University undergraduates studying in the Monica Partridge building. Friday November 5th 2021.Sara Bintey Kabir (yellow top)and Zoe Markham-Lee (ponytail).

American Studies and English BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

Do you love literature and enjoy getting lost in books? Are you creative and imaginative?

Through studying a diverse range of writers – encompassing Shakespeare to Jamaica Kincaid – you will develop new perspectives, interpretations and ideas. This in turn will give you a deeper understanding of the world, yourself, and your own outlook on life.

 

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

American Literature and Culture 1: 1830-1940

Mandatory

Year 1

American Literature and Culture 2: Since 1940

Mandatory

Year 1

From Landscapes to Mixtapes: Canadian Literature, Film and Culture

Optional

Year 1

Studying Language

Optional

Year 1

Studying Literature

Optional

Year 1

Beginnings of English

Optional

Year 1

Drama, Theatre, Performance

Mandatory

Year 2

North American Regions

Mandatory

Year 2

Key Texts in American Social and Political Thought

Optional

Year 2

African American History and Culture

Optional

Year 2

American Radicalism

Optional

Year 2

Business in American Culture

Optional

Year 2

Contemporary North American Fiction

Optional

Year 2

Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States

Optional

Year 2

The American Pop Century

Optional

Year 2

The US and the World in the American Century: US Foreign Policy 1898-2008

Optional

Year 2

History of American Capitalism

Optional

Year 2

The Broadway Musical

Optional

Year 2

Work placement

Optional

Year 2

From Talking Horses to Romantic Revolutionaries: Literature 1700-1830

Optional

Year 2

Literature and Popular Culture

Optional

Year 2

Modern and Contemporary Literature

Optional

Year 2

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Page

Optional

Year 2

Victorian and Fin de Siècle Literature: 1830-1910

Optional

Year 2

Language Development

Optional

Year 2

Language in Society

Optional

Year 2

The Psychology of Bilingualism and Language Learning

Optional

Year 2

Literary Linguistics

Optional

Year 2

Chaucer and his Contemporaries

Optional

Year 2

Ice and Fire: Myths and Heroes of the North

Optional

Year 2

Names and Identities

Optional

Year 2

Old English: Reflection and Lament

Optional

Year 2

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Stage

Optional

Year 2

From Stanislavski to Contemporary Performance

Optional

Year 2

Twentieth-Century Plays

Mandatory

Year 3

English Dissertation: Full Year

Optional

Year 3

Dissertation in American and Canadian Studies

Optional

Year 3

American Madness: Mental Illness in History and Culture

Optional

Year 3

Ethnic and New Immigrant Writing

Optional

Year 3

North American Film Adaptations

Optional

Year 3

Troubled Empire: The Projection of American Global Power from Pearl Harbor to Covid-19

Optional

Year 3

US Foreign Policy, 1989 - present

Optional

Year 3

Varieties of Classic American Film, Television and Literature since 1950

Optional

Year 3

Photographing America

Optional

Year 3

Black Female Stardom - research seminar

Optional

Year 3

Politics and Visual Culture

Optional

Year 3

American Magazine Culture: Journalism, Advertising and Fiction from Independence to the Internet Age

Optional

Year 3

Island and Empire

Optional

Year 3

Making Something Happen: Poetry and Politics

Optional

Year 3

Modern Irish Literature and Drama

Optional

Year 3

One and Unequal: World Literatures in English

Optional

Year 3

Oscar Wilde and Henry James: British Aestheticism and Commodity Culture

Optional

Year 3

Reformation and Revolution: Early Modern literature and drama 1588-1688

Optional

Year 3

Single-Author Study

Optional

Year 3

Songs and Sonnets: Lyric poetry from Medieval Manuscript to Shakespeare and Donne

Optional

Year 3

The Gothic Tradition

Optional

Year 3

The Self and the World: Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century

Optional

Year 3

Advanced Stylistics

Optional

Year 3

Language and Feminism

Optional

Year 3

Language and the Mind

Optional

Year 3

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Optional

Year 3

Dreaming the Middle Ages: Visionary Poetry in Scotland and England

Optional

Year 3

English Place-Names

Optional

Year 3

Old English Heroic Poetry

Optional

Year 3

Songs and Sonnets: Lyric poetry from Medieval Manuscript to Shakespeare and Donne

Optional

Year 3

The Viking Mind

Optional

Year 3

Changing Stages: Theatre Industry and Theatre Art

Optional

Year 3

Modern Irish Literature and Drama

Optional

Year 3

Reformation and Revolution: Early Modern literature and drama 1588-1688

Information Icon

About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

You will be taught via a mixture of large-group lectures and smaller, interactive seminars. You might also be taught through tutorials and supervisions. These are one-to-one meetings or discussions with an academic tutor.

This course includes a wide range of learning materials. This could include reading books, online journal articles, e-book chapters, shorter review essays, newspaper and magazine articles. It could also mean watching documentary films, and, on some modules, listening to music on YouTube or Spotify.

“I did a module called ‘The Pop Century’, which was on 20th century music, in second year. I loved that because you’d have a playlist every week and reading to go with it. We’d listen to songs and you’d choose your favourite one and link it to the historical context." – Liberty Jones, 2021 graduate

You will also have a personal tutor from the Department of American and Canadian Studies. This is someone who can:

  • provide general support for your academic life
  • give you the opportunity to raise concerns and discuss issues
  • support you with personal issues

Peer mentor scheme

First-year students can benefit from being paired with a 'peer mentor'. This is an existing student from your department who helps you settle in, get to know your peers and advise on student life.

Find out more about the support on offer.

Teaching quality

  • 100% of our class of 2020 graduated with a 1st or 2:1 degree classification. Source: UoN student outcomes data, Annual Monitoring (QDS) Analyses 2020

Tutor's contributions to high quality teaching and learning are recognised through our annual Lord Dearing Awards. View the full list of recipients.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment methods

Assessment is based on a combination of coursework, including essays and dissertation projects, seminar participation and oral presentations, and formal examinations. The precise assessments vary from one module to another and across the years of your degree.

Feedback

The opportunity to discuss ideas and coursework with your tutor is an integral part of your studies at Nottingham. Whether by giving feedback on an essay plan, or discussing the results of an assessment, we help you work to the best of your ability. Each tutor offers weekly support and feedback hours, while feedback on coursework is also posted online via our tailored teaching and learning platform.

Assessment methods

  • Commentary
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Written exam

You’ll have at least the following hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and workshops, tutorials and supervisions.
 
  • Year one: minimum of 12 hours
  • Year two: minimum of 10 hours
  • Final year: minimum of 8 hours

Your tutors will also be available outside these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding. You will have a personal tutor from the Department of American and Canadian Studies. You will also be allocated a joint honours advisor from the School of English.

We reduce your contact hours as you work your way through the course. As you progress, we expect you to assume greater responsibility for your studies and work more independently.

Your lecturers will be qualified academic staff. Some of your classes may be run by temporary teaching staff who are also experts in their field.

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. A weekly lecture on a core module may have 50-60 students attending, while a specialised seminar may only contain 10 students.

As well as scheduled teaching, you’ll carry out extensive self-study such as independent reading and research. As a guide, 20 credits (a typical module) is approximately 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study). Each 20-credit module typically involves between three and four hours of lectures and seminars per week. You would ideally spend 8-10 hours doing preparation work.

As an American Studies and English graduate, you will have gained valuable transferable skills, including:

  • adaptability, independence and initiative
  • critical thinking and text analysis
  • strong communication, both oral and written
  • presenting ideas and information, including collaboratively
  • planning and researching written work
  • writing for different audiences

Read our Department of American and Canadian Studies and School of English student and alumni profiles. Find out more about the range of skills you will gain, as well as the careers which our graduates go into.

You can also learn more about subject-related careers opportunities from our Careers and Employability Service:

Average starting salary and career progression

78.8% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual starting salary for these graduates was £23,974.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017 to 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

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 consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Trent Building in sunshine  June 2nd 2020 by Lisa Gilligan-Lee

I would urge those who have a great passion for the arts to look into this course as it will allow students to explore various realms of various subjects without being confined to one. 

Dasia Ngundam-Bohi

American Studies and English

Course data

Open Day June 2022