American Studies in UK higher education
The aim of this guide is to provide readers with quick access to details of North American Studies degree programmes currently offered by universities in the United Kingdom.
Broadly, there are three types of American Studies undergraduate programmes: those in which students take only American Studies courses; those in which students combine American Studies with one other subject; and those in which American Studies is one of three or more subjects studied throughout the degree programme. American Studies is different from many degrees in that it is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. Thus American culture is studied through a range of different approaches, most frequently the history, literature and politics of the USA. Several institutions offer the opportunity to study the United States via popular literature, music and the visual arts, particularly film, and a few either include courses in Canadian Studies or enable students to study the entire American continent. Most programmes provide students with the chance to focus on a particular subject area if they so wish.
Many undergraduate degree programmes offer the opportunity of, or in some instances require, a period of study at a college or university abroad, principally in the United States of America or Canada. The amount of time that students spend there varies from a month in the summer to an entire academic year. In general this period of study will count towards the degree, and students will be expected to perform satisfactorily in their chosen courses. Some institutions expect their students to undertake research for a dissertation while abroad that will be submitted during their final year.
The second part of the guide lists universities which offer taught M.A. programmes. In general these programmes are offered on a part-time as well as a full-time basis. (Research M.A. programmes are not listed here.)