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The 20 Strangest Degrees You Can Study at University

Daniel Campos

We know sometimes it’s tough to choose what you’re going to study at university, especially now during exam season when time is running out. But how about doing something totally different? Here are some suggestions of the world’s strangest degrees you could apply for:

1. Ethical Hacking

20 strangest degrees: Ethical Hacking

Not everyone who wants to hack a system has bad intentions. After all, someone’s got to learn and devise plans for counterattacking the nasty hacks. Essentially, ethical hackers are there to detect and fix security loopholes before the unethical ones find them.

2. Cannabis Cultivation

20 strangest degrees: Cannabis Cultivation

The name of this degree kind of says it all. You learn the best techniques to cultivate cannabis. Undoubtedly, you also get taught the science behind it. One does wonder what their practical coursework is like, though. Right? We should probably mention that this degree is taught at Oaksterdam University, whose motto is “Cannabis”. ?

3. Pop Culture

20 strangest degrees: Pop Culture

Uuuuuuhhhhhhnnnnngg! Oh, no! You’re infected! At the University of Baltimore, you can major in Pop Culture. One of its coolest and oddest modules is about Zombies in Popular Media. Very hip.

4. Bowling Industry Management and Technology

20 strangest degrees: Bowling Industry Management and Technology

Who do you think came up with the pin setter? Or do you think the bowling pins just always automatically reset after you score a strike on that perfect lane? ? Someone’s got to create the mechanics behind those machines, and those people study Bowling Industry Management and Technology.

5. Nannying

20 strangest degrees: Nannying

Albeit just a Diploma degree, Nannying is still quite an odd programme to follow. Nonetheless, it’s a very practical one if looking after children is what the future holds for you. Funny how the university it’s taught at is called Sullivan University: Sulley from Monsters Inc. should’ve just come here instead of Monsters University; he’d have been much better with kids!

6. The Simpsons and Philosophy

20 strangest degrees: The Simpsons and Philosophy

Although just a two-unit course at the revered University of California at Berkeley, the fact that there even is a programme based on the eternal Simpsons and the philosophy behind it is a testament to the show’s ramifications over several generations.

7. David Beckham Studies

20 strangest degrees: David Beckham Studies

To those of you into the Sports Sciences or Sociology, if you study at the University of Staffordshire, one of your modules will be about one of England’s best, David Beckham.

8. Viking and Old Norse Studies

20 strangest degrees: Viking and Old Norse Studies

Starting in September 2018 at University College London, you will be able to study the history behind the Vikings and the Norse. The best part of it is that you spend your third year at a university in one the Scandinavian countries! How about that?

9. Bagpiping

20 strangest degrees: Bagpiping

Now, who wants to be an expert graduate in Bagpiping from Carnegie Mellon?! The famous university really does allow its students to major in Bagpiping from their Performing Arts school.

10. Clownology

20 strangest degrees: Clownology

The man who first thought of making Clownology into a full-blown course was called (I kid you not) Dr. Francis Bozo. The degree focuses on… okay, that was an April Fool’s joke by the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Almost got you.

11. Personal Hygiene and Cosmetics

20 strangest degrees: Personal Hygiene and Cosmetics

This degree is actually called Körperpflege, but we doubt you all know how to read German. To become a Master in Körperpflege at the University of Hamburg, you can expect to study a lot about Fashion and Aesthetics, and Biology and Chemistry — indeed, not the most common of mixes, is it? Then again, it’s fairly important that you know your stuff about personal hygiene…

12. Development of Spanish Dictionaries and QC Glossary

20 strangest degrees: Development of Spanish Dictionaries and QC Glossary

“So what do you do for a living?” / “Oh, I develop Spanish dictionaries and QC their lexicon.” Now that’s an unlikely answer to a fairly common question! This postgraduate degree must be the ultimate dream course for you grammar nazis, at least if you’re Spanish.

13. Baking Technology Management

20 strangest degrees: Baking Technology Management

Home to the oldest bakery school in the UK, it’s fitting that London Southbank University has a foundation degree in Baking Technology Management. If you’ve ever wondered how one gets the acclaimed title of Baking Technologist, this is how! You can follow up your foundation degree with a BSc in Baking Technology Top-up, so that you can then manage the manufacturing processes of the bakery marketplace.

14. Puppetry

20 strangest degrees: Puppetry

So you want to be the hands behind the next Bert, Ernie and all the other Muppets? Puppetry is the degree for you, then. Students learn all about costuming, lighting and scenery, and everything else that ultimately lead to Topo Gigio and other famous puppets.

15. Taxidermy


If a life of stuffing animals is what you seek, there’s an actual degree just for you at the Chambres de Métiers et de l’Artisanat near Tours, in France. However, you should probably look to see if there’s anything closer before going all the way to France to get a degree in Taxidermy, no?

16. Education Studies

20 strangest degrees: Education Sciences

Among many of its modules, the Education Studies programme at the University of Durham has one focused on Harry Potter. Students get to analyse how the boy who beat You Know Who suffered from all sorts of prejudice and bullying, and how that relates to our Muggle world’s similar issues.

17. Surf Science and Technology

20 strangest degrees: Surf Science and Technology

Taught at a few colleges in British coastal towns like Cornwall and Plymouth, this is the perfect degree for all you avid surfers out there. And no, you won’t actually get taught how to surf. But this way, you can bring the waves into class and actually understand the science behind surfing and its events. Mind you, if you tell anyone you’re studying this, they’ll just think you’re kidding and that you spend your days at the beach ?

18. Fermentation Sciences

20 strangest degrees: Fermentation Sciences

Now here’s an important course for students! In Fermentation Sciences, you learn about the art of fermenting all sorts of food and drinks. In case you didn’t know, all of the alcohol you drink comes from fermented something — mostly beer and wine. However, you will have to fend off the usual “so you’re learning to make beer” comments. A small price to pay.

19. Poultry Science

20 strangest degrees: Poultry Science

Legend has it that Colonel Sanders himself started off by studying Poultry Science. No, that’s a lie. The truth is that many universities across the USA have a degree in Poultry Science, where you learn all about chickens, turkeys and quails, and all the other fowl.

20. Turfgrass Science

20 strangest degrees: Turfgrass Science

If you’re no good at sports, this is probably the closest you’ll get to the turfs on the NFL gridiron. It’s unlikely this degree will be the most popular among undergraduates, so when you become an expert on turfgrass, you’ll be highly qualified to develop high-quality surfaces to play ball. See you at the Super Bowl!


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