First Liverpool Beatles graduate

Exciting graduation news

A previous posting noted the launch of an MA in Beatles Studies.

Rather than being one of those slightly bonkers courses this is a more serious proposition and it now has at least one graduate as this BBC report notes:

A Canadian singer has become the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles.

Former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy signed up for the course at Liverpool Hope University when it launched in March 2009.

As well as examining the studio sound and composition of The Beatles’ back catalogue, the course looks at how the city of Liverpool helped to shape their music.

The significance of their music and how it helped to define identities, culture and society is also examined.

Mike Brocken, founder and leader of the Beatles MA course, said: “This programme is the only postgraduate degree programme in the world of its kind.

“Mary-Lu now joins an internationally recognised group of scholars of Popular Music Studies who are able to offer fresh and thought-provoking insights into the discipline of musicology.”

It is to be hoped that she wasn’t the only student on the course.

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Free books for freshers

Persuading freshers to read

Last year St Andrews gave a novel to all freshers to get them reading, discussing and engaging with each other.

This year, according to theBookseller.com, the scheme seems to have expanded:

Nearly 18,000 freshers across five UK universities have been given copies of a winning or shortlisted Man Booker novel for the autumn term.

First year students enrolling at Imperial College, London, Liverpool University, Newcastle University, St Andrew’s University, and the University of East Anglia received a copy of a Man Booker title to read over the summer, regardless of their area of study. Georgetown University, Washington has also initiated a similar scheme.

Just a really good idea. Would be interested to hear how it went.

Shanghai Jiao Tong World League Table: Subject Rankings 2010

SJTU Subject Rankings 2010

In addition to its overall rankings and Field rankings, SJTU has also developed subject rankings in a small number of disciplines:

    Mathematics
    Physics
    Chemistry
    Computer Science
    Economics and Business

Some UK universities which don’t appear in the global Top 100 do rather well in here. For example:

  • Durham and Liverpool are in the Top 100 for Physics
  • Bath, Newcastle, Southampton and Sussex all appear in the Chemistry ranking
  • LSE, London Business School and Warwick all feature in the Economics and Business table