Agency: Would you get a master’s degree in the Beatles? In the band’s hometown, a postgraduate program aims to turn fans into students of the Fab Four’s legacy by studying their sociological, historical and economic impact.
As a new semester began last week at the University of Liverpool, 11 eager students, ages 21 to 67, trooped into class to start the program. One wore a Yoko Ono T-shirt, while another had a yellow submarine tattooed on his arm, Alex Marshall writes in The Times. Two had named their sons Jude, after one of the band’s most famous songs.
Academics have studied the Beatles for decades, and the band is big business locally: Liverpool’s association with the band was worth over $110 million a year, a 2014 study found. Tourists visit sites named in the band’s songs and venues where the group played.
Two professional tour guides in the course said they hoped the program would help them attract customers. “The tour industry in Liverpool is fierce,” one said.
One student, Alexandra Mason, recently completed a law degree but decided to change track when she heard about the Beatles course. “I never really wanted to be a lawyer,” she said. “In my mind, I’ve gone from the ridiculous to the sublime.”