Hundreds of university "non-courses" should be abolished as a waste of public money, a group campaigning for lower taxes has said.
Horse psychology is one of the courses complained about
A report from the Taxpayers' Alliance highlighted 401 such courses starting this autumn in the UK, which it said cost £40m a year to run.
But the vice-chancellors' organisation Universities UK accused it of a "rag bag of prejudices".
It said courses were over-subscribed and graduates much in demand.
The TaxPayers' Alliance report said the courses "lend the respectability of scholarly qualifications to non-academic subjects".
The training they offered would be better learned on the job, it suggested.
The report had a "top five" of target courses:
- Outdoor adventure with philosophy, at Marjon, the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth
- Science: fiction and culture, at the University of Glamorgan
- Equestrian psychology, at the Welsh College of Horticulture in Mold, Flintshire
- Fashion buying, at Manchester Metropolitan University
- Golf management, at UHI Millennium Institute, based in Inverness.
Author Peter Cuthbertson said: "Political priorities have led to a never-ending drive to increase the number of students in university.
"As a result, there has been a massive expansion of 'non-degrees' of little or no academic merit.
"The government has failed in its pledge to abolish 'Mickey Mouse' degrees.
"If 'non-courses' were abolished, all the other students could save over £100 on their tuition fees or buy an extra pint of beer a week."
Demand from employers
But Universities UK said the alliance had failed to understand developments in higher education or the labour market.
"Had they done a little more research, they would have found that these so-called 'non-courses' are in fact based on demand from employers and developed in association with them," a spokesman said.
"Graduates on these courses are in demand from employers who are looking for people with specific skills alongside the general skills acquired during a degree such as critical-thinking, team-working, time-management and IT skills - a point lost on the authors of this rag-bag of prejudices and outdated assumptions.
"Students know this - which is why these courses are often over-subscribed and have high employability rates."
He said golf management - one of the courses derided by the alliance - involved business, management and accounting as well as practical experience at golf courses.
"This is academic snobbery, as predictable as it is unfounded."