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From Game of Thrones, marriage prep to ‘how to learn’: Most bizarre courses of the decade

From a course which is being considered to be mandatory to pursue before getting married in Indonesia, here is a list of strangely unusual courses from around the globe.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 29, 2019 10:54:06 am
new year, weird courses, offbeat courses, bhoot vidya, bhu, aI courses, artificial intelligence, course on bubbles, harry potter, MOOC, game of thrones, lord of the rings, sex, course on sex, education news They sound strange but there are many offbeat courses across the world that are finding takers. (Photo credit: Pixabay.com, HBO.com, Gettyimages.com) Graphic by Gargi Singh

The past decade saw a lot of focus on artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics (BDA) and machine learning (ML), but there were quirky and rather bizarre study programmes introduced during this time as well.

From a course that is touted as mandatory before getting married in Indonesia, here is a list of strangely unusual courses from around the globe:

Course to be a good spouse: Government of Indonesia is pondering a three-month marriage course as a mandatory pre-wedding training programme. The course aims to cover a range of topics, from reproductive health to premarital counselling.

Game of Thrones to Harry Potter: Several television programmes and movies became a rage over the past decade. To a point that people took the fan-fiction and theory to a level of an undergraduate course. National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) in Kolkata offered a new course on Harry Potter to encourage students to explore legal aspects of JK Rowling’s fictional world. The Kansas State University in the US, for instance, offers a class called “Harry Potter’s Library,” where students have the opportunity to examine political themes that reoccur in the series.

What was one of the top searches on Google in 2019, Game of Thrones was also converted into a course. Many universities, including Harvard, have introduced courses on GoT. The Folklore and Mythology class at Harvard University had examined characters, culture, etc, as in George RR Martin’s world to that of the medieval world. University of British Columbia, Canada had also launched a course to examine Song of Ice and Fire – book in the same series.

Sexual Studies: Ever wondered how humans came to express their sexual and reproductive needs? A graduate interdisciplinary specialisation at the Ohio State University explores how social, historical, psychological, literary, legal, biological, and political contexts shape sexual practices, expressions, identities, and representations.

Course on bubbles: ‘Cavitation and Bubble Dynamics’ is a course at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). If researchers are to be believed, then understanding the physics behind bubbles can be held in computing and several other aspects of science.

Learning to learn: Learning how to learn or understand the tools to attain the skill called learnability – the ability to learn new things was one of the most opted for courses in 2017-18. Learnability is considered to be one of the most relevant tools for the future where people do not know the future of jobs. This non-tech course like ‘Learning How to Learn’ from McMaster University and UC San Diego is one of the most-popular courses that claimed the second spot globally and the eighth in India on the top 10 courses list for 2019.

Elvish: In the book and also the movies ‘Lord of the Rings’ – the language Elvish is created with limited words, grammar, etc. Fans of the fiction can learn a course on the language at the University of Wisconsin. Both Elvish and Orkish are modified versions of real languages and hence can be studied, understood and built on.

Beauty pageants: Launched in 2011-12, the US-based Oberlin College teachers a course on beauty pageants. The course examines the pageants and its history, methodology, culture among others.

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