American Studies and Latin American Studies BA


Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:TR7K
Qualification:BA Jt Hons
Type and duration:4 year UG (year 3 out)
Qualification name:American Studies and Latin American Studies
UCAS code
UCAS code
American Studies and Latin American Studies | BA Jt Hons
4 years full-time (available part-time)
A level offer
Required subjects
none specific 
IB score
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


This course provides you with the opportunity to study Spanish from beginner's level, combining the intensive languages programme with study of the culture, film, history, literature and politics of Latin America, Spain and the United States of America.
Read full overview

This course provides you with the opportunity to combine the learning of the Spanish language with study of the history, culture, politics, literature and film of North America, Spanish-America and, where appropriate, British and Iberian histories and cultures. By examining different parts of the Americas – the United States, Canada and Latin America – alongside one another, the programme provides you with a unique opportunity to broaden the scope of 'American studies' and to begin to view America in a hemispheric perspective. You will spend your third year abroad.

Year one 

You will be introduced to the basic themes and events of American history, and the key authors and texts of American literature from European settlement to the present. In Spanish, you will begin a structured course in the language to take you from beginners' to degree level and you will also be introduced to aspects of Spanish American history, culture and art.

Year two

You will broaden your study by undertaking a survey of North American Regions, complementing the first-year surveys of history and literature, and by selecting specialised modules to enable you to study certain periods, events, authors or texts in more depth. You will develop your knowledge of Spanish to prepare you for the year abroad and deepen and widen your knowledge of more aspects of Spanish American history, culture, cinema and literature.

Year three

Usually spent in Spanish America either studying in a higher education institution, working as an assistant in a school or on a work placement.

For more information see our Year Abroad page.

Year four

You will continue and extend the process of specialisation. You will write a dissertation on a subject of your choice, supervised by staff at Nottingham, who are active researchers in your field. The dissertation provides a valuable opportunity for multidisciplinary study and also provides students who wish to combine the joint elements of the degree with a unique opportunity to examine the Americas in comparative and hemispheric perspective. You will select from a wide variety of advanced level modules in both subject areas, while continuing to develop your Spanish language.

More information

See also the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.


Entry requirements

A levels: ABB

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies.

Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS.

Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

Alternative qualifications

We recognise that potential students have a wealth of different experiences and follow a variety of pathways into higher education, so we treat applicants with alternative qualifications (besides A-levels and the International Baccalaureate) as individuals, and accept students with a range of less conventional qualifications including:

  • Access to HE Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • BTEC Extended Diploma

This list is not exhaustive, and we consider applicants with other qualifications on an individual basis. The entry requirements for alternative qualifications can be quite specific; for example you may need to take certain modules and achieve a specified grade in those modules. Please contact us to discuss the transferability of your qualification.

For more information, please see the alternative qualifications page.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  


Typical Year One Modules

Beginners' Spanish Language
This module is designed to take students from ab initio level (absolute beginners) to a level of written and aural comprehension, writing and speaking skills roughly commensurate with A-level. At the end of the course, students should be able to comprehend and respond to written and aural texts over a comprehensive range of current affairs, cultural and every day topics and engage in everyday social conversation. You will have five hours of classes per week for this module.
Introduction to Literature in Spanish
You will read a series of key texts from Spain and Spanish America. Its purpose is to impart an essential body of literary-historical and cultural knowledge relating to the main periods, genres and conventions of literature in Spanish from the Middle Ages to the modern period. You will spend two hours per week in lectures and seminars studying for this module.
Spain and Portugal in the Twentieth Century
In this module you will study the evolution of Spanish and Portuguese history, politics and culture from 1898 to the present day. You will be encouraged to draw links between the Portuguese and Spanish experiences, and place both countries’ experience of the twentieth century within the broader context of European and wider global history in this period. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the development of both countries from a (perceived) position of ‘difference’ and ‘backwardness’ to relatively prosperous, economically developed and culturally diverse members of the European Union. You will spend two hours in classes each week.
Canadian Literature, Film and Culture
An introduction to Canadian cultural studies, you’ll examine selected literary, film and visual texts from the twentieth century. Topics studied will include Native culture, the emergence of cultural nationalism, popular culture, and Canada’s relationship to the U.S. You’ll spend around 2 hours per week in lectures and seminars, and 2.5 hours per week in workshops, studying this module.



American History 1: 1607-1900
You will be provided with a broad introduction to the history of the United States of America, from its colonial origins to the end of the nineteenth century. You will spend around 4 hours per week in lectures and seminars studying this module. 

American History 2: 1900-Present Day

You’ll examine the history of the United States in the twentieth century, assessing changes and developments in the lives of the American people who have faced the challenges of prosperity, depression, war, liberal reform, political conservatism, minority protests, multicultural awareness, and international power. Around 4 hours per week will be spent in lectures and seminars studying this module.



American Literature 1: American Literature to 1900
An introductory survey of major American literature, exploring a wide range of nineteenth- century American writers of fiction and poetry. You will also address questions raised about the nature of the 'canon' raised by recent critics.  Around four hours per week will be spent in lectures and seminars studying this module.


American Literature 2: American literature 1900 -
Present day
A general survey of American Literature from 1900 to the present, you’ll study a selection of American fiction, poetry and drama, with a variety of writers considered. Examples may include: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Gerald Vizenor, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, Eugene O'Neill and David Mamet. You’ll spend around 4 hours per week in lectures and seminars for this module.

Typical Year Two Modules

North American Regions

This module will deploy the concept of"region" and, more broadly, “place” to explore key North American texts - primarily drawn from the spheres of film, television and literature. The notion of the "regional" will be applied expansively as well as conventionally to incorporate everything from the urban to the suburban/exurban; border territories; the transnational. Possible areas of study may include the American West; the Pacific North-West; New York City; the black inner city “ghetto”; "mountain" people and the Appalachians; Hispanic-America; first nations; French-Canada; Texas; Chicago; New Orleans; California; and the transnational impact of extensive US Military occupations (post-war Japan; South Vietnam; twenty-first century Iraq).

America in the 1960s
You will be introduced to debates surrounding the thought, culture and politics of America in the 1960s by examining the reflection of key issues in intellectual documents, from political speeches to acid-rock music, film documentaries to manifestos. If you study this module you will spend around three hours per week in lectures and seminars.
The CIA and US Foreign Policy 1945-2008
You will examine the role played by the Central Intelligence Agency in the development and implementation of US foreign policy from 1945 to the present, considering its contribution in terms of both intelligence analysis and covert operations, from the Cold War to the war on terror. Around three hours per week will be spent in lectures and seminars in this module.

African American Protest Literature
You will examine protest movements from the nineteenth century to the present day, studying, fiction, drama, speeches, pamphlets, autobiographies, photographs and more. From abolitionism to contemporary activism, voices of resistance that pointed the nation towards a better collective future will be considered. You will spend around three hours in seminars and workshops per week, and will also visit exhibitions, protest sites, and guest talks by protest writers and activists.
Lengua Española I 
This module will combine revision and extension of grammar with intensive exposure to a variety of types and registers of written and spoken Spanish, concentrating on appropriate thematic areas. It will consolidate and build on basic written, aural and oral language skills, and include preparatory work for the Year Abroad. For this module you will have three hours of classes per week.
Metropolis, Empire and Republics
This module examines the evolution of Spain, Portugal and their American colonies in the four centuries of Iberian colonialism between 1492 and the movements for independence in Latin America in the 19th Century.  In the first half of the module you will consider the development and nature of medieval and Renaissance Iberia and the second half of the module examines the nature of society in pre-Columbian America, after which students are introduced to the processes of discovery, conquest and early colonisation. For this module you will have a combination of lectures and seminars each week.
Hispanic Visual Culture
In this module you will be given and general introduction to cinema and painting in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds. In the first semester you will be introduced to painting in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America from the late 15th century to the early 19th century with an emphasis on how to analyse paintings and understand the styles and contexts from which paintings emerge. In the 2nd semester you will examine contemporary cinema from Spain and Latin America addressing questions of style, socio-historical context and narrative context. In this module you will have one 2-hour class per week.
Year Three - Study Abroad

Usually spent in Spanish America either studying in a higher education institution, working as an assistant in a school or on a work placement.

For more information see our Year Abroad page.


Typical Year Four Modules

Dissertation (American and Canadian Studies)
You will undertake an in-depth study into a chosen subject within American and Canadian Studies and produce either a 6,500 or a 12,500 word dissertation.
Prohibition America
You will explore the United States' experiment with Prohibition during the period 1918 to 1933, with particular focus on crime, disorder and policing. The rise of organized crime will be considered, along with gangsters and G-men, the expanding crime fighting role of the state, the federal crime crusade of the early 1930s and the inglorious end of Prohibition. You will spend around four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Latino Expressive Cultures
Latino cultural expression will be examined, exploring genres, forms and sites involved in the production and consumption of Latino culture and its positioning within mainstream US society. You will spend around three hours each week in lectures and seminars if you study this module.
Abraham Lincoln: Then and Now
The ideas, intellectual and cultural legacies of the life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln will be considered. You will explore his significance in American thought and culture, and as a global figure, through examining texts such as his speeches, public and private writings, as well as critically analysing the representation of Lincoln in cartoons, cinema, documentary, music, painting and literature. You will spend around two hours in seminars alongside a two hour workshop each week.
Popular Music Cultures and Countercultures
You will examine the role played by American popular music in countercultural movements, focusing on the ways in which subordinate groups have used popular music as a vehicle for self-definition. Considering key issues and moments in American popular music history, you will cover topics such as the folk revival and the 1930s, rock 'n' roll and desegregation in the 1950s, rock music and the 1960s, and postmodernism in the music of the MTV age. Around three hours each week will be spent in lectures and seminars studying this module.
African American Photographic Culture
You will explore the politics of representation in African American photography, discussing the relationship of photography to central themes in black culture and creative expression, including confined space, invisibility vs visibility, heroism, and historical “truth". You will set photographs in their historical context, and discuss slavery, lynching, migration, segregation and poverty. You will spend around three hours a week in seminars and workshops, as well as visiting exhibitions, public art sites, and guest talks by photographers.
Recent Queer Writing
Focusing on the representation of gender and sexuality, lesbian, gay, transgender and queer writing will be considered through the analysis of selected contemporary texts. Issues for discussion will include: constructions of masculinity and femininity; representations of ‘alternative’ sexuality and lifestyles; the relation of race, ethnicity, class and nationality to issues of gender and sexual identity. Authors studied include: Timothy Findley; Daphne Marlatt; Dionne Brand; Shani Mootoo; Shyam Selvadurai; Tomson Highway; Ivan E Coyote; Dorothy Allison; Leslie Feinberg. If you choose this module you will spend around three hours per week in seminars.
Lengua Española III
This is a module for all students of Spanish language, and will consist of three hours per week of oral work and writing skills. Recognising that significant progress will have been made in colloquial and informal language skills during the Year Abroad, this module intends to introduce you to a more formal and sophisticated register of spoken and written Spanish using print, off-air and internet sources.
Advanced Spanish Translation
This module offers coaching and practice in high-level translation from Spanish to English. You will work with a variety of texts over the semester, exploring different registers in Spanish and English, and equivalences between source and target languages. You will be required to reflect on the process of translation through annotations on specific translation decisions which will be part of the given task each week. You will also be given a brief for each translation and asked to research the target publication/context for their translation and specify ways in which the target context may differ from the original.
Spanish American Narrative
You will explore the work of key writers in 20th Century Spanish America, all of whom bear the recognisable imprint of literary Modernism. You will closely study two writers of what has become known as the ‘Boom’(namely, Gabriel García Márquez and Julio Cortázar); and three precursors of that generation (Jorge Luis Borges, Alejo Carpentier and Juan Rulfo). The module will examine the ways in which they make use of myth, the fantastic and experimental narrative techniques to write about history, traditional, popular and/or mass culture, gender and sexuality. You will have one 2-hour class each week. 
Civil War and Memory Wars in Contemporary Spain
This module will give you an understanding of the origins of the Spanish Civil War, the character of the war itself, the factors which determined its outcome, and the implications of that outcome for Spanish history since 1939. The module will also consider the legacy of this period of history in contemporary Spanish politics and culture. You will have one 2-hour seminar each week to study for this module.
The Radicalisation of Nationalism in Modern Latin America: Cuban Revolution in Continental Perspective
This module is concerned with the emergence, nature and evolution of the Cuban Revolution. You will consider the Revolution in question within a wider historical and ideological context: the Latin American tradition of an increasingly radical nationalism. Dating from the 19th and early 20th century this is a time when there was a need to engage in serious and collective nation-building. The module therefore examines how the Cuban Revolution went on to influence the subsequent radicalisation of that tradition, shaping a range of political manifestation. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar each week.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


Year abroad

Usually spent in Spanish America either studying in a higher education institution, working as an assistant in a school or on a work placement.

For more information see our Year Abroad page.



You will have developed your Spanish language skills to degree level and have a wide-ranging and specialist knowledge of North American, Canadian and Spanish-American literature, history, politics, thought and culture. Your international experience will show employers that you are independent, resourceful and able to cope with new challenges. Studying and working abroad will also deepen your levels of cultural understanding and increase your competence in one of the world's main languages.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 93% of first-degree graduates in the Department of American and Canadian Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,857 with the highest being £28,000.*

In 2014, 95% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,942 with the highest being £28,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.



Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


This course contains a period of study or work abroad between the second and final year of the degree programme. Students' language skills and cultural understanding are assessed through a mix of presentations and written assignments upon their return to Nottingham.

This course includes one or more pieces of formative assessment.

How to use the data


exploring the past and shaping the future
Find us on FacebookFollow us

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

+44 (0)115 951 5559 Make an enquiry


Admissions Tutor, School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies  
Play Jessica Britten video







Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry