The Beatles remain one of the most popular musical groups in the world more than 40 years after they burst onto the scene.

The music of John, Paul, George and Ringo became available on iTunes in November and millions of songs have been sold worldwide so far.

Now the Fab Four and their music are the subject of a continuing education course at the University of Calgary.

"There's a certain philosophical aspect to their songs that I think really touched a generation and really many people thought differently because of their music and the thought-provoking ideas expressed in their music," says instructor James Istvanffy.

Istvanffy is a historian and has been passionate about the Beatles since he was a child.

In the multi-media interactive course, called The Beatles, students examine the band's music and lyrics.

Students focus primarily on the 1960s, the height of Beatlemania.

"The sixties was a big time of cultural upheaval anyway but I think it would be impossible really to understand the history of the 1960s without understanding the Beatles and their impact on culture," Istvanffy says.

Some of the course's students, like Judy McGaffrey, grew up during that period.

"I don't know if I was a fan or if it was just part of my life because they were definitely there and I certainly listened to the music and enjoyed the music," McGaffrey says.

Istvanffy says there should also be courses on icon Bob Dylan and the British band the Rolling Stones.

The next 10-week Beatles course starts Jan. 26, and there is still room in the class.

More information can be found on the University of Calgary's continuing education website.