Underachievers lured to degrees in football, make-up and golf

University bosses are blasted for luring in academic underachievers with degrees in football, make-up and golf management

  • Students are turning to university courses with lower academic requirements
  • Learners can now choose to study children’s books, golf management and wine 
  • Fears are mounting that students are left £30,000 in debt for pointless degrees 

Universities have been criticised for offering dozens of ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees to pupils who under-achieve in their A-levels this week.

Students who miss the grades needed for their original choices when their results come out tomorrow can opt for others with lower entry levels via clearing.

Such courses on offer include football business, golf management, children’s books, wine business and make-up and hair design.

University admissions service UCAS currently offers 45 make-up and cosmetic related courses alongside over 100 courses relating to sports

Most charge full fees of £9,250 per year, meaning students can accumulate close to £30,000 of debt for tuition costs alone.

Admissions service UCAS is currently advertising 98 football-related courses, 45 make-up courses and 19 golf-related courses on its clearing website.

Critics have questioned the usefulness of such degrees and the motivation behind offering glamorous-sounding courses to those with low A-level grades. Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education pressure group, said: ‘Too many youngsters are being fooled.

‘Too often some of these courses will leave them under-employed or unemployed.

‘They will also be burdened with massive debts that they will be unable to pay off.

‘Admissions tutors are ripping off our kids to line the pockets of universities.’ A degree in football business is on offer at the University of Bedfordshire for £9,250 a year to students with CDD grades.

Plumpton College, East Sussex, offers a two-year foundation degree in wine business costing £9,000-a-year and needing two A-levels with a minimum C and D grade.

A spokesman said: ‘The content of the course is not “Mickey Mouse”. It is relevant, current and intellectually challenging.’ Solent University in Southampton is charging £9,250-a-year for a BA in make-up and hair design to students with grades CCC.

The Government is making graduate employment and earnings data easily available so courses which do not deliver on job prospects can be exposed.

In March, skills minister Anne Milton urged students to start apprenticeships rather than ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees as they were better for job prospects. 

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