While many colleges and universities in the US and around the world offer a class in ‘The History of Rock and Roll’ or ‘The Beatles’ in their music or popular culture departments, Liverpool Hope University was the world's first to offer a graduate level degree program concentrating on the musical and social impact of the Beatles.
Nearly 1,000 applications from around the world were reviewed ("Some were just plain looney," recalls Dr. Brocken). Twelve students ranging from their mid-20s to late 50s, from North and South America, up in Glasgow and just down the road in Liverpool, an attorney, educators, musicians, and a librarian began classes on the creative campus near the City Centre (and the haunted St. Francis Xavier's Church) in September 2009.
Those looking to spend time in a pub swapping stories of The Fab Four were in for a rude awakening as the course required extensive reading in history, musicology, research methodology, as well as the submission of a lengthy dissertation of original research.
Dissertation topics included a contextual analysis of the Beatles' reception in America in 1964 and a in-depth study of the circumstances behind the BBC's world's first global broadcast, Our World, which featured the Beatles recording All You Need Is Love surrounded by friends and family, including members of the London Symphony Orchestra, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Keith Moon, as well as plenty of streamers and balloons.
The Beatles MA program was concluded when Dr. Brocken retired after guiding it for ten years.