11 of the most unusual degrees you can study at university and college in the UK and US

10 unusual degrees you won’t actually believe exist

University just got weird.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 19.7 million students were enrolled in US colleges in 2020. UCAS also reports that in September 2021, there were over 272,500 students in the UK accepted into university. 

With such large numbers, it’s no wonder that colleges and universities are starting to divert away from traditional English and science-based courses. 

Instead, we’re seeing the likes of modules in Taylor Swift and The Beatles being offered. So, if you’re into brewing your own beer, there’s a course for that. And, if you’re obsessed with Game of Thrones and television in general? Well, there’s a host of unusual degrees for that too. 

So, I’ve scoured the internet and found 11 of the weirdest courses and unusual degrees for potential students to embark upon. 

Honours in Harry Styles? Sign me up.

Patternmaking for Dog Garments

Yes, you did read that right. The State University of New York is offering potential fashion students a chance to study a course in Patternmaking for Dog Garments.

According to the course description, you’ll “learn to work with various dog body types to produce a pattern for a dog coat that fits.” 

So, could this be your true calling?

Taylor Swift course

If you’re heading to New York University, then why not opt in on the Clive Davis Institute’s Taylor Swift course? As far as unusual degrees go, this is up there.

The module is currently being run by Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos. 

The class covers youth and girlhood as well as the politics of race in contemporary popular music. According to Variety, it also hones in on Swift’s evolution as a creative music entrepreneur. 

Welcome to New York, it’s [a Taylor Swift course] been waiting for you. 

Game of Thrones

Take your Game of Thrones obsession one step further by studying the HBO show as part of your degree. 

The School of Arts, Culture and Language at Bangor University offer a module called ‘Realms of Magic’. 

During the module, you’ll study Game of Thrones and discuss topics such as love, political governance and, of course, magic.

Studying will probably include watching House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones. Fine by me. 

Brewing and Distilling

A Brewing and Distilling Masters may seem like a candidate for the unusual degrees umbrella. However, those wanting to get into the alcohol business will quickly find that this Heriot-Watt University course is actually a golden ticket into the beverage industry.

If you’re into your craft beer or your artisanal gin, then this MSc course is the place to be headhunted by top employers.

The Beatles

Fancy studying one of the world’s most prolific bands? Introducing The Beatles: Music Industry and Heritage postgraduate degree.

Studying this course in the Beatle’s hometown of Liverpool will allow you to see the iconic sights and experience the legacy that the band left behind.

The creative MA comes after the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre was founded at the University of Liverpool in March 2022.

As far as unusual degrees go, this one doesn’t seem like too much of a hard day’s night.

Fantastic Texts and Where to Find Them

Know your Harry Potter from your Hobbit? Want to know what makes Terry Pratchett and J. R. R. Tolkien tick? Why not try Glasgow University’s Fantastic Texts and Where to Find Them course? 

Rather than a full degree, this three-week summer school will cover topics such as maps, worldbuilding, the tradition of fairy tales and the future of fantasy. 

Harry Styles course

Prospective students of Texas State University now have the chance to study pop sensation Harry Styles, thanks to Dr Louie Dean Valencia.

Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, The Internet and European Pop Culture will allow students to question gender, sexuality, race and globalism in fan culture, consumerism and popular European culture. 

It’s not confirmed whether the ‘Watermelon Sugar’ singer will make a guest appearance, but we’re keeping our eyes peeled. 

Circus Arts

Did your parents ever threaten that they would sell you to the circus? Now you can make good on that promise by heading there yourself.

By studying for a Circus Arts Degree at the National Centre for Circus Arts in London, you’ll progress technically and creatively while embarking on a variety of circus disciplines. 

Think everything from acrobatics and performance work to ensemble creation and artistic practice. Unusual degrees are definitely the most fun.

Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse 

If you’ve ever wondered if you would survive a zombie apocalypse, then this Michigan State University degree course has you covered. 

Learn about survival, escape and how to preserve the future of civilisation with this Multimedia Online Learning Immersive Experience.

You can study one of the world's most unusual degrees - surviving a zombie apocalypse
Image credit: Daniel Lincoln (via Unsplash

Let’s hope that you never have to put your degree to good use, huh?

Hand Embroidery 

Passion for fashion? Paramount levels of patience? Then perhaps the Hand Embroidery course at the Royal School of Needlework is for you. 

On the one-of-its-kind degree course, you will discover contemporary and traditional hand embroidery techniques as well as have the chance to undertake a fashion, interiors or textile artwork placement. 

If you’re looking for a niche ‘in’ into the fashion industry, the Hand Embroidery BA (Hons) course could just be it.

Feature image credit: No Revisions/Neil Martin (via Unsplash)