Dundee University launches degree in comic books

image captionDennis the Menace is one of the many comic characters from Dundee

A Scottish university is to offer the UK's first degree in comics.

Dundee University said the one-year Masters in Comic Studies would be launched by its English department in September 2011.

The degree built on "strong local traditions" in the comic book industry, the university said.

Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan and the Broons, the inventions of Dundee-based publishers DC Thomson and Co, were all born in the city.

Graduates on the course will study the impact of comics on the worlds of art, literature and popular culture.

The degree programme will be led by Dr Chris Murray, one of the UK's leading authorities on comics, and editor of the Studies in Comics journal.

Practical workshops

Dr Murray said: "This is a very exciting time for comics scholarship, and I am delighted to be able to offer this postgraduate course on comics.

"This is a unique opportunity to give this important medium the attention it deserves, and to allow those with an interest in comics to study it in detail."

One of the modules will look at autobiographical comics and another examines the relationship between international comics cultures.

The university said students with an interest in the creative side of comics - as a writer or artist - would be able to enhance their practical skills, with workshops on script writing and artwork.

And a PhD in comic studies will also be available to those who have completed the MLitt course.

Dr Murray added: "Employability is an important consideration for any postgraduate programme, and it lies at the heart of what we aim to do with this course.

"There will be practical advice on publishing and developing a career as a comics scholar, writer or artist, and we hope to arrange work placements for students."

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