University undergraduate students studying a 3D model of the City of Nottingham in the Monica Partridge Building Digital Hub. Friday November 5th 2021.Francis Adam and Lucy Woodward and Zoe Markham-Lee (ponytail)

American Studies and Latin American Studies BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

If you are fascinated by the Americas, North and South, and would like to explore the cultures of the United States and Canada alongside those of Spanish America and even Brazil, then this course is for you.

You will study Spanish language and the histories, literatures and cultures of the United States and Canada and many of the nations of Latin America.

By looking at different parts of the Americas – the United States, Canada and Latin America – alongside one another, you will develop a rounded understanding of the relationships between North and South America, in terms of history, culture, literature and politics.

We welcome beginners to Spanish and also students with an A-level in Spanish. For beginners, you could have no Spanish or a GCSE. If you have an A-level in Spanish, you may take beginners' Portuguese in your first year, after which you may continue studying the language into the final year. This gives you the chance to study Brazil in more depth.

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

Spanish 1

Mandatory

Year 1

Spanish 1: Beginners

Mandatory

Year 1

Modern Spanish and Spanish American Literature and Film

Mandatory

Year 1

Literature in Spanish

Mandatory

Year 1

Modern Latin America

Optional

Year 1

Race, Power, Money and the Making of North America, 1607-1900

Optional

Year 1

American Freedom? Empire, Rights and Capitalism in Modern US History, 1900-Present

Optional

Year 1

American Literature and Culture 1: 1830-1940

Optional

Year 1

American Literature and Culture 2: Since 1940

Optional

Year 2

Key Texts in American Social and Political Thought

Optional

Year 2

North American Regions

Optional

Year 2

New World(s): Contacts, Conquests and Conflict in Early Modern Hispanic History and Culture

Optional

Year 2

Luso-Hispanic Cinemas

Optional

Year 2

Spanish 2: Beginners

Optional

Year 2

Spanish 2

Optional

Year 2

African American History and Culture

Optional

Year 2

History of American Capitalism

Optional

Year 2

Business in American Culture

Optional

Year 2

American Radicalism

Optional

Year 2

Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States

Optional

Year 2

The American Pop Century

Optional

Year 2

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

Mandatory

Year 3

Year abroad

Mandatory

Year 4

Spanish 3

Mandatory

Year 4

Dissertation in American and Canadian Studies

Mandatory

Year 4

Dissertation in Hispanic Studies

Optional

Year 4

American Madness: Mental Illness in History and Culture

Optional

Year 4

Business and Society in Spain

Optional

Year 4

Ethnic and New Immigrant Writing

Optional

Year 4

Literature and Films, Conflict and Post-Conflicts

Optional

Year 4

Making the Cuban Revolution: Ideology, Culture and Identity in Cuba since 1959

Optional

Year 4

Painting in Spain

Optional

Year 4

Politics and Literature in Contemporary Spain

Optional

Year 4

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

Optional

Year 4

US Foreign Policy, 1989 - present

Optional

Year 4

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

Optional

Year 4

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

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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 Tuesday 3 October 2023.

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.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Oral classes

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 9 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 Politics and International Relations.

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 a Politics and American Studies graduate, you will have gained valuable transferable skills, including:

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

Read our American and Canadian Studies student and alumni profiles and 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:

  • Politics skills and careers
  • American Studies skills and careers

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).

University undergraduate student Cole Pearce studying in Nightingale Hall accommodation's library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

Course data

Open Day June 2022