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Undergraduate Available in Clearing

BA American Studies

Learn about the world’s leading superpower. And spend a year experiencing American college life through our exchange programme.​

Key information

Study mode

Full-time

Course length

4 years

Entry requirements

112 points

A Level grades: BBC

UCAS code

T701

Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

The Civil War. The Cold War. Hollywood. Disney. Trump and his Tweets. There's nowhere in the world quite like the USA. And if you're fascinated by this vibrant, unique nation, then we're the university for you.

Our friendly, approachable academics are international experts in the field of American studies. You can specialise in history, literature or culture – just embrace the rich diversity of the subject.

With the extra confidence, independence and maturity that a year in America brings, you'll be a desirable candidate for all kinds of employers after graduation.

Apply now through clearing

01482 466100 Apply online

6 reasons to study American Studies at Hull

  1. Opt to spend a full year at a US university
  2. Extensive choice of US destinations
  3. 3rd in UK for overall student satisfaction*
  4. Study topics that the world is talking about
  5. UK pioneers in teaching American studies
  6. Follow your passions – wide choice of modules

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    American History – Birth of a Nation

    Discover the triumphs and tragedies of American history before 1900: The struggle for independence. The rise and fall of slavery. The winners and losers of westward expansion. And the growth of American industrial and political power on the world stage.

    American History: the American Century

    This module surveys American history from the 1900s to Trump: a period when the United States came to dominate the world in political, economic, cultural and military terms. Analysing pivotal events, figures and themes, we'll seek to understand how and why the USA became the world's biggest superpower.

    Transformative Texts of American Literature

    You'll study a selection of American novels, plays and poems that changed not only American literature but how we think about crucial social issues. You'll look at texts in their cultural contexts, examining their themes alongside song lyrics, interviews and social media.

    American Film and Society

    You will explore the relationship between Hollywood cinema and American society from the 1930s to the present day, considering how films of different genres and periods have tackled themes such as race, gender, sexuality, class and disability.

    America in Theory

    ‘America in Theory’ provides an overview of critical theories that can enhance American Studies students’ understanding of culture, history, and society, and offers the means to apply these ideas through discussion of case studies. For example, we explore Feminist readings of American television programmes, and use critical race theories to examine Gangsta Rap.

    American Revolutionary Readings

    You'll study some of the greatest works of American literature from the founding of the nation to the start of the 20th century. You'll examine these in the context of religion, folklore, women's rights, slavery and the birth of the modern city – producing new perspectives on classic novels and short stories.

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Introduction to the American Year Abroad

    This module helps to prepare you for your year abroad. It guides you through applying, demystifies the American university system, identifies and addresses your concerns, and broadens your cultural awareness of the US.

    Contemporary America in Context

    This module considers the history behind each week's news stories. To debunk the myths of changing social and political events, we need to dive deeper to understand the narratives behind the news stories themselves.

  • Optional

    The Fire Next Time: From Slavery to Civil Rights

    Explore African-American history and culture from the arrival of the first kidnapped Africans to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. You'll think about freedom, citizenship, justice, protest and resistance while studying the work of Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells, W E B Du Bois and Fannie Lou Hamer.

    American Alternative Cinema

    Go beyond the Hollywood mainstream with case studies including independent, cult, exploitation, trash and underground cinema.

    American Animation History

    In this module, you'll develop a deeper understanding of the history of American animation by taking an in-depth look at the genre.

    Understanding America

    This module will provide you with a general introduction to the political culture and institutions of the United States, and the environment in which those institutions operate. You'll learn about the USA’s international role and behaviour and the complex relationship between the domestic and international aspects of American politics.

    New York City in Culture

    New York is the perhaps most visually recognisable of all American cities, but is also arguably the cultural capital of the nation, and has been home and inspiration to countless great artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers. This module takes an interdisciplinary look at New York as the setting and subject of many works of different media and genres.

    Musical-Made America

    One of the most distinctively ‘American’ genres, the musical is often dismissed as pure escapism.  Rehabilitating the genre by interrogating how ‘escapist entertainment’ actually works, this module explores how celebrated Hollywood and Broadway productions from The Jazz Singer to Hamilton have created performative spaces for representing and re-imagining America’s sexual, racial and political identities.

    Reagan’s Polarised America; a Cultural Study of the USA in the 1980s

    This module takes a Cultural Studies theoretical approachto look at the tumultuous events of the 80s as a means to understanding America today. You will engage with popular cultural texts to develop an understanding of American identities, politics and representations, such as music by artists like Madonna, photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe, movies such asDie Hard, comics such as Watchmen, and “Televangelical” shows. 

Year abroad modules

 You can spend a full year of study in the US, with over 30 campuses to choose from – ranging from California, New York and Maine to Arizona, Florida and Illinois.

You study six modules determined by the choices available at your host university, with no restrictions on subject matter, and write a reflective research report on your experiences.

Final year modules

You can spend a full year of study in the US, with over 30 campuses to choose from – ranging from California, New York and Maine to Arizona, Florida and Illinois.

You study six modules determined by the choices available at your host university, with no restrictions on subject matter, and write a reflective research report on your experiences.

  • Compulsory

    Dissertation (American Studies)

    The dissertation is the culmination of the American Studies degree. It is a year-long module that involves extensive research and consultation in the preparation of a large-format essay - a complex, in-depth analysis of an aspect of American society, history, or culture.

  • Optional

    The Globalisation of American Culture: International Perspectives on America as a Cultural Superpower

    Is the world simply becoming ever more 'Americanised'? Or can countries and peoples resist the USA’s 'cultural imperialism'? This module explores the impact of Americanisation, examining how cultures have appropriated, transformed, rejected, embraced and imagined America. You'll also consider the influence it has had on your own identity.

    American History by Hollywood

    From D W Griffith’s 1915 epic, The Birth of a Nation onwards, Hollywood filmmakers have drawn upon the history of the United States as a bountiful source of stories, characters and adventures. Exploring cinematic representations of events such as the American Revolution or the Civil Rights Movement, and figures from Abraham Lincoln to Jesse James, this module compares Hollywood’s version of history with what historical courses say ‘really’ happened in the past.

    Doin’ Time: American Prison Culture of the 20th and 21st Centuries

    This module explores one of the world's largest prison systems and the cultural responses it has spawned. You'll get an overview of the key debates and concepts in American prison studies, and you'll study new cultural and pop-cultural formats that you might not have encountered before. We'll discuss incarcerated gangster rappers, poetry from Guantanamo Bay and The Shawshank Redemption, as well as visiting a local prison.

    Disney Studies

    An in-depth exploration of the history and impact of Disney's global entertainment empire.

    Crossing the Line: Frontiers in the Literature of America

    Explore literary representations of border regions in the Americas. You'll examine how cultural exchange, interaction and migration have shaped the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean by reading texts that cross lines between cultures and produce new ways of thinking about national identities.

    The Civil War in American History and Culture

    This module explores the seismic impact of the American Civil War on US politics, society and culture. Besides learning about the conflict and its outcomes, you'll consider its continuing and contested legacy, from the representation of Abraham Lincoln in film to the debate over Confederate monuments.

    Telling the Truth: American Documentary Culture from the Muckrakers to Fake News

    Explore how photographers and filmmakers have documented American society from the early 20th century to the present day. It's an interdisciplinary module with a visual culture focus that looks at documentary texts in many formats, including newspapers, magazines, films, photography, books, websites and social media.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Overall workload

192 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

1008 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

9%
91%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

240 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

960 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

16%
84%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

204 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

996 hours

Work placement Placement hours typically include time spent on a work placement, studying abroad, or field trips.

Indicative assessment proportions

100%
  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

216 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

984 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

8%
92%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Connie_Fredrickson_American_Studies
Connie Fredrickson American Studies

Why I chose American Studies at Hull

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Entry Requirements

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

During Clearing we look at all of your qualifications and experience, not just your academic grades – you’re more than just letters on a page!

Some courses still do have requirements such as previous study in your subject area, or specific GCSE grades. Others have additional requirements such as an interview or a satisfactory DBS check.

Please call us now on 01482 462236 to find out if we have a course that’s suitable for you.

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

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. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

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.

Our teaching staff

Click and drag

Take a tour of the facilities

American Studies students enjoy 24/7 access to the recently-restored Brynmor Jones Library which contains more than a million books.

Fees & funding

Home / EU

£9,250 per year*

International

£14,000 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

Attainment
Scholarship

If you achieve

112 UCAS tariff points

from three A levels or equivalent, you could receive a reward of

£1,200

Find out more

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Broadcasting
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Public Relations
  • Politics

Spending a full year in America will boost your confidence, independence and maturity - desirable attributes for all kinds of employers.

The cultural awareness and transferable skills you’ll pick up will help you develop as a person and be useful in a variety of roles.

Some of our alumni can be found in senior positions in the American Embassy and in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; another is the President of the Foundation for International Education.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

*Ranked third in the UK for this subject with a 96% overall satisfaction score (National Student Survey 2019, HEIs)