American and Canadian Studies


At a glance

      • Be part of the largest American and Canadian studies department in Europe, ranked in the top five in the UK*
      • The department achieved a 93% overall satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2017
      • Spend a year studying at an American or Canadian university as part of your degree
      * The Complete University Guide 2018
American and Canadian Studies

What is American and Canadian studies?

American and Canadian studies is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry into the history, literature, politics, visual art, music, film, television and popular culture of the United States and Canada.

From the earliest historical encounters between European settlers and Native Americans, to trends in contemporary American politics and culture, the department explores a wide and stimulating range of topics. Optional modules include courses in the American Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, the CIA and US foreign relations, Canadian literature and film, African American history and culture, and American popular music, among many more.


How will I study?

Teaching methods vary; most modules combine lectures with seminars, which enable discussion and closer analysis. Our staff/student ratio allows us to keep seminar groups reasonably small and to set aside time for individual sessions to give advice and provide feedback on essays and dissertations.


Progress is monitored each semester using a variety of methods including exams and assessed coursework. The exam in any module  does not normally comprise more than 50 per cent of the overall assessment. Although you must pass first-year modules, the marks do not count towards the final degree qualification. Your final result is made up of marks from work done in the later stages of the degree to allow for your development. In the final year you will write a dissertation, an independent research project on a specialist topic of your choice.



Our students gain a variety of skills from working across disciplines and studying abroad. American and Canadian studies graduates adapt easily to such professions as management, business, public services, teaching, law, media, postgraduate work and academia. The modules on contemporary culture are very useful to those students who enter media-related work, such as advertising, journalism, radio and television. A number of our graduates go to North America for careers or further study.

In 2015, 91% of first-degree graduates in the department who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,065 with the highest being £28,600.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers
(The Graduate Market in 2013-2016, High Fliers Research).


Study abroad

Our full-time degrees last for either three years, with no period of study abroad, or four years, with  a year of international study.  This is spent at an American or Canadian university and occurs in your third year. We also offer the possibility of spending a semester at one of our partner universities in Europe through the Erasmus scheme, studying the United States from  a European viewpoint. Further information can be found on our study abroad web pages

Nottingham has the highest number of any UK university on outward mobility under Erasmus.*

* Erasmus student and staff numbers by institution, Erasmus+ 2014.  

Application and interview

Offers are usually made without interview. Students with non-standard entry qualifications, including mature students, are encouraged to apply, and may be invited for an interview. We follow the University's flexible Admissions Policy and take educational personal circumstances into consideration.

Further details are available at:


Open days

UCAS visit days for students offered a place are normally held from late January to March. You are welcome to visit at other times – please contact us or for dates of our open days visit  
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Department of American and Canadian Studies
School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Call us:
+44 (0)115 951 5559
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The University of Nottingham
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