Now students can study football

I’ve posted before on various degree courses which sound a bit, well, bonkers. The Daily Mail loves this stuff and gets very excited when something like a degree in footy comes along:

The finer points of the offside rule are not on the curriculum.

But a Championship club is offering its expertise in other aspects of the beautiful game by launching a university degree in football.

new student in Burnley

Burnley student


Burnley FC will enrol undergraduates on a three-year Bachelor of Arts (Honours) course with lectures to be held in classrooms overlooking the pitch in its stadium.

The club is the first to offer a full honours degree in football and is aiming to add income from the £3,200-a-year course to money from ticket sales and merchandise.

Sounds pretty rigorous to me. As I’m sure the Mail would agree.

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Mastering rhetoric

New MA in Rhetoric at the University of Central Lancashire

BBC News has a report on the new degree which, seems to be the first in the UK.

There are many similar courses in US universities and it is perhaps a bit surprising that no-one has pursued this idea before in this country. President Obama may have something to do with the sudden inspiration though:

“We want to promote the idea of considered debate rather than the soundbite,” says Dr Siebers. “Understanding rhetoric is important for citizens to be able to be function in a democracy,” he says.

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At the moment, Barack Obama is the finest exponent of political rhetoric, says Dr Siebers. Wartime leader, Winston Churchill, was another great speech maker, he says. And in terms of written rhetoric, he says George Orwell was a “consummate user of rhetoric”.

It is also claimed that

the course will give students “a comprehensive understanding of the history, theory and current status of the field of rhetoric and will be able to apply rhetorical theory and skills in a critical and reflective manner”.

Handy. Should be a ticket to employability too: “the university says it will be useful for law, politics and teaching.”

(See also related post on the Beatles Masters degree)