Extra Guides

16 most unusual university degrees

While your degree in maths probably gives you some slick bragging rights, sadly it's unlikely to raise any eyebrows. If you study puppetry, however…
A quick search of uni courses on UCAS brings up a whole array of weird and wonderful degree subjects that would not only help you to stand out from the masses, but they'd also make for a pretty good conversation-starter at the pub!

We've trawled the UK higher education landscape – and occasionally dipped our toes into international waters  – to dig out some of the best degrees you've probably never heard of.

Cambridge uni are currently recruiting for a Professor of Lego. We're hoping a Lego degree will make it onto this list soon – watch this space!

16 unusual UK degrees

  1. Baking Technology Management

    bakeoffFirst up in our rundown of career options you never knew you had, is Baking 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 person 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

    brewWe all know students and alcohol go together like vodka and lime, 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 the 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 up some homemade beer while your housemate slaves away over a 20-page Modern History thesis…

  3. Equestrian Psychology and Sports Science

    horse whispererEver 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 17% of your grade is based on your practical skills (riding or whispering, we're not so sure).

    Extra bonus is that your second year will be spent as part of an exchange with a uni in either Canada, Australia or Hungary. Neat!

  4. Horology

    itsgotimedogThought to be the only course of it's 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, they'll also help you to grow your inner entrepreneur in case you plan to start your own time-related business.

  5. Circus and Physical Performance

    circusIf 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 work receive top physical training from experts in the field. To be honest though, we don't even need to sell this course to you really.

    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

    sexcondomsThe 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

    embroideryIf 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, specially considering it's the only full time degree in hand embroidery in Europe!

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

  8. Yacht Operations

    yauchtOkay, so we can't promise 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

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

    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

    bungeecowA two year course, found at Reaseheath College, Dairy Herd Management, 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. Theatre Practice & Puppetry

    sootysweepIf your childhood dream was to hang out with Sooty and Sweep, then Theatre Practice & Puppetry 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

    sharkyIt doesn't take a smarty pants to guess that a Surf Science and Technology degree would be offered exclusively at Cornwall College… 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 this course won't teach you how to surf, you will 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 potterAlright, 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 education context too, rather than your standard literature one.

  14. Viticulture and Oenology

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

    A course 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, wine makers 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

    hackingNow there's two words you thought would never 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 wizz, 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.

  16. Best of the Masters

    beatlesAnd… Finally, this may be cheating as it's not an undergraduate degree but, if a BA (Hons) in something unusual isn't enough for you why not consider a master's degree?

    The most weird yet wonderful one we've come across is The Beatles, Popular Music and Society at Liverpool Hope University which claims to be the only MA on the Beatles in the UK and the world.

    If you fancy yourself a bit of a comedian, you could also spend a year (and £6,500) doing a Master's in Stand-up Comedy at the University of Kent. Why not?

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.

Are you studying a weird and wonderful degree, or have you taken a weird module worth sharing? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a comment

Leave a Facebook comment