University undergraduate student Jane Israel using a touch screen in the Monica Partridge Building Digital Hub. Friday November 5th 2021.

American and Canadian Studies (Study Abroad)

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

Globalise your degree and experience your subject first-hand, with a year at a US or Canadian university.


Whether you've discovered American and Canadian studies through an interest in global relations, politics, or even a love for American television shows, our expert-led courses let you design your degree to suit your strengths and interests.


You will explore American and Canadian history, literature and culture, selecting optional modules on everything from North American politics ​to music, art, film and television. ​The huge range of areas on offer means you will develop important skills to enhance your career options, while your year abroad will build important life-long skills.


From a newfound independence, to adaptability, confidence and cultural awareness, a year abroad will prepare you for the job market in a way like no other.


Read about Liberty’s experience in Alabama.

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

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

Mandatory

Year 1

American Literature and Culture 1: 1830-1940

Mandatory

Year 1

American Literature and Culture 2: Since 1940

Mandatory

Year 1

Approaches to American Culture 1: An Introduction

Mandatory

Year 1

Approaches to Contemporary American Culture 2: Developing Themes and Perspectives

Mandatory

Year 1

From Landscapes to Mixtapes: Canadian Literature, Film and Culture

Mandatory

Year 1

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

Mandatory

Year 2

Key Texts in American Social and Political Thought

Mandatory

Year 2

North American Regions

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

Mandatory

Year 3

Study abroad

Mandatory

Year 4

Dissertation in American and Canadian Studies

Optional

Year 4

American Madness: Mental Illness in History and Culture

Optional

Year 4

Ethnic and New Immigrant Writing

Optional

Year 4

North American Film Adaptations

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

Varieties of Classic American Film, Television and Literature since 1950

Optional

Year 4

Photographing America

Optional

Year 4

Black Female Stardom - research seminar

Optional

Year 4

Politics and Visual Culture

Optional

Year 4

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

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 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
  • Almost all our staff have a nationally recognised teaching qualification (95%), with full coverage expected by 2025

Teaching methods

  • Teaching methods
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

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.

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 and Canadian studies graduate, you will have gained valuable transferable skills from interdisciplinary study and exposure to an array of cultural perspectives. These include:

  • adaptability
  • independence and initiative
  • critical thinking
  • analysis
  • communication (both oral and written)
  • teamworking

Read our student and alumni profiles for 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).

" A lot of the conversations we have in class are very relevant to today. We’ve done a lot on Black Lives Matter and the confederate statues, the confederate flag. It’s being able to bring in the context of history, and see how America as a whole affects these decisions, then how that affects the rest of the world. "

Hannah McHardie

American and Canadian Studies (Study Abroad) BA

Course data