UK’s most unusual degree courses: From learning to understand a cockroach to circus skills

With A-level results released today, countless students out there are eagerly weighing up their further education options.

If you make the grade, it isn’t always easy to decide which degree to do next.

A huge chunk will already have hearts set on more traditional avenues to employment, such as studying business, science, maths or engineering.

But what if knuckling down to some advanced maths doesn’t add up for you? What if the only business you’re interested in is other people’s?

Maybe your knowledge of science stops at Star Trek and your engineering skills only stretch to building a Lego shark. Then what?

Everyone is different, but thankfully there are a myriad of more alternative degrees out there to suit all tastes, from understanding a cockroach to mastering circus skills.

So roll up, roll up for a wild and wonderful trawl through the UK’s most unusual degree courses …

Horology
‘I don’t have time to do a horology course’ is no doubt what someone will say when you tell them you’re studying it.

But students on the Horology degree at Birmingham City University are quite the opposite – they ain’t got nothing but time.

Thought to be one of the only courses of its kind out there, the uni’s horology classes delve into the art and science of time measurement.

Graduates could well get into the luxury watch industry, or failing that start their own time-related business.

You have to hand it to them – time is money, after all.

Viticulture and Oenology
You could be forgiven for not having a clue what either of these words mean, but it may pique your interest to learn it’s basically all about booze.

So if you want to learn wine-making and the science of grape-growing then the BSc (Hons) degree with the Wine department at Plumpton College should be right up your vineyard alley.

Speaking of which, some alumni have gone on to be actual vineyard managers and wine makers – and if that isn’t enough to float your boat in an oversized Champagne glass, then why not go on to do an MA and a PhD in it?

Air Transport with Helicopter Training
Who hasn’t thought of flying a helicopter? It’s every youngster’s dream to soar like a bird – and if we’re honest, every adult’s too.

So if flying is your bag, you’ll be on Cloud Nine with Buckinghamshire New University’s Air Transport with Helicopter Pilot Training, where you will learn tonnes about the aviation industry.

On completion, you’ll not only be a qualified helicopter pilot, but also fully tooled up for roles in the financial side of things, as well as airline management.

But be quick – the whirlybird catches the worm.

Brewing and Distilling
Alcohol is big business in the UK, so it’s small wonder the MSc Brewing and Distilling degree at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh is so popular.

To land a place you’ll have to demonstrate a keen interest in science and the brewing process and not just be au fait with the finished product!

Leading lights in the beverage industry often pursue students with this very degree, thus graduate employment rates are high.

Who wouldn’t want enjoy some homework of brewing your own beer?

We’ll drink to that.

Ethnobotany
Anyone who’s had even the merest of brushes with nature will know how fascinating plants are.

And you can learn a lot more about them with the MSc Ethnobotany year-long masters course at the University of Kent.

The first programme of its kind, it not only explores how humans understand and respond to plants, but also how we modify and use them.

If you’re looking for a career in the botanical and environmental fields, or doctoral research, this really is the field you need to be in.

We’re rooting for you!

Animal Behaviour and Psychology
Dogs have personalities. Cats have personalities. But what about cockroaches? Yes, they do too!

And you can learn all about it with the University of Chester’s Animal Behaviour and Psychology degree.

There you will discover how animals think and feel, with the focus mainly on wild creatures.

With scope for international fieldwork, this could be the “pawfect” course for you.

Baking Science and Technology
Let them eat cake – and bake it!

Yes it does sound too good to be true, but if you fancy yourself as the next Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry, then London South Bank University’s Baking Science and Technology (Management) degree will be right up your street.

There you will learn skills such as artisan chocolate training and advanced bread technology. Will you be able to rise to the challenge?

This two-year course will also teach you vital management and commercial skills to back up your new career move.

A sweet-sounding course.

Sexual Health Studies
The first of its kind in the UK, the Sexual Health Studies course at the University of Central Lancashire delves into cultural and sociological perspectives of sexuality, design and delivery of sex and relationship education, and global perspectives of sexual health.

This is widely regarded as a great stepping stone to a long-term rewarding career.

Circus and Physical Performance
Roll up, roll up, roll up for Bath Spa University’s Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance degree.

You’ll receive top physical training from experts in the field as well as learn a whole host of skills

Graduates have gone on to join established companies or worked solo, while many have set up their own companies and professional partnerships.

It sounds loads of fun – why not throw your (top) hat in the ring?

Ethical Hacking
Wow, now there’s an intriguing sounding course if ever there was one!

You wouldn’t really expect these two words to go together, but the University of Abertay in Dundee has done just that.

If computer hacking and cybersecurity is your bag, then look no further than its Ethical Hacking course.

It has an incredibly high graduate employment rate, with alumni going on to land jobs in the world of online security and computer science.

Hacks all folks!