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Uni offers 'Northernness' degree

Date 13 Jul 2007

University students will be able to 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 and is thought to be the first university course dedicated to Northernness.

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. 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 famous Black Dyke Brass Band, for their studies. However the course leaders have said that there will be no place for Northern cliches on the course.

Prof Collins 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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