10 Unusual Courses You Didn’t Know Existed | Top Universities

10 Unusual Courses You Didn’t Know Existed

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated March 27, 2021 Updated March 27, 2021

Sponsored by Study in Sweden (the Swedish Institute)

Not sure what to study at university? Don’t let indecision lead you into a generic subject that thousands of other students will graduate in. Trust that your perfect course is out there somewhere; you just haven’t found it yet…

Opting for a more unusual course is a good way to differentiate yourself, graduating with a clear specialization that matches your personality, priorities and personal goals.

To help you discover some less-trodden academic pathways, here are 10 unusual postgraduate and undergraduate courses, all available to study now in Sweden.

1. Master’s degree in peace and conflict studies

What is it? This master’s program run by Uppsala University, the world’s 98th highest-ranking entry in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017, is designed to prepare you for a career as an analyst or researcher in the private or public sector. Over a period of two years, you’ll learn about causes of war, peacebuilding methods, international conflict resolution, and other vital issues including the protection of civilians.

Home to peacemaking figures like Olof Palme, Raoul Wallenberg and Dag Hammarskjöld, Sweden has a strong international reputation in the area, and universities like Umeå University and Malmö University also offer similar courses.

Apply here.

2. Bachelor’s or master’s degree in ecotechnology

What is it? Studying ecotechnology at Mid Sweden University would train you to work in one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors: green business. Learn about ecotechnology in relation to entrepreneurship and the natural, social and engineering sciences. This unique course will prepare you for a range of careers in green business, tackling the environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.

Ecotechnology is offered as both a three-year bachelor’s program or a more advanced two-year master’s.

Apply here.

3. Bachelor’s or master’s degree in game design

What is it? A number of Swedish universities offer unique courses in gaming with close ties to some of the industry’s leading players.Uppsala University’s three year course in game design and graphics covers the basics of game design, including character drawing, computer graphics and 3D modelling. In the final year, you’ll implement your learning by designing and developing your own game. As an added bonus, this course is taught in the gorgeous medieval city of Visby.

Looking for a master’s? University of Skövde offers a number of one-year master’s programs, including a course in ‘serious games’ and another in the art of digital narration and cultural heritage in gaming.

4. Master’s degree in communication for development

What is it? This one-year course at Malmö University is interdisciplinary, drawing on anthropology, sociology, psychology and the sciences. Expect to learn about media communication methods and technology as a tool for sustainable change to address global inequality. Communication development graduates go on to work as communications officers, consultants with NGOs and CSOs, the UN or the World Bank.

Apply here.

5. Master’s degree in open e-government

What is it? Stockholm University’s two-year master’s program in the growing field of ICT in public organizations will prepare you for a leading role in the digitalization of government.  From service design and innovation to security in e-government and democracy, this program prepares the public servants of tomorrow with a multidisciplinary foundation. Fittingly, this program is conducted entirely online, so you can join from anywhere in the world.

Apply here.

6. Master’s degree in outdoor environmental education and outdoor learning

What is it? If you’d rather spend your life outside, this master’s degree in outdoor studies at Linköping University should be right up your alley. With a focus on experiential learning based on nature, culture and society, this one-year degree will teach you how outdoor studies contributes to health and sustainable development.

Apply here.

7. Master’s degree in automotive engineering

What is it? This two-year MSc in automotive engineering at Chalmers University of Technology focuses on three areas of automotive engineering: powertrain, vehicle dynamics and safety. You’ll be trained to think about and deal with issues in line with the industry’s priorities, such as road safety, environmental challenges and global warming. And it doesn’t hurt that you’ll be studying in the home city of Volvo, with many graduates moving on to careers there.

Apply here.

8. Master’s degree in spacecraft design    

What is it? This eerie two year-year program at Lulea University of Technology in Sweden’s northernmost town will teach you how to design a spacecraft, including how to integrate complex technical systems that must work in the most alien environment of all: space. The course is taught in Kiruna, the space capital of Sweden, north of the Arctic Circle… Experience the midnight sun and the polar night as you learn how to design spacecraft!

Apply here.

9. Master’s program in energy for smart cities

What is it? This two year master’s degree is jointly run by four European universities (Grenoble Institute of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, KU Leuven and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) and will give you all the technical and engineering knowledge that you need, as well as the business acumen and management know-how, to play a key role in the design and development of green cities.

Apply here.

10. Master’s program in water resources engineering  

What is it? To tackle water security, increase food supply and reduce child mortality rates, this two-year master's degree at Lund University – Sweden's highest-ranked institution at 73rd in the QS World University Rankings® – explores the challenges of wastewater treatment, storm water management, coastal hydraulics and modelling of hydrological processes.

Apply here.

This article was originally published in December 2016 . It was last updated in March 2021

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