`Star Wars' degree is more fact than fiction
Friday 16 July 1999
Darth Maul, Skywalker's paternity and the fate of the universe have been included in what is thought to be the world's first degree in science fiction. The University of Glamorgan in Wales has decided to include the study of Captain Kirk's multi-racial crew, little green men and the X Files in a new degree aimed at tempting more students into science.
Interest in the BSc in Science and Science Fiction has been phenomenal, and the university expects the 100 places to be filled when the course begins in September. More than a third of the inquiries have been from the US, with others from Australia and Russia.
But as well as studying the link between science fiction and science fact, UFOs and futurology, the students will have to complete modules in maths, physics, astronomy and chemistry. Still, the coursework appears to be a sci-fi buff's dream, with students expected to watch the Star Wars trilogy "to explore modern mythology" and sit through Star Trek re- runs "to understand the ideals of utopian societies".
It is just one of the latest degrees that veers away from the traditional. There are modules in stand-up comedy at the University of Kent at Canterbury, perfumery at Plymouth and gambling at Salford.
Others include herbal medicine, brewing and football management. The University of Leeds even offers a module on how to change a double duvet cover as part of an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification).
But the leader of the Glamorgan sci-fi course, Dr Mark Brake, said the curriculum wasnot frivolous. "Science fiction is an integral part of delivering science fact to people," he said.
"The world of science fiction can be a good model for theoretical science in an imagined environment. Films like Star Wars are modern morality tales with strong elements of good versus evil.
"Equally, the growing interest in UFOs indicates a vacuum that religion has not been able to fill and these are themes we will also deal with."
Dr Brake said students would be expected to produce clear, strong work on these issues. "Put it this way - they won't be watching 2001 and listening to Pink Floyd.
"Well, not in my lectures. I can't abide Floyd."
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...