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EDITIONS
Monday, 4 November, 2002, 18:08 GMT
Cheers to beer drinking degree
drinking beer
The "Drink and society" module prompted concern
A degree course which explores the history of beer drinking in England has been defended by the government.

The BA course in Local and Regional Studies at Bradford University offers a final year module for part-time students in drink and society.


Sometimes media reports rather take the courses out of context

Baroness Ashton of Upholland
The Conservative ex-minister, Lord Trefgarne, accused universities of "packing their prospectuses with absurd courses like this one just to keep up their numbers and the public funding which goes with it".

But junior education minister Baroness Ashton of Upholland said the cost to public funds of the 15 students was 5,700.

"Universities take enormous care to ensure that the courses they offer are relevant," said Lady Ashton.

"Sometimes media reports rather take the courses out of context and perhaps make them sound less than they might be."

Cure for spots

Crossbencher Baroness Strange asked: "Are you aware that the yeast contained in beer is very good in alleviating acne, pimples and spots and that beer drinking is also very good for nursing mothers?"

"I am now," Lady Ashton replied.

Retired economics professor Lord Peston said the Bradford course was a "very serious topic", which also might be of interest to students.

A spokeswoman for the university said the focus of the "Drink and society" module was historical.

"You will examine the place and significance of alcoholic drinks in society in the period 1750-1920, principally in England, but also including international comparisons," a course overview says.

"By the end of the module you will be able to explain the main developments in the history of drink in the period, and demonstrate an understanding of drink within its overall social context in the period."

See also:

10 Oct 01 | Education
02 Oct 01 | Education
28 Sep 01 | Mike Baker
25 Aug 00 | Scotland
14 Mar 99 | Education
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