Witchcraft and 19 other unique courses offered at Canadian universities

Click to play video: 'Looking for a unique university course? Try one of these!'
Looking for a unique university course? Try one of these!
From magic, to gossip and even Beyoncé – these courses will definitely spark your interest! – Sep 5, 2017

School is in session, and for anyone who has attended university, we all know the stress of trying to get into the school’s most popular classes.

These are the courses that students have been taking for years, new ones that are offered for a limited time, or the courses that come up as “cool” or “interesting” ones when you look into university forums.

Jill Scott, vice-provost (teaching and learning) at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., says this year, interdisciplinary courses and programs are becoming more popular with students.

“Trends this year include new courses on entrepreneurship and innovation, such as a popular course called ‘Design Thinking,'” she tells Global News. “[And] anything involving big data [and] micro-credentials, such as certificates that can be completed alongside a bachelor degree.”
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Below, we take a look at some of the most interesting courses offered at Canadian universities. Some are upcoming, others have been popular for years and some have been taken off the table.


Where: University of Victoria
The details: Using the music icon as a case study, the course explores how we can situate popular music as a cultural construct. Starting with her career in Destiny’s Child, the class will move into a solo career, film star status, and collaborations with rapper and husband Jay-Z.

The Art And Science of Hand Drumming

Where: Dalhousie University
The details: In this course, students learn about the art and science of music using hand drums. Not only do they get the history of the instrument, but the course also looks at cultural context and rhythmic structure. A large portion of the class will be practical, and students will learn how to play these drums. And yes, you are required to bring an approved hand drum to each class.

General Apiculture

Where: University of Saskatchewan
The details: This course is all about bees. Students will learn the science and practice of beekeeping, as well as the genetics and social behaviour of the honeybee.

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How to Win an Argument

Where: Dalhousie University
The details: This course insists you will “never lose an argument again.” Using logic and deduction, students learn how to produce convincing arguments and use reason.

Witchcraft, Magic and Occult Traditions

Where: University of Ottawa
The details: This course looks at the historical, psychological and cross-cultural exploration of the traditions and practices of witchcraft. It also looks at paranormal phenomena, magic, the occult, and related experiences, as well as its relation to traditional notions of religious behaviour.

Popular Potter

Where: Waterloo University
The details: If you’ve already read all seven of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, consider yourself a semi-expert. This course takes things further by looking at the books’ genre and how they fit into our current literary culture.

Chemistry of Molecular Gastronomy

Where: University of Toronto
The details: Have you ever wondered why some meals have so much flavour? Or how to make mango ravioli, chocolate spaghetti, or a perfectly cooked egg? In molecular gastronomy, students will learn how chemistry interacts with the art of cooking.

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Rumor Has It! Gossip as Social Political, and Social Engagement

Where: Western University
The details: Taught by gossip queen and The Social host Lainey Lui, this course looks at rumours and gossip as social, political and social engagements.

Archaeological Frauds and Mysteries

Where: Memorial University
The details: Offered in the Newfoundland university’s archaeology department, the course looks at the sensationalized and “unreal” side of archaeology, including a look at everything from Big Foot to aliens.

Shakespeare and Pedagogy

Where: University of New Brunswick
The details: Focused on how to teach Shakespeare plays often taught in high schools, for their final project, students go into local high school classrooms to teach an element of these plays.

American Pastoral

Where: University of Toronto
The details: Graduate students will get the chance to spend a week at a farm learning about beekeeping, vegetable gardens, feeding chickens and cheese-making. The course also includes workshops on pastoral representation, the university notes.

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Probability and Games of Chance: Poker 101

Where: University of Ottawa
The details: No, you don’t have to be in a casino for this course. Poker 101 looks at probability theory, game theory, and the mathematical side of games of chance. Digging into societal aspects of gaming, the course is taught through poker games like Texas Hold’em.

Gothic Horror

Where: Ryerson University
The details: More than 200 years old, the gothic genre has become one of the most popular genres in literature and film. In this class, students will analyze how the genre challenges not only other cultural conventions, but how it has influenced art, science, and medicine.

Life Beyond Earth

Where: York University
The details: This course considers the various factors required for life to exist beyond our Earth, as well as life that has evolved elsewhere. And for any space junkies, you will also learn what it would take for humans to live in space.

The Movie Soundtrack

Where: Concordia University
The details: This course looks at movie soundtracks going back to the 1920s, and how soundtracks have evolved over time. As the university notes, “over the term, critical and listening skills are developed promoting a fuller appreciation and understanding of cinematic and televisual sound design, as well as teaching students how to use their ears as well as their eyes whenever the moving contents of a screen draw their attention.”

Introduction to Wine Science 1

Where: University of British Columbia
The details: Unfortunately, this isn’t a wine tasting class. In this course, students learn about the principles of viticulture, enology, wine microbiology and chemistry, as well as marketing, regulation and the classification of wines from regions around the world.

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Science and Museums

Where: McGill University
The details: Partnering with the Redpath Museum in Montreal, students explore natural history collections, and learn how they are created, maintained and used in scientific research.

Life, Death, and Meaning

Where: Queen’s University
The details: The course looks at the notion if life really has a “meaning,” as well as the different philosophical interpretations of the significance of death and the meaning of life.

Dance Psychology

Where: University of Calgary
The details: Included in the university’s Faculty of Arts program, the class looks at how dance can impact things like perception, memory and learning.

Gal Pals: Women and Friendship

Where: University of Windsor
The details: A popular course on campus, this online and in-class course looks at a diverse range of female friendships. From gal pals in literature to friendships in the political field, this class will examine what these friendships mean for a larger audience.

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