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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Uni offers degree in northernness
The Black Dyke Band. Pic courtesy Leeds Met University.
Yorkshire's Black Dyke Band is one of the best known in the world
University students can learn about coal-mining, rugby league and brass bands as part of a new degree course in northern life.

The one-year Master of Arts course in Northern Studies will run at Leeds Metropolitan University from September.

It is thought to be the first time an English university has offered a course dedicated to northernness.

The university said the course had already attracted interest from students as far afield as Essex.

Northern stereotypes

Professor Tony Collins, professor of the social history of sport, said the degree course had been launched as part of the university's Institute of Northern Studies to recognise northern interests and life in the north of England.

David Hockney
Bradford-born artist David Hockney will be discussed in lectures

Students will study all aspects of life in the north, from culture, politics and history to art, music and sport, and can make use of links with outside organisations, such as the Black Dyke Brass Band, for their studies.

But there will be no place for northern cliches on the course.

Prof Collins, who has studied the role of rugby league in northern life and will lecture on the course, said: "As soon as the north is mentioned all these stereotypes are trotted out.

"Ideally, we'd like people to talk about David Hockney, Tony Harrison, Henry Moore, the Beatles, and all these cultural expressions of the north, rather than these stereotypes that are no more than that - stereotypes of whippets and flat caps."

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