For some prospective students, choosing what course they want to study at university could not be easier. We’ve all met them: their parents are doctors, and their parents’ parents are doctors, and their parents’ parents’ parents… and so on, so they decide to study medicine at university to carry on the family tradition.
Or, they might have fallen in love with studying history at GCSE, carried it on to A-level and are now desperate to take this to the next stage and to keep their noses in history textbooks for three more years. But if you don’t fall into that category, never fear: you’re certainly not alone!
There are so many amazing courses out there, and, given the ever-increasing cost of university in 2017, it is definitely worth keeping your options open and looking at lots of different options before you commit to a subject.
Here are seven of the best university courses you might never have heard of, but which could be the key to finding your passion over the next three years, and maybe even your future career too!
Rather than picking the courses which are labelled as ‘Mickey Mouse degrees’ (Beatles studies, David Beckham studies and so on), because they don’t seem to have a place in the working world, we’ve found seven unusual university degrees which are both interesting and employable.
Although some of these might be a little quirky, many of them are highly employable choices which could set you apart from other people in the fierce competition out there for graduate jobs: so take note!
1. Applied Golf Management Studies (BSc)
This may seem a slightly quirky choice to begin with, but hear me out: graduates leaving with a degree in Applied Golf Management Studies have an employability rate which just can’t be argued with – 100%.
Available at the University of Birmingham, this degree is a unique partnership between the university and the Professional Golfers’ Association, which will really help you get into the swing of university (I couldn’t resist…).
As you might expect from a degree with such incredible employability statistics, the course includes numerous vocational placements in golf environments, including finance placements, in combination with theoretical study. Plus, if you study this course, you can represent UoB at golf competitions! For more information, and for entry requirements, see this link.
2. Brewing and Distilling (BSc)
Obviously, it hardly even needs to be said that drinking alcohol is pretty popular with students, but what about studying the processes of brewing and distilling at university?
If you go to Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, you can study for a degree in Brewing and Distilling and learn more about the science behind these processes. The degree itself is run alongside top representatives of the malting, brewing and distilling industries and is accredited by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD).
Alcohol is big business in the UK, and graduate employers are keen to snap up students from this degree. If you’re interested in becoming a manager in the beverage industry, there is great potential from this highly popular degree. For more information, check out this link.
3. Ethical Hacking (BSc)
Although the title of this degree might sound like a bit of a contradiction, there is definitely such a thing as hacking ethically. With the NHS hacking incidents in the news recently, there has never been a better time to get clued up about cybercrime and technology.
Available at the University of Abertay in Dundee, the Ethical Hacking degree teaches you how to become an ethical hacker: a computer and networking expert who systematically attempts to break into computer systems to find (and fix) their security vulnerabilities, before non-ethical hackers can get to it.
With fascinating case studies, and excellent graduate employment rates, if you have an interest in cyber security, and want to be extremely valuable in the event of a cyber attack, this is the course for you.
4. Baking Technology Management (BSc)
Bake Off has just returned to our screens, and amateur bakers across the country are returning to the kitchen: but what if you could study it? Well, at London South Bank University, you can. The course lasts 2 years, and combines essays and theory work with practical work.
Students learn hands-on skills such as sugar craft and chocolate technology, as well as highly useful business leadership and bakery management skills which will set you in good stead for the workplace.
In addition, the university has top contacts, such as the Worshipful Company of Bakers, which should help with those graduate prospects. If I’ve fired up your interest, here’s more information on the course.
5. Computer Games Design and Programming (BSc)
Remember when your parents used to tell you off for gaming all the time? Well, If you’re interested in making a future in game design and programming you can. Staffordshire University’s Games Design BSc was named as the top course in the country by Alphr, the online partner of established computer magazine PC Pro.
Based in Stoke-on-Trent, the course is run in association with TIGA, one of the UK’s top gaming authorities, and offers tonnes of industry experience, including access to Rare’s motion capture studio and regular events visited by games industry experts.
You’d leave this degree as an expert in both design and programming, making you highly attractive for established studios looking for graduates who can do both. Plus, with these skills, you can always take a gamble and start your own studio from scratch. For more information, follow this link.
6. Cruise Management (BSc)
If you fancy taking a slightly unusual career path, and like the idea of sailing the seven seas and escaping the office 9-to-5, Cruise Management at Plymouth university might float your boat.
On this three year course, you cover key aspects of management within the cruise industry, including food and drink management, cruise and maritime operations, human resources and more.
You can also brush up on hugely employable language skills and learn French, German or Mandarin on the course. If you like the idea of travelling through work, and want to become part of this growing industry, you can find out more here.
7. Outdoor Leadership (BA)
Finally, if you want a degree which will really get you out of the lecture theatre, the BA in Outdoor Leadership from the University of Cumbria will suit you perfectly. It combines theoretical learning in outdoor coaching with a huge amount of practical experience, and you can improve your skills in mountaineering, climbing, caving, sailing and paddling along the way.
Plus, you’ll be gaining all of this hands-on experience in the incredible location of the Lake District national park, which features 200 mountains, 16 lakes and plenty of rivers. How many students can say they’ve done their degree on the side of a mountain overlooking Windermere?
Bonus: If you start this course in September 2017, you also get a free First Aid course thrown in (places are still available through clearing). For more information, go here.
So, whether you fancy learning to manage a cruise, how to brew beer, or even how to hack ethically, there is bound to be a course out there which can meet your interests. If you are able to think outside of the box with your degree choice and find something you really want to do and are passionate about, this is bound to make you stand out with future employers.
If you’re not yet ready for university or if you are still contemplating your options, why not sign up for our two week residential Summer School at Cambridge in a course of your choice and see if you are ready to take that subject at university.