First-Ever Beatles Master's Degree Bestowed at Liverpool Hope University

8:21 PM PST 01/29/2011 by David Ciminelli
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The Beatles

Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy is the first graduate of the M.A. program that was launched in 2009.

"Penny Lane," "Michelle" and "Eleanor Rigby" must feel like old chums to Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy, who has become the first person in the world to earn a Masters degree in the study of The Beatles.

Two years ago, Lu Zahalan-Kennedy, a former Miss Canada finalist, moved to the birthplace of the Fab Four to study at Liverpool Hope University, which launched the Master of Arts course "The Beatles - Popular Music and Society" in 2009.

"I am so proud of my achievement," Zahalan-Kennedy told Yahoo News. "The course was challenging, enjoyable and it provided a great insight into the impact the Beatles had and still have to this day across all aspects of life."

The Beatles M.A. program examines the significance of the British quartet's music and how it helped to define popular music and culture. It is comprised of four distinct divisions "Texts and Contexts: Understanding Popular Music," "Topics in History: Liverpool," "Musicology and the Beatles," and "Historical and Critical Approaches."

Zahalan-Kennedy plans to return to Canada and resume her job as a teacher in Popular Music studies.

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