the-white-house

Undergraduate

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.

Six 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. 

    American History: the American Century

    From the 1900s to Trump, you'll analyse pivotal events, figures and themes to learn how the USA came to dominate the world in political, economic, cultural and military terms.

    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. 

    American Film and Society

    Trace the relationship between Hollywood cinema and US society, considering how films of different genres and periods tackle themes like race, gender, sexuality, class and disability.

    America in Theory

    Enhance your understanding of US culture, history, and society. We'll explore feminist readings of American TV shows, and use critical race theories to examine gangsta rap.

    American Revolutionary Readings

    Study great American literary works 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 and slavery. 

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Introduction to the American Year Abroad

    This module prepares you for your year abroad. It guides you through applying, demystifies the college system, addresses any concerns, and broadens your awareness of the US.

    Contemporary America in Context

    Get the history behind each week's news. To debunk the myths of changing social and political events, we dive deeper to understand the narratives underneath the stories. 

  • 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. 

    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

    An introduction to the political culture and institutions of the USA. You'll consider America's international role and the relationship between its domestic and international policies.

    New York City in Culture

    Perhaps the most recognisable American city and arguably the USA's cultural capital. This module looks at New York as the setting and subject of works of different media and genre.

    Musical-Made America

    The musical is a distinctively American genre. Examine how Hollywood and Broadway have created spaces to represent and re-imagine the USA's sexual, racial and political identities. 

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

    Looking at the turbulent events of the 80s can help us understand today's USA. You'll study popular cultural texts to shed light on American identities, politics and representations. 

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)

    This year-long module involves extensive research and consultation in preparing a large-format essay: an 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 becoming ever more 'Americanised'? Or can countries and peoples resist the USA’s 'cultural imperialism'? This module explores the impact of Americanisation.

    American History by Hollywood

    Film-makers have long used the history of the USA as a source of stories and characters. This module compared Hollywood's version with with what historical sources say 'really' happened.

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

    Get an overview of the key debates and concepts in American prison studies as we explore one of the world's largest prison systems and the cultural responses it's spawned. 

    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

    Examine how cultural exchange, interaction and migration have shaped the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean by studying texts that cross lines between cultures.

    The Civil War in American History and Culture

    Explore the American Civil War's seismic impact on US politics, society and culture. You'll learn about the conflict and its outcomes, as well as its continuing - and contested - legacy. 

    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, on a module with a focus on visual culture.

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.

1,008 hours

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

Indicative assessment proportions

100%
  • 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

100%
  • 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

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

100%
  • 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

Points can be from any qualifications 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 

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 28 points.
  • Access to HE Diploma: pass with minimum of 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.

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 and funding

Home / EU

£9,250 per year (subject to approval)*

International

£14,500 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)