American and Canadian Studies PhD

Qualification name
Short snippet of overview to go here - no more than two lines please.
 
  

Fact file

Qualification
PhD American and Canadian Studies
Duration
Various
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in an arts, humanities or social science subject; for PhD-level study, we would usually expect you to hold, or be working towards, a masters degree in a relevant subject
IELTS
7.0 (no less than 6.5 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September 
Campus
University Park
School/department
Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
American and Canadian Studies PhD
Other requirements

 

Research overview

We are the largest department of American and Canadian Studies in Europe and welcome proposals for postgraduate research.

We have long-standing experience and expertise in supervising PhDs to successful completion with over 75 PhD students graduating since 2000. Retention and completion rates are excellent and are underpinned by quality assurance mechanisms including a robust system of monitoring that includes an annual review process.

While our research focuses on North America, work in the department reflects and leads a growing transnational agenda, examining the exchange of influences between North American cultures and those of Asia, Europe and the Americas. Research students are encouraged to think about America in a global context.

Main areas of research

  • African American Literature, History and Culture
  • American Art and Visual Culture
  • American Intellectual History
  • American Labour History
  • American Music and Popular Culture
  • American Political History
  • American Print Culture and Book History
  • Asian American Literature and Culture
  • Canadian Literature and Culture
  • Civil Rights and Social Justice
  • Contemporary American Fiction
  • Crime, Prisons and Criminal Justice
  • Feminist Theory
  • Gender and Queer Studies
  • Indigenous Culture
  • Latino/a Culture
  • Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture
  • North American Border Studies
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

Find out more about our areas of research

 

Recent PhD topics

  • The architecture of shopping malls
  • 1960s new social movements
  • The NAACP and visual culture
  • Southern culture and the novel of racial passing
  • The state funeral in the 1960s
  • The Vietnam War and US poetry
  • Race, rock'n'roll and Blues music
  • Female hobos
  • The 1960s in political cinema
  • Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X in international context
  • Frank Sinatra on film 
  • Asian North American literature
  • Individual authors including Herman Melville, Cormac McCarthy, Barbara Kingsolver, Dionne Brand, and Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Suburbia and 20th-century fiction
  • US regionalism and the short story US and British Policies towards Israel Britain, the US and the Atomic Bomb
  • The American Far Right
  • The Know Nothing Party
  • The American Left post-1970 
  • Canada-US and Mexico-US border studies
  • Cultural representations of Toronto and Vancouver
 

Explore what our current PhD students are researching

 

Facilities

You have access to dedicated study space, networked computers and printers, a photocopying and printing allowance, and an inter-library loan service. Funding is available for conference and research trips.

A Graduate Centre for postgraduate students in the arts and social sciences is available on the first floor of Highfield House on Park Campus. Accessible 24/7, the Centre provides computer stations, a social area with informal seating and areas where students can work individually or in groups. You can also access a small seminar room and kitchen facilities.

 

Research support

You are allocated two supervisors who provide regular expert supervision and feedback on your progress. You can take part in the Postgraduate Professional Development Programme, which includes weekly work-in-progress seminars—where students and staff present their work— and a programme of visiting speakers. All students are required to attend the Arts Researcher Skills Programme, provided by the University's Graduate School.

We provide advice on publishing and professional development and encourage you to organize and attend conferences, act as editors for postgraduate journals, and publish book reviews and articles. Many former students have successfully turned their PhDs into books with major presses including Oxford University Press, Manchester University Press, University of California Press, University of Illinois Press, Routledge and Palgrave.

There are regular opportunities for you to take part in outreach activities, public talks and Departmental events. In addition to serving as Departmental Outreach and Engagement Coordinators and Directors of our LGBT and Black History Month programmes, you are given logistical and financial support in order to run your own conferences and organize a week-long research retreat.

Students also act as teaching assistants, after appropriate teacher training offered by the University and the school. Teaching Assistants are supported and monitored by module convenors, the Chair of Teaching Committee and the Director of Research.

 

Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They will be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area.

You can find our academics listed across three broad themes:

Race and rights

Politics and foreign policy

Print and visual culture

 

Funding

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.

AHRC funding for UK/EU doctoral students

Midlands4Cities funding

The Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership supports the personal and professional development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers. Studentships are available to UK/EU students.

How to apply to the University of Nottingham through Midlands4Cities

More information about additional sources of 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).

Government loans for doctoral study

The Government recently introduced doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes. Applicants must ordinarily live in England.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

 
 

Careers


Career opportunities

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers.*

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers.*

In 2016, 96.6% of postgraduates from the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £25,314 with the highest being £35,000.**

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.

**Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, but you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.

Individual guidance appointments, career management training programme, access to resources and invitations to events including skills workshops and recruitment fairs are just some of the ways in which they can help you develop your full potential, whether you choose to continue within an academic setting or are looking at options outside of academia.

 

 
 
 

Disclaimer
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.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

The Department of American & Canadian Studies at Nottingham is the largest in Europe and welcomes proposals for postgraduate research. We have long-standing experience and expertise in supervising PhDs to successful completion. Over 75 PhD students have graduated from the department since 2000. Retention and completion rates are excellent and are underpinned by quality assurance mechanisms including a robust system of monitoring that includes an annual review process. While our research focuses on North America, work in the department reflects and leads a growing transnational agenda, examining the exchange of influences between North American cultures and those of Asia, Europe and the Americas. Research students are encouraged to think about America in a global context.

Key areas of research strength in the department

Topics of current research students

Examples of recent PhD topics include studies of:

  • The architecture of shopping malls
  • 1960s new social movements
  • The NAACP and visual culture
  • Southern culture and the novel of racial passing
  • The state funeral in the 1960s
  • The Vietnam War and US poetry
  • Race, rock`n`roll and Blues music
  • Female hobos
  • The 1960s in political cinema
  • Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X in international context
  • Frank Sinatra on film 
  • Chinese and Chinese-American Literature
  • Individual authors including Herman Melville, Cormac Mccarthy, Barbara Kingsolver, Dionne Brand, and Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Suburbia and twentieth-century fiction
  • US regionalism and the short story US and British Policies towards Israel Britain, the US and the Atomic Bomb
  • The American Far Right
  • The Know Nothing Party
  • The American Left post-1970 
Postgraduate and Research Office
School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham
NG7 2RD 

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

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

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5812
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry