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A degree of choice if you change course - with the top 10 wackiest uni subjects

By Mark Andrews | Education | Published:

Are your A-level grades not quite what you were hoping for? Is your dream of studying medicine at Oxford looking a forlorn hope?

That's the way to do your degree!

Don't despair, there are still plenty of courses available for students with lower grades, although one or two of them might raise one or two eyebrows when you explain them to your friends.

For example, two grade Ds will be enough to secure a place on Surf Science and Technology at Plymouth University. While the course is considered to be something of a world leader, it appears there is some scepticism about it even among the surfing community.

Justin Housman, of the website Surfer.com, writes: "You don’t have to major in some awful subject, like history, you can actually major in surfing. For a degree.

"The surfer next to you might be 'studying'.”

Get a degree in surfing

If watersports are not your thing, there is also a degree in Puppetry Design and Performance at Royal School of Speech and Drama in London, although you will need two grade Cs to secure a place. Described as a 'pioneering course' by the college, it is more of a Punch and Judy degree than a Mickey Mouse qualification, although applicants can be forgiven for wondering what strings are attached.

Both these course feature on a list of Britain's 10 most weird and wonderful degrees compiled by the teaching agency Tutor House. If you like to play around, Myerscough College in Preston has the course for you: two A-levels at grades C and D should be enough to get you a place on its Applied Golf Management degree, although it doesn't specify what your handicap should be. The same grades will also secure you a place on Myerscough's course in Floristry and Floral Design.

Not all the degrees highlighted on the list are frivolous. Dairy farmer Richard Yates, from Middleton Scriven, near Bridgnorth, says the foundation degree in Dairy Herding at Reaseheath College in Cheshire could lead to a well-paid and successful career.

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"A course in dairy herd management is far from strange," says Mr Yates.

"These days people can make considerable sums of money by using technical expertise in dairy-herd management.

"We have this perception of dairy farming of some little old lady sitting on a milking stool, but the reality is far from it."

The past decade has seen an explosion in the number of microbreweries and gin producers springing up around Britain, and to meet this demand Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh runs a degree in the course in Brewing and Distilling. It is a little harder to get on than some of the courses here, requiring three A-levels at grades BBC, but imagine the fun you will have evaluating your work. Similarly Plumpton College in Sussex offers a course in wine production, which requires grades of BCC – although one wonders if a bit of on-the-job training in Provence or Tuscany would prove more rewarding.

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Like your golf? Myerscough College has the course for you

Fancy yourself as the next Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry? Fans of the Great British Bake Off may be interested in London South Bank University's course in Baking Science and Technology, which requires grades DEE. Just make sure you don't end up with a soggy bottom. If you fancy three years horsing around, you might be interested in the Equine Behaviour degree at Nottingham Trent University, proving you get two Bs and a C.

Alex Dyer, founder of Tutor House says: “The variety of university courses available in the UK is both amazing and bewildering.

"Some may result in more job prospects than others, but what’s important is that students have the option to study something they’re passionate about, even if that’s puppets

“Some may say these courses are ridiculous and not worth the money, but I think it’s down to the individual to make that judgement, because if you study brewing and distillery and go on to create your own beer company, then that’s definitely not a waste.”

One course that does give students a chance to indulge in their dark arts responsibly is Abertay University's degree in Ethical Hacking. And of the courses on this list, that is probably the one that will give you the best job prospects.

Ten wackiest degrees: (with the number of Ucas points required, and typical A-level grades)

  1. Puppetry Design & Performance - 64 - CC at A level - Royal Central School of Speech & Drama
  2. Dairy Herding - 64 - CC at A level - University Centre Reaseheath
  3. Surf Science & Technology - 48 - DD at A level - University of Plymouth
  4. Wine Production - 104 - BCC at A level - Plumpton College
  5. Brewing & Distilling – 112 - BBC at A level - Herriot-Watt University
  6. Baking Science and Technology - 64 - DEE - London South Bank University
  7. Equine Behaviour - 112 - BBC - Nottingham Trent University
  8. Applied Golf Management Studies - 48 - CD - Myerscough College
  9. Professional Floristry and Floral Design - 48 - CD - Myerscough College
  10. Ethical Hacking - 104 - BCC - Abertay University
Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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