6 weird university subjects you haven’t heard of

  • Emma Finamore
  • Last updated 23 Oct 2015

From vino to Vikings, think outside the box to get into an unusual career. 


Decided you want to head to university, but struggling to find a course? Check out these weird and wonderful subjects and get inspired.

Ethical Hacking

If you want to follow in the footsteps of Edward Snowden and want to make a difference to the world using hacking skills, then this is the degree for you.

Modules – mainly taking place in a computer lab – range from “Digital forensics”,  “Cryptography” and “Ethical issues” to “Biometrics & identity”, “Mobile phone technology” and “Applied mathematics”.

Graduates (who don’t want to disappear into the netherworld of hacking) go onto careers in areas such as penetration testing, network management, computer programmer and web developer. A major selling point to potential employers is the fact that graduates are equipped with high-end tech skills, especially regarding security.

Golf Management Studies

Yes, if you look at golf courses and think, “Maybe one day this could all be mine…” (which of course we all do from time to time), and want a life well away from an office, then this degree could be the one for you. 

Students study everything from coaching to psychology, and graduates go on to a variety of careers in golfing: working all over the world in high-end resorts, coaching local disadvantaged young people as part of community outreach, promoting the game to minority groups, offering consultancy services to professional players, and of course – playing plenty of golf.

Baking & Technology Management

Fancy being the next Nadiya Hussain or Mary Berry? Well you can give yourself a fighting chance with this course, on which you’ll study things like applied bakery science, science and technology of bread fermentation, artisan chocolate and centre pieces, as well as broader topics such as business, environmental and management best practice.

People who take this sort of course tend to become professional bakers employed in plant bakeries and in-store bakeries. These are often at large companies, with opportunities for further training and career progression. There’s also the option to move into a specialism like artisan chocolate, or supervisory/production management roles – depending on which area of bakery you move into.

Great British Bake-Off here you come!

Viticulture & Oenology

If this course title leave you blank, don’t worry: we didn’t know what it meant at first either. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find this is basically a degree in WINE.

The Bachelor of Science degree covers all aspects of wine production and related biological sciences, including practical vine growing and winemaking, viticulture and oenology theory, wine sensory evaluation and wine analysis. The course includes a vintage winery placement and a major research project.

Graduates from this course have become vineyard managers, winemakers, wine buyers, cellar managers, wine educators, project scientists and oenologists. 

With modules like “Wines and Sprits of the World” and “Wine Analysis”, what are you waiting for?

Brewing & Distilling

Craft ale and beer appreciation has become something of a trendy art form in recent years, and this Bachelor of Science degree could help you make a living out of it.

Students learn about malting, brewing and distilling industries, and the science and technology of the processes involved from cereal farming to bottling and packaging.

Graduates are likely to go into production or laboratory positions with brewing, malting or distilling companies. Many courses will facilitate paid work placements for students so they can develop broader skills and experience.

Viking Studies

Depending on which university you study at, this sort of course can range from straight up Viking Studies to Viking and Old Norse Studies, Viking and Medieval Studies, courses where one year is spent in Norway or Iceland…but whichever way you cut it, there will be Vikings involved.

As well as Old Norse (the language) the history, politics and literature of the infamously unique people, there could be the chance to travel and learn a modern Scandinavian language. Think of all the Scandi crime thrillers you could watch without subtitles!

Graduates often go onto use the languages they’ve picked up, whether it’s at a Scandinavian company and translations (if they’ve learned a modern language) or into tourism/heritage positions, teaching and publishing.


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