Beckham Studies and Pigeon Racing – what other wacky courses are on offer?

J.K Rowling's novels are discussed in the Harry Potter unit at Durham Uni Photo: Michael James

Harry Potter – 'Harry Potter and the age of Illusion' is a unit taught to under-grads at Durham University, as part of Education Studies. Muggles, magic and friendship are some of the topics discussed.

Star Wars – 'Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way' is an Open Learning courses available at Queen's University in Belfast. The course teaches the real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks.

Robin Hood – 'The Robin Hood Studies Pathway' is taught at Nottingham University and is embedded into the Master's degree in History. Students learn about the tales of the medieval hero.

Knitting – 'Shetland Lace Knitting' is a full-funded doctoral studentship. The research project is to investigate the development and significance of the fine lace knitting industry in Shetland.

Surf Studies – 'Surf Science and Technology' is taught at the Cornwall College in the West Country. The course features elements of all sciences and social sciences underpinning surfing.