American_Studies_History

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

History and American Studies

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: TV71

What you'll study

First year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • 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.

You'll also choose one from:

  • Exploring the Past

    The discipline of history encompasses an almost limitless variety of subjects and approaches. This module introduces you to some of the key areas, moving at a fast pace through seven historical themes.

  • Representing the Past in Film

    What can we learn about the past by studying films that represent it? We examine the aims and nature of history (both 'academic' and 'popular') by using Hollywood, European and British independent films to analyse key historical issues and to investigate the differences between history and biography. This is not a film studies module: film is a prism that we use to help you develop a sophisticated, self-aware approach to history.

Optional modules

  • 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 your 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.

  • The Medieval World

    Between the 11th and 13th centuries, Europe experienced a transformation so revolutionary and profound that historians now refer to it as 'the making of Europe'. This module introduces the period which was so central to European history and culture.

  • Early Modern People and Their Worlds

    This module introduces the different ways that historians have sought to explain historical change in Europe – and Europe’s changing place in the world – from the late Middle Ages to the dawn of the modern era. It investigates a distinctive, exciting period of history which has done much to shape the world of today.

  • The Modern World

    The French Revolution of 1789 was arguably the political ‘big bang’ which created the modern world. You'll explore its legacy, as well as that of the Russian Revolution of 1917: an event which defined the 20th century in much the same way as the French Revolution shaped the 19th. 

  • Global Histories: the Non-Western World, 1500–Present

    Our histories are Euro-centric: they interpret events from a western perspective. But even though Europe became the world's primary arbiter between the 18th and 20th centuries, history is poly-centric – with many hubs of civilization, culture, trade and influence. This module presents a more balanced view of the world after 1492, when it's possible for the first time to speak of a true global history.

Second year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • Thinking About the Past

    This module focuses on historiography: the history of history. It deals with how the subject of history and historical writing have evolved from ancient times to the present day.

  • 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.

  • Communicating the Past: The Virtual Historian

    This module trains you as an apprentice ‘virtual’ historian, giving you the skills to undertake your own original research. But ‘virtual’ has a dual meaning here: you'll explore the availability of sources online and present a source in a context suited for the public by designing an illustrated blog post.

Optional modules

  • British Identity

    'Britishness' is in crisis. Who are we? The answer has changed radically in the last 150 years. A great imperial nation? A union of Anglo-Saxons and Celts? A country of immigrants? Or the wartime saviour of Europe? Brexit has brought these issues into sharp focus. This module might provide some answers.

  • Cities of Culture

    Rome, Amsterdam, St Petersburg, London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and New York. Not a list of holiday destinations, but cities at their key cultural moments from the 17th to the 20th centuries. We'll examine the visual culture of these cities in relation to their social, economic and political life.

  • 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.

  • US Cold War Culture: From Consensus to Dissent

    Understand how the Cold War shaped American Culture, and how American Culture shaped the Cold War. You'll explore the impact of events such as the invention of the atomic bomb, McCarthyism, and the Vietnam War, upon American film, media and society.

  • A Millennium of Persecution: Jews and Antisemitism in Europe, c.1000-1945

    This module offers a history of the persecution of European Jewry from the medieval to the modern eras. You'll explore an array of local sources – from the medieval archaeology of York and Lincoln to the archives of first-hand Holocaust testimonies held in our Wilberforce Institute here in Hull.

  • Venice

    Venice is probably the most beautiful and romantic place on Earth. We'll look at how it became that – and its visual culture in the Renaissance, when it was a major power and the crucial link between East and West. We place the art and architecture in its widest context – encompassing costume, glass, shopping, food, wine, music and carnival. Funding is available to support visits to Venice.

  • Power and Dominion: Expanding Rule in the Atlantic World, 1066-1865

  • “Ninety Per Cent of Everything”: Shipping and Society since 1650

    In noting that "ninety per cent of everything" transported in the world travels by sea, Rose George contends that "freight shipping has been no less revolutionary than the printing press or the internet, yet it is all but invisible". This module illuminates significant interactions between humanity and the world's oceans. It explores themes such as material and human cargoes, people and places, and control over sea space.

  • Into the Wild: US Environmental History from the 19th Century to the Present

    An up-to-the-minute exploration of American environmental history and current approaches to the global climate change crisis. Named 'Best Module' in the 2017 students' union Teaching Awards, which are voted for by our students.

  • Documenting America: Themes in American Nonfiction Film

  • 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.

  • Enlightenment, Reform and Revolution

    The 18th century as the period of the Enlightenment and the "age of revolutions" has often been considered the beginning of the "modern world". This module explores key concepts of the political, social and intellectual history of Europe between the "Glorious Revolution" and the fall of Napoleon.

  • America's Wars in Asia

    The USA fought four major wars in Eastern Asia during the twentieth century: the Philippine-American War 1899-1902, the Pacific War 1941-45, the Korean War 1950-53 and the Vietnam War 1965-72. More recently, it has become involved in military ventures in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. This module looks back over the troubled relationship between Asia and the USA from the perspective of the key concepts that have influenced US foreign policy in the 20th century.

  • Game of History

    Millions of people play games, in all of their forms, and many of them are played out in historical settings. Study this module to explore how games shape our understanding of the past, and how history shapes games.

  • Imperialism, Nationalism, and Decolonization: Britain in SE Asia, c. 1850-1950

    This module examines the development of British intellectual, economic, and political interests in South-East Asia from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century. The themes and topics will be grouped under two principal heads: 'imperial expansion and colonial rule' and 'Asian nationalism and imperial contraction'.

  • The Normans in Europe: War, Power, Identity and Culture

    This module traces the Normans’ evolution from a band of Viking raiders, through their consolidation of lordship in northern France, to their conquests in Britain, Southern Italy and the Holy Land. Along the way, we will explore the Normans’ origin myths and constructed identity, their methods of conquest and rule, their dealings with the church at home and on crusade, and the art, literature and social structures created amidst the interplay of cultures along the Norman frontiers of Europe.

  • East and West Germany from 'Zero Hour' to Reunification

    Study the diverging yet interlinked political histories of the two parts of Germany between 1945 and 1990. The reasons for the division of the country into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1949 will be examined, and special emphasis will be placed on key turning points and how reunification came about in 1990.

  • The British Empire

    The Victorian and Edwardian period is often described as an 'Age of Imperialism'. Yet what, exactly, does this description imply? Was British imperial expansion a symptom of aggressive self-confidence or of defensive uncertainty? Was the British Empire a 'cost' or a 'benefit' to Britain, and to Britain's dependencies? Did the First World War strengthen or weaken the British Empire?

Final year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Crisis and Conflict After the Cold War: Interpreting the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s

    The Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s destroyed a country of 20 million people. They shattered dreams of a peaceful utopia after the Cold War. And they gave rise to ideas about the 'clash of civilisations' which live on today. By studying controversies about the causes and course of the wars and their international context, you'll investigate how we make sense of the break-up of Yugoslavia and the legacies of the conflict.

  • Hazards and History: Disasters, Wars and Societies

    Disasters and wars are usually only seen as events that cause death and destruction and there is little attempt at theorising them in an historical context as significant causal factors in the shaping of human societies. In this module you'll study how disasters are never really “natural” but are the outcome of interplay between physical hazards and vulnerable human populations.

  • 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's had on your own identity.

  • ​“Mi Raza Primero!” Mexican American History and Culture​

    This module explores the crucial role that Chicana/os (the term for Mexican-Americans born in the US) have played in US history and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. You'll analyse several topics and themes, using a different cultural text each week. For example, you might discuss novels by Sandra Cisneros, poetry and memoir by Luis J Rodriguez, the murals of San Diego's Chicano Park, photography and art by Harry Gamboa Jr, or films like Mi Vida Loca and American Me.

  • America on Trial

  • First World War

  • A Racial History of Modern Britain, 1793-1999

    From the Napoleonic Wars to Brexit, a constant flow of migrants to our shores has shaped Britain. Through seminars, lectures and a field trip to Hull's historic docklands, this module reveals the documentary legacy of successive patterns of prejudice.

  • The Third Reich, 1933-1945

    This module explores the domestic and foreign policies of Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. It seeks to explain how and why one of the most cultured nations on Earth – this ‘land of poets and thinkers’ – descended to such depths of barbarity within a few short years.

  • Conspiracy: the Paranoid Style in American Politics, Culture and Society

    Were the Moon landings faked? Was President Obama really born in the USA? Who killed JFK? Such questions, once the product of a paranoid fringe, now play a defining role in American political life. You'll study the history of conspiracy theories in the US and their impact on American politics and society.

  • 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, or figures as diverse as Abraham Lincoln and 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's spawned. You'll get an overview of the key debates and concepts in American prison studies, and you'll study new (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.

  • Imperial Colonies: Reinterpreting the American Revolution

    This module looks at the real story of the American Revolution and dispels the myth that it was fought by American ‘patriots’ against the tyranny of George III. You'll discover how the real imperial powers in America were the colonies themselves, which were always largely independent from Britain, and how the conflict of the 1770s was about maintaining that independence, by transforming colonies into states.

  • The Anglo-American ‘special relationship’ and the Middle East, 1945-1973

    The module examines Anglo-American relations in the Middle East from the end of World War Two to the Yom Kippur War. The Middle East has been one the world's most unstable and conflict-ridden territories since 1945. It's an ideal test case for examining the dynamics of the ‘special relationship’ – not least because Britain and the United States both had strong, identifiable interests in the region.

  • Commanding the Oceans: Seapower and British Ascendancy, 1688-1815

    You will study the maritime dimensions of Britain's economic, imperial and military ascendancy. You'll consider seapower in its broadest sense, starting from the assumption that the 'wooden world' of the Navy and the wider world interacted closely at almost every point.

  • Medieval Popular Culture Then and Now

    Discover the lives of medieval people and medieval popular culture in England in the period c. 1350-1500. You'll gain an understanding of the conditions that culminated in the revolts and rebellions of the late 14th century. Along the way, we will look at modern popular representations of the late medieval era (e.g. Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Terry Jones’s Medieval Lives) to examine the emphases given to representations of the medieval intended for popular consumption.

  • Britain and the Slave Trade

    The African slave trade has shaped fundamentally the modern Atlantic world. Explore the history of British involvement in it, and the process by which the trade was abolished in 1807.

  • A Continent of Kings and Queens: Courtly Politics in Early Modern Europe

    You will be introduced to important themes in the history of monarchy, courts and ceremonial, which will reflect the variety and breadth of court studies. In particular, it highlights the role of courts as prime sites of patronage and “policy-making”, and the role of ceremonial as a key feature of early modern politics.

"There's a lot of history surrounding Hull, and this influences the modules you study. Once I realised that, I knew that I'd be in the ideal place for my course."

Holly Cockerham Watch Video

"To me, it was a no-brainer. You offer me a course where I get to learn about America and go there... I thought, this is it."

Hannah Townsend Watch Video

"I also wanted to travel to America for a year, and this course offered me both the British University experience and the American College experience."

Connie Fredrickson Watch Video

More about this course

Variety is at the heart of our vision of history here at Hull. Historians are just as likely nowadays to study how people lived and loved in times gone by as they are to probe the stories of rulers and battles. At Hull, we recognise history in all of its diversity.

With our exciting choice of modules, you can follow your interests in social, cultural, art, global, indigenous, military, maritime and economic history, as well as archaeology. Our programmes are broad in conception, ranging from the Iron Age to the present day, so students are ideally placed to explore the key themes of continuity and change. The programme is delivered by active researchers and authors whose professional historical expertise underpins the modules they provide.

By placing America under the microscope, you will achieve a deep understanding of its history, culture and society. This understanding will be augmented through engagement with the historical and global influences upon America.  American Studies develops intellectual flexibility by providing a multidimensional programme with a wide variety of  approaches source materials, including non-traditional materials such as art, music, and film.

You’ll have access to a wealth of resources, both online and in the magnificently refurbished University Library. Specialist study resources are also available at the pioneering Hull History Centre, the distinctive Maritime Historical Studies Centre, and the world-leading Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE).

Teaching and Learning
Scheduled
Placement
Independent

First year

17%

83%

Second year

12%

88%

Final year

15%

85%

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

9%

10%

81%

Second year

25%

13%

62%

Final year

7%

12%

81%

Our teaching staff

Ranked the best in the country for student satisfaction in the 2018 Complete University Guide.

Largest exchange programme in the UK, offering a full year of US study and more than 30 destinations. 

Find out more

History at Hull scored 96% for student satisfaction in the 2017 National Student Survey, while Archaeology was top with a perfect 100%.

Follow your interests in the social, cultural, art, indigenous, military, maritime and economic history of Britain, Europe, and the wider world.

Entry requirements

2019 Tariff points: 120 points. Points can be from any qualification on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from 

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications

UCAS has changed the way that qualifications earn points under the Tariff system. Please click here to work out your estimated points and to find out more about how the University of Hull considers qualifications.

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 30 points
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass with 45 credits at merit

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

At a glance

For this course, you'll need...

120 UCAS points

Points can be made up of a variety of qualifications. Calculate your points here.

We welcome a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not be listed.

Many of our courses offer a Foundation Year for applicants without the qualifications for direct entry on to the degree.

If you have any questions about our entry requirements or the tariff, please contact admissions or call 01482 466100.

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.

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £9,250 per year*
  • International: £14,000 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation.

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.

 

Future Prospects

Hull has a distinguished track record in the area of graduate employability. Employers value the skills that students acquire through studying History. Our degree programme will enhance your abilities to analyse complex data and present clear and coherent arguments in essays, presentations and classroom discussions. These skills are readily transferable to most areas of work.

Because our students are encouraged to be flexible and develop skills across a range of subjects they find several doors are open to them. We have even produced authors, actors, massage therapists and football executives. One of our recent graduates won a fully funded prestigious scholarship to the University of Wyoming.

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.

As a Hull graduate, you will continue to have access to the University Careers Service, which provides a wealth of advice and information on the world of work, as well as maintaining close links with local, regional, national and international graduate employers.