Have you ever spoken to someone who has a job you’ve never heard of – and wondered how they got there? The chances are they took a non-standard route. Trying to find your way around the thousands of university courses can be daunting, so here’s our pick of some of the most weird and wonderful – that are guaranteed to be a talking point…

1) Astrobiology

Do you want to be the person who discovers life on another planet? Then head to Florida Tech, where you will study planetary science, extrasolar planets and the origin of life, as well as maths, physics and biology.

Graduates have gone on to work for NASA, the Kennedy Space Center, Boeing and the Space Telescopic Science Institute.

2) Viticulture and Enology

Otherwise known as wine and wine-making. If the idea of being an expert on grapes and growing makes you giddy, then this one year Masters degree in Italy is for you.

Offered through the Universita Catolica del Sacro Cuore, you’ll study everything from microbiology and marketing to climate change and the Common Agricultural Policy.

If Italy isn’t quite to your taste, then there are similar courses in the US and South Africa; or if wine isn’t your tipple then you could head to Scotland for an undergraduate degree in brewing and distilling.

3) Turfgrass Science

There’s a whole industry based around looking after grass – whether for golf courses, athletics fields, or grounds maintenance. This degree, at Penn State University, includes both science and business. You’ll learn how to create and maintain the perfect turf, as well as understanding sales, service and research.

4) Imagineering

From Disney to Google – turning creative ideas into a practical form is the lifeblood of some of the world’s most successful companies. This MBA is a serious business course, taught in English at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. You’ll learn up-to-the minute skills around understanding customers, innovation and technology.

5) Cosmetics and body care

This wide ranging course from the University of Hamburg takes five years and includes both a Bachelors and a Masters degree. Taught in German, you’ll learn about dermatology and allergies, through to cultural history, colour theory and how anti-aging creams work.

6) Puppet Arts

The University of Connecticut offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in puppetry. Graduates have gone on to international careers – designing and performing for theatres, television and films. As well as learning about theatre production and puppet creation, you can choose subjects like computer rendering for theatre, or theatre and human rights.

7) Popular music

Griffith University in Australia says it will help you “Transform your passion for popular music into a lifelong profession”. Designed to help you perform, produce, write, record, manage, teach and more, you can choose to specialise in performance, technical skills, or management. If you’re looking for something more theoretical, you could always try a Masters in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society at – where else? – Liverpool Hope University in the UK.

8) Surf science and technology

Want to combine your studies with your sporting passion? Plymouth University in the UK offers a two year foundation degree that examines sports nutrition and health, geographical and physical influences, computer aided design, surf culture and – unsurprisingly – ‘surf practice’.

More of a football fan? Then the University of Bedfordshire’s BA in Football Studies, where you gain coaching qualifications whilst learning about business and social issues, might be your goal.

9) Race Track Industry

Want to know about the business side of managing a race track? Or are you more interested in racing and breeding? Either way, the University of Arizona has it covered with its Bachelors and Masters degrees in the Race Track Industry. Graduates are all over the USA and beyond – as CEOs, presidents, directors, and racetrack managers; farm managers, stewards, breeders and trainers.

And it’s not the only course which lets you develop a niche in the leisure industry. Degrees like Theme Park Engineering in (of course) California; and Entertainment Engineering & Design in (of course) Las Vegas just go to show that where’s there’s an industry, there’s a degree.

10) Gaming and graphics

Gamers: You actually can get a degree in computer games. Admittedly, you probably won’t pass if you simply plan to stay up all night playing computer games. If, however, you like the idea of a computer science degree from a respected university that includes 2D and 3D computer graphics, image processing, perception, computational aesthetics, modelling and animation, then you might want to look at this course at the University of Victoria in Canada.

  • Not sure which course is right for you? Or do you know exactly what you want, and you’re worried about how to make it happen? My Next Step advisers help you select the right course for you, and to create an application that stands out from the crowd. Contact us now to find out more.