Parapsychology Studies : This degree is perfect for starting a career with Ghostbusters. Oh wait, Ghostbusters are fictional – that’s four years wasted. Nevertheless, this course dedicated to the study of the paranormal (Slimer and haunted houses included) is popping up in universities and colleges worldwide. Coventry, Edinburgh, Northampton and Liverpool in the UK, plus Belford and Flamel in the US all offer the course, which makes you wonder if people are watching too many Most Haunted episodes.
Doctorate Of Philosophy In Ufology ( Melbourne University ) : In August this year, Aussie Martin Plowman became the first student to become a real Dr Who after passing his studies of unidentified flying objects. After his major in culture and communications, he decided he wanted to do something a bit different, so he chose little green men. However, despite his new status, he remains open-minded about things: “When I meet someone who says they’ve seen something strange, that’s fair enough, because maybe they have. I don’t know what it is, though,”
The Phallus ( Occidental College ) : It’s difficult to get to grips with the exact nature of this course – if you’ll pardon the pun. It’s cited as studies “between the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism” but is actually a survey offered by this distinguished college’s department of critical theory and social justice.
Surfing Studies ( Melbourne ) : Gone are the days of dumb surfer dudes riding the waves without a care. Now, surfing means business. With Plymouth Uni in the UK offering a BSc (Hons) in Surf Science and Technology and Southern Cross University in Australia offering Surf and Sport Management, is seems the seaside slackers want to be taken seriously. What next? Wrestling degrees?
Philosophy ( various colleges ) : Philosophy, like sociology and psychology, is one of those degrees that people do when they’re not quite sure what vocation they want to follow . It’s a fun-time four years, open to stoners, egocentrics and those that love the sound of their own voice, who will finish the course even more confused at what they want to do in life and probably end up working at a convenience store.
Queer Musicology ( UCLA ) : Due to seemingly popular demand, the UCLA have actually combined queer theory – the study of gender, feminism and gayness – with the science of music, to produce a very open-minded course within their Herb Alpert School of Music. The LA Times reported that the course will introduce debates like: “the idea that if you’re gay, then music by gay composers such as Benjamin Britten will sound different to you than it would if you were straight.”
Star Trek ( Georgetown University in Washington ) : It’s a degree, Jim, but not as we know it. The Georgetown faculty of Philosophy argues that “Star Trek is very philosophical. What better way, then, to learn philosophy, than to watch Star Trek, read philosophy, and hash it all out in class?” The Trekkies have also landed at Indiana University, who curiously combine their Star Trek Studies with religion. If only there were more vacancies for professional dorks…
Golf Management ( University of Birmingham ) : Another useless sport degree spreading through Universities across the world, but this one lands the number three position because it’s not even fun. There’s nothing much duller than playing golf apart from studying golf, so why these two Universities have offered courses covering the psychology of golf; equipment technology; financial performance and coach education, is a mystery.
Art History ( various colleges ) : What career would you ever get with a degree in art history? Maybe an art gallery curator, but how many of those does the world actually need? Most art history courses consist of a selection of well-to-do teenagers and arty-hippy types deliberating over the same Dali and Magritte paintings for four, even five years straight. It’s time to move on!
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I think you need to double-check your facts about 'Parapsychology Studies'. There is NO degree in Parapsychology Studies at Liverpool, Coventry, Edinburgh or Northampton. There may be modules that students can elect to take in their final year (or earlier) but these only make up a very very small part of a Psychology degree. Any parapsychologist would agree that an undergraduate degree in Parapsychology studies would be unwise.
Dr. Ciarán O'Keeffe
Thanks to this thread the Finnish Ministry of Education and Social Sciences Curriculum Committee just decided to make Finland a "Centre of Excellence" in Parapsychology by starting degrees and research institutes at several universities, together with Women's Studies and Ethnic Relations!
Just kidding! But this is the problem we are seeing in Finland with all sorts of questionable Social Science and Humanities study programmes! And it is getting worse all the time!
On the one hand, the authorities roll their eyes when confronted with approving someone's online degree in Mathematics, Physics or Electronics and yet have shuffled out hundreds of millions of euros to out-of-left field studies programmes where students are told that they will have added value in the workforce! When the students then cannot find any worthy employment, no university or faculty is held responsible for fraud or misleading marketing practises (these are state universities).
I think it is time for the media and for critics in general to pay these programmes a visit and take a look at where their "graduates" end up!
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