Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

American Studies research degrees

Postgraduate - Research


Looking for a funded PhD?

Check out our current PhD scholarship opportunities now

About our programmes

Hull pioneered American Studies in Britain. After more than half a century, American Studies at Hull has one of the finest collections of American resources of any British university. This is a superb archive for postgraduate research students on our PhD courses. Our academic staff have distinguished national and international reputations for teaching and research, and, like the University of Hull as a whole, American Studies at Hull is also known as one of the friendliest departments in the country.

One of our strengths is our ability to carry our research across disciplinary borders best illustrated through recent PhD projects such as 'How Can One Tell the Truth About My Lai?', which examined how historians, novelists, journalists, filmmakers, and the US Army sought to ‘explain' the notorious Vietnamese massacre of 1968. Another recent project drew upon cultural studies, gender studies and political history to analyse Cold War history to explore 'Masculinity and Myth in Marvel Comics, 1961-74'. Many of our successful PhD candidates have published books or have gone on to become lecturers at universities including Cambridge, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bangor, Manchester and Northumbria. Others have entered teaching, publishing, arts administration and broadcasting.


Open for admission in 2018/19

Full time Part time
PhD 4 years 7 years

Start in January, June or September


Our academic experts welcome applications for postgraduate research across a broad range of topics. 

Our principal areas of historical expertise include:

  • gang culture and the incarceral society
  • history on film
  • Mexican-American history
  • the African-American experience during and after
  • the Civil Rights movement
  • the Cold War era
  • war and 20th-century American society

In literary and cultural studies, our main areas of research activity include:

  • cinematic and televisual narratives
  • conspiracy culture at the turn of the millennium
  • modern American poetry
  • Modernist and Postmodernist aesthetics
  • the racing and gendering of contemporary American culture
  • 20th-century visual art (painting, photography, sculpture and architecture)
  • radical culture

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £4,260 (full-time) 
  • Home/EU: £2,130 (part-time)
  • International: £14,000 (full-time)

Please note, fees for International applicants for 2018/19 have not yet been confirmed, and may increase.

These fees are for all research degree programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit

For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

The University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of modules (both generic and discipline-specific) to support research students through their programme.

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The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help.

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The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential.

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain to slavery.

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Entry requirements

Students with a BA degree of first or second upper class or equivalent in any discipline of the Arts and Humanities can apply.

Applicants for PhD degrees are asked to submit a detailed proposal for research (a few pages of description and a brief indicative bibliography) together with examples of their written work (approximately 5,000 words on any pertinent subject). At least two members of staff with appropriate expertise will read this material independently and confer, to ensure that proposals for research are viable from the outset.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.