10 most unusual university degrees
Still unsure what to study at university? These are some of the quirkiest university courses on offer, and we bet you haven’t considered them yet…
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.
Weirdest degrees to study at university
Here are some of the best, most unusual subjects you can study at university:
1. Viticulture and Oenology
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) degree from the Wine department 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 of the subject, you can even go on to do an MA and a Ph.D. in it.
Thought to be one of the only courses of its kind, students on the Horology degree at Birmingham City University devote their time to… well, time. Combining the art and science of time measurement, you could set yourself up for a nice career in the luxury watch industry, or you could even nurture your inner entrepreneur and start your own time-related business. Time is money.
3. Air Transport with Helicopter Training
Ever wished you could fly a helicopter? You and us both. At Buckinghamshire New University, you could study Air Transport with Helicopter Pilot Training and live the dream. Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll be qualified to find a job as a helicopter pilot. Or, as you’ll also learn loads about the aviation industry, like the financial side of it and airline management, you could also pursue a range of other similar careers.
4. Ethical Hacking
‘Ethical’ and ‘hacking’ are two words you might not expect to go together. But at the University of Abertay in Dundee, you can discover everything you could ever need to know about computer hacking and cybersecurity on their Ethical Hacking course. 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 an old hat. Don’t scoff at this one either, as Ethical Hacking boasts a very high graduate employment rate.
5. Brewing and Distilling
Students and alcohol go together like gin and tonic. Why not embrace this by enrolling in the MSc Brewing and Distilling degree at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh? This is actually a pretty 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…
Obsessed with decorating your uni home with greenery? Humans have historically had a super interesting relationship with plants, which you can learn all about in the MSc Ethnobotany course at the University of Kent. It’s the first program of its kind, exploring how humans understand and respond to plants, how we use them, how we modify them, and more.
7. Baking Science and Technology
Another degree option you might not have thought of? Baking Science and Technology (Management) at London South Bank University. It might sound too good to be true, but you can, in fact, study a degree that teaches you skills like artisan chocolate training and advanced bread technology. Clearly, there’s a lot more to cake than just eating it. If you fancy yourself as the next Mary Berry, 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 getting…
8. Sexual Health Studies
The first of its kind in the UK, the Sexual Health Studies course at UCLan might cause a few awkward conversations with your parents, but it’s 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.
9. Circus and Physical Performance
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. It’s a top contender for the most fun-sounding degree we’ve come across. You’ll learn a whole host of skills and receive top physical training from experts in the field. To be honest, it shouldn’t be hard to sell this course to you. But, 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).
10. Fire Engineering
Interested in the fire? That’s fire safety, for the record, not fire starting. At UCLan, you can get a degree in Fire Engineering, which is ideal if you’re aiming for a senior role in fire safety. The course also offers the option to do a 48-week industrial placement between your second and third year, which could really help to boost your CV when you start your graduate job search. And, if nothing else, this degree’s got to be worth it for the chance to refer to yourself as an Engineer of Fire (P.S. please don’t actually tell fire safety recruiters you’re an Engineer of Fire, this might not go down well).