Welsh university offers extraterrestrial degree

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LONDON (AFP) - A British university has launched a three-year degree course in the hunt for life beyond the planet Earth.

The University of Glamorgan this week launched what it said was Britain's first undergraduate course in astrobiology, the search for extraterrestrial life.

It cited the recent excitement over the possibility of finding life on Saturn's moon Titan as an example of how the search for life beyond Earth is a "major driving force" behind current space programs.

About half a dozen people enrolled this week in the degree course, which will encompass topics like "Exploring the Sky," "Vertebrate Zoology," "Science and the Media," and "Life in the Universe", the university said.

Course leader Professor Mark Brake said there was massive interest in the topic. About 100 people in the local community are studying aspects of the subject.

Though the course will examine popular culture, including films like "ET," students will also study obscure texts, work in laboratories and conduct stargazing.

"People's interest in quite serious and scientific sober issues is often sparked by popular culture," Brake said.

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