What did you study at university or college? There are hundreds of courses available... including some very strange ones.
Choosing a university or college course is never easy. Some people pick subjects that will lead directly to a job, such as accounting, medicine or engineering. While others go for something a bit less focused, such as maths, history or English literature. Some degree courses such as photography or physical education are considered less “intellectual”. And others are looked down on as “joke” or “Mickey Mouse” subjects, such as media or film studies. But they’re nothing compared to some of the following.
Staffordshire University (in England) offers a module called “David Beckham Studies” for students taking sociology, sports science or media studies. The course deals with the sociological importance of football.
The University of Baltimore (in the USA) is offering students the chance to study zombies. This is part of its “English 333”course. The lecturer of zombie studies is Arnold Blumberg, who has written a book on zombie films.
Durham University (in England) offers a unit in“Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion”as part of its education studies course. Students can read about topics such as “Muggles and magic: the escape from the treadmill and the recovery of enchantment”, as well as“Gryffindor and Slytherin: prejudice and intolerance in the classroom”. Fascinating!
Georgetown University (in Washington DC) is offering acourse in “Philosophy and Star Trek”. Students can attempt to answer questions such as “Is time travel possible?” and “Could we go back and kill our grandparents?”
A masters course in the “Psychology of Exceptional Human Experiences” at the University of Coventry (in England) allows students to study the film Ghostbusters. Lecturer Tony Lawrence said of the course, “We don’t tell students what to believe but we help them investigate.”
Queen’s University Belfast (in Northern Ireland) has a course in “Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way”. Students learn about the real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks, as well as examining the wider issues behind the Star Wars universe, such as balance, destiny, fatherhood and fascism.
Embedded within the MA in History at Nottingham University (in England) is a module called “Robin Hood Studies”. Students can learn about the tales of one of England’s most famous medieval heroes.
Alfred University in New York (in the USA) offers a unit called “Maple Syrup – The Real Thing”. The course looks into the profession of making maple syrup and how the production process has hardly changed over the years.
So, which course would you like to take?
Language Focus: Nouns
A number of course subjects are mentioned in the article: accounting, engineering, photography... Write the names of the people next to each subject below (1 to 8).
1. Accounting = an accountant
2. Engineering =
3. Farming =
4. Photography =
5. Medicine =
2. History =
3. Biology =
4. Chemistry =
English Exercise: Reading Comprehension
Read the article again. Then, match the courses (1 to 7) to the universities (a-g).