8 bizarre courses that prove you're taking a real degree

weird university degrees

If you’re anything other than a maths or physics student you’re probably sick of hearing how “you’re not doing a real degree” (probably from maths and physics students). If you’re a physics student, you’re probably sick of hearing this from mathematicians.

They're wrong of course, but don't rub it in. It's not nice to taunt people who will one day be replaced by calculators. Instead reassure yourself your degree is just as valid and difficult as any other.

And to help, below are a few courses that make your degree look as complicated and worthwhile as degrees in brain surgery or Beyoncé Studies.

Wasting time on the internet BA (Hons)

At the University of Pennsylvania you can now take a course in wasting time on the internet.

Students are encouraged to sit down for three hour seminars where they do nothing but waste time on the internet. Just like you’re doing now, except it counts towards your degree. The creative writing students are then encouraged to turn this time-wasting exercise into worthwhile literature, in an attempt doomed to fail.

The course is taught by Kenneth Goldsmith, a man who once tried to waste time by printing out the entire internet. To save you time and effort: it's mainly cat photos. Here's another cat photo for the cat photo pile:

bumble bee cat

There. Now you know what the entire internet looks like.

Penis studies (BA Hons)


Sorry, Jedward. I typed penis into google and you were the first result.

Phallus studies isn’t just a rebrand of history as the study of historical penises, though that would be very easy to do:

hitler nazi jokes

Hitler, here, for our study of bell-ends of the 1940s

Occidental College offer a course on the Phallus. It’s not easy to finish first in this full blown course. You’ll face some stiff competition (sorry). The key is to really grasp the subject matter with both hands (I’m so sorry), study rigorously and try not to pull out till it's over.

The course promises to go in depth into the penis and includes topics such as "the relationship between the phallus and the penis", despite them essentially being the same thing. I checked a dictionary.

This is exactly the kind of course you’d expect from a college that also offers a course in stupidity, with a focus on Beavis and Butthead.

In reality the course sounds like it could be interesting, if you're into that kind of thing.

Ghostbusting BSc Hons

Coventry University offered a 2 year parapsychology degree way back in 2009, before we realised that ghosts don’t exist.

The students studies haunted houses and conduct statistical analyses of which parts of the houses are most haunted, as well as exploring other supernatural phenomena. They're essentially ghostbusters.

Unfortunately the course techniques are not quite as cool: “Student will use yoga and meditation 'to extend or enhance their personal development'.”

Yoga is not how the ghostbusters became so good at busting ghosts. These people are meditating in time they could be using to strap vacuum cleaners to their backs in a 1980s montage.

ghostbusters degree

This. This is what they should be learning.

Tightwaddery BA (Hons)

A degree we would have taken. Tightwaddery at Alfred University aims to teach how "living frugally benefits your mind, your body, your relationships,your community, and the environment." and "On a practical level, we will examine personal spending habits, sharpen bargain-hunting, rip-off-detecting, and haggling skills, and make field trips to yard sales and thrift shops."

It's probably a waste of money worthy of failing their course to drop things now and fly to America to actually take the course. Instead sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you the best deals and money saving tips so that you don't have to look for them yourself.

The Science of Superheroes BSc (Hons)

The University of California Irvine runs a course on the science of superheroes.

Students will be sat around contemplating such deep questions as “what is a Spidey-Sense?” and would a gamma ray really turn you into the hulk.

After most courses you’d ideally become (if briefly) an expert on the topic. After this course all you can basically say is “yeah, superman couldn’t really fly. Its all… there’s gravity and stuff. People can’t fly” or point out that using X-ray vision in real life would give people cancer.

And Superman's laser bike wouldn't go anywhere: He must enjoy burning his own testicles.

Actually this course sounds better than any course based on real physics could ever be, but you can get a condensed version from Ted-Ed which is probably as in depth as you'll ever need to know.

The philosophy of Star Trek BA (Hons)

Annoyed when Star Trek puts in too many fights and not enough hard philosophy? Tired of studying in a room full of people who aren’t confirmed virgins? The Philosophy of Star Trek course at Georgetown University in Washington may be for you.

The course aims to study philosophy through the context of Star Trek. You’ll be studying questions such as:

“Is time travel possible? Could you go back and kill your grandmother? What is time?”

All questions that could be turned into stoner talk by preceding them with the word “duuuude”.

Surfing MSc

University of Plymouth offer a BSc in Surf Science and Technology.

Impressive, now surf your way into a job.

As with any degree, completing it will improve your employability, even with a course like surf science.

There are a surprising amount of courses out there teaching surfing, even at a postgraduate level. Unsurprisingly they're mainly in Australia, and it's probably the main route to become prime minister there.

Psychology behind Jedi mind tricks (open university)

Queens University Belfast offered an open university course on Star Wars which teaches "real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks", eg:

Yoda's main Jedi power is cutting people he considers to be a "bitch".

It also teaches the "wider issues behind the Star Wars universe, like balance, destiny, dualism, fatherhood and fascism", in an attempt to encourage lifelong learning.

Procrastinating? Try these 16 fun, free and funny websites to procrastinate on, or read 5 Things You Didn't Know Were Affecting Your Grades...