Qualification name:American Studies with European Study
Duration:1 year full-time
Entry requirements:2.1(Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)
Other requirements:Applicants must have strong references and in some cases a transcript of marks and/or a sample of work must be provided. Candidates may also be interviewed.
IELTS:7.0 (with no less than 6.5 in any element)
TOEFL IBT:100 (with no less than 20 in speaking and 19 in any other element)
Part time details:2-3 years part-time
In the wake of “the American Century”, this is an exciting moment to be studying North America. To what extent will the US be forced to renegotiate political, financial and cultural relationships long characterised by dominance? How should the Obama Presidency be understood within the history of race relations and the struggle for civil rights? How will cultural responses to changing political, media, and built environments work within and against established forms and traditions?
In this context, the combination of the MA in American Studies at Nottingham with a semester at one of our European partner universities provides an exciting opportunity to engage a broad range of perspectives on and approaches to the study of North America. This is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary course, which enables you to focus on the study of the history, literature, politics, film and culture of the United States, as well as the literature, culture and society of Canada.
Small group teaching with a focus on student-led discussion fosters a collegiate MA cohort – encouraging intellectual exchange amongst a group of students with shared interests but with a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives.
A suite of core modules taken by all MA students is the centrepiece of the degree. Offered in the first semester is Researching Contemporary America, which will introduce postgraduate-level American Studies through a study of key controversies in the study of the recent United States. Offered in the second semester is Approaches to American Studies, which will acquaint students with the development of scholarly methods, theories, and approaches in American Studies. Students will also develop the Research Management and Personal Development Skills vital to postgraduate work.
In each term students will select from a range of optional modules offered within the Department and by related subject areas within the University. Recent option modules include American Enlightenment and American Gothic; Darwinism and Creationism in America; Fictions of America; Representing the South; Asian American Literature; the Civil War and its Origins; American Labor History; and Recent Queer Writing.
In the second semester (or either semester in the second year on the part-time option) students study at one of the following locations (dependent on places and suitable study options): Amsterdam, Berlin (the John F Kennedy Institute), Dublin (University College), Munich, Turin or Venice.
Completed over the summer period, the Dissertation provides the capstone of the degree and involves in-depth research supervised by a specialist tutor.
Dissertation supervision and core and optional module teaching are research-led. In line with the most recent work in the field, research and teaching in the School of American and Canadian Studies is informed by consideration of North America in transatlantic and hemispheric contexts and transnational and global perspective; by close attention to the production, circulation and reception of a broad range of ‘texts’; and by a commitment to self-reflexive interdisciplinarity.
Part-time students complete the same components, but spread over two or more years.
The Department of American and Canadian Studies is the strongest unit of its type in the country in terms of 'research power’ rating: one that takes into account both quality of research and the number of research-active staff who made returns to the Research Assessment Exercise 2008. According to the RAE, 25% of the school's returns were judged 4* or 'world-leading' in terms of originality, significance and rigour. A further 20% were of 3* quality ('internationally excellent')
It has a thriving postgraduate programme, and a teaching and research culture of the highest quality
The MA draws on a network of expert and experienced academics from disciplines across the University
The first semester is spent at Nottingham, undertaking an introduction to representative American Studies approaches, and an examination of contemporary American and European culture. Semester two is spent at a European University (one of the University of Nottingham's partner institutions in the Erasmus scheme).
In addition, you will complete module credits in the study of Europe.
Towards the end of the course, you will be expected to complete a dissertation. You will be able to refine your dissertation proposal during semester one before you are assigned a supervisor who is in a position to support your research and is familiar with your chosen specialism.
Please note that all module details are subject to change.
The MA American Studies with European Modules can be completed during one year of full-time study or over two to four years part-time.
The principal means of assessment for modules undertaken whilst at Nottingham in the first semester is the long essay (5,000 words). The 15,000-20,000 word dissertation is completed over the summer and submitted during the last week of the summer term.
Modules offered have included:
American Studies in the 20th Century
Researching Contemporary America
Research Management and Personal Development Skills
The Making of American Foreign Policy
Radical and Reform Movements in Modern America
Fictions of America
Queer Agency in North American Writing
Slavery, Capitalism and the Origins of the Civil War
US Soviet Relations 1917-1991
Gender and Sexuality in Recent Canadian Writing
American Sensations: Nineteenth Century Ante-Bellum Writing
Martin Luther King in Comparative Perspective
In the Midst of Wars: The US and S.E. Asia 1940 – 1968
African American Visual Cultures
First Nations Speak: Native Writing
Representing the South: Literature, Film and History
Living with the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons in American Cold War Strategy
Thought and Culture
Intellectuals and US Foreign Policy
Kennedy, Johnson and the Crisis of US Foreign Policy 1961-1968
Asian American Literature
American Crime Fiction
Irish America in Literature and Culture: A Special Relationship?
The Emergence of Mass Culture
Please note that modules offered vary from year to year.
For more details about our modules, please see the Module Catalogue.
If you choose to study with us, there are various sources of funding to which you can apply. Some are administered by the school, others by research bodies to which the school has links, and others by the University and central government sources. These opportunities are often specific to particular degree programmes, or to the fee-status of a student, so it is important to read all related information very carefully.
More information about funding can be found on the following web pages.
School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies funding pages
University of Nottingham Graduate School funding pages
University of Nottingham International Office funding pages
Overseas applicants may also be eligible for a range of school scholarships open to graduates from our North American partner institutions.
North American students may bring Stafford loans as Nottingham is a FAFSA approved institution (code G08920).
The MA in American Studies with European Study will give you the opportunity to study a subject that you are passionate about at a more detailed level than is possible during an undergraduate degree. As such, this is an ideal step into a future research qualification, such as a PhD.
As you have this option of developing your interests at a more specialised level, you will even be able to tap into current debates surrounding America’s global position. As such, this course offers excellent preparation for a career in journalism and the media; government service; diplomacy and NGO's.
The interdisciplinary focus of the course will also equip you with the skills and flexibility to adapt to a range of other professions within management, business, public services and law.
You will also be ideally placed to pursue a career or further study in North America or Canada.
Career Prospects and Employability
The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.