Cirque du Soleil seems like the dream destination, we'd still take Thorpe Park any day. Just need to find out if you get a free go on the rides.

  12. Surf Science and Technology

    surfing degree

    It doesn't take a smarty pants to guess that a Surf Science and Technology degree would be offered exclusively at Cornwall College (part of the University of Plymouth)... by the beach!

    If surfing is your thing then what better place to study it than in Cornwall? While they're keen to point out that this course won't teach you how to surf, you'll be in a great position to work for brands such as Billabong or Surfers Against Sewage when you graduate, or even set up your own surf shack.

    Oh, and did we mention the European field trip?

  13. Education Studies

    harry potter degree

    Credit: Warner Bros

    Alright, so Education Studies at Durham University, might not sound like the most interesting thing on this list, but we're using that picture for a reason.

    Skip ahead to your second year of study and you'll discover the wonders of Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion.

    Now, we don't know about everyone else, but we would love to study Harry Potter! The module has gone for a really interesting look at Harry Potter in a social, cultural and educational context too, rather than your standard literary one.

  14. Viticulture and Oenology

    degree in wine

    Nope, we didn't know what these words meant either, but it turns out that they're both to do with the consumption of booze.

    A BSc (Hons) at Plumpton College teaches you all about the science of grape-growing and wine-making, and is said to set you right up for a career in wine production.

    While some graduates have gone on to be vineyard managers, winemakers and much more, if you still can't get enough you can even go on to do an MA and a PhD in this stuff.

  15. Ethical Hacking

    ethical hacking weird degree

    Credit: Universal Cable Productions

    Now there are two words you never thought would go together. Yet, at the University of Abertay in Dundee, you can discover everything you could ever need to know about computer hacking today. And yes, that includes how to hack.

    If you're not much of a computer whizz, this degree will be news to you, but for anyone immersed in the world of computer science and online security, this course is old hat.

    Don't scoff at this one either, as Ethical Hacking boasts a massive 88% graduate employment rate – a degree in this stuff will make you very employable.

    See our 32 tips on how not to get hacked yourself!

  16. Electronic Music and DJ Practice

    unusual degrees dj practice

    Always secretly considered yourself a master DJ when it comes to house parties? Well now you can put your practice to good use with a degree in Electronic Music and DJ Practice at UCLan.

    You'll learn real-time mixing, remixing, sampling, and electronic improvisation, as well as background about the industry itself. In your final year you'll even learn about the DJ as a performer, where you'll create, prepare and perform a live DJ set.

    Grab the decks and sign me up...

It's easy to laugh off unusual degrees, but you never know where they could take you. Although they're certainly niche, you could stand a better chance of getting a job if you can prove yourself an expert in your niche field.

You might also be interested in knowing what kind of salary you could expect from your degree once you graduate.


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