BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: Education
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Hot Topics 
UK Systems 
League Tables 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Monday, 10 September, 2001, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Students study to be a DJ
John Moores University
The course will be available at John Moores University
Music fans will be able to study for a degree in pop from next academic year.

The three-year course at John Moores University, Liverpool, will examine the role of music in national identity, contemporary culture and the economy.

Our course will equip students with skills for both media and non-media employers but provides a more academic approach to pop music

Stuart Borthwick
The course will also give students the chance to learn how to be a disc jockey or a music producer.

In August last year, the then chief inspector for schools in England, Chris Woodhead, hit out at what he called "vacuous" degree courses.

Courses in golf course management, pig enterprise management, knitwear and beauty therapy added little or nothing to students' employment prospects, Mr Woodhead claimed.

'Academic approach'

But university authorities at John Moores said the popular music studies course would bring "an academic approach" to a subject that dominated many people's lives.

The course is headed up by Stuart Borthwick, who says artists like John Lennon and Bob Marley are often seen as the modern day equivalent of Shakespeare.

Chris Woodhead
Chris Woodhead expressed concern over "quasi-academic degrees"
"Their lyrics have the ability to reach out and connect with an audience in powerful and sometimes emotional way," he said.

The course was designed to allow students to get behind the facade of world stars to see what made them special, he said.

"There are some degrees in pop music available already but they tend to be performance-based, vocational courses which focus on getting jobs in the industry.

"Our course will, of course, equip students with skills for both media and non-media employers but provides a more academic approach to pop music," he said.

Liverpool link

Liverpool was an appropriate place to study pop, with its rich heritage of chart topping success, Mr Borthwick said.

"Earlier this year the Guinness Book of Records named Liverpool as the world's Number One Pop Music City," he said.

"With the launch of this new course we aim to make Liverpool the centre for the study of popular music in Britain."

The course will be available from next academic year.

Are some university degress a joke?University challenged
Are some degree courses a joke?
See also:

16 May 01 | Education
Public airing of students' exams
29 Mar 00 | Education
Beckham in degree course
14 Aug 00 | Education
Woodhead defends degree criticisms
27 Jul 99 | Education
College for clowns
13 Jul 98 | Education
Devalued degrees?
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories