Logo of University of Essex

BAAmerican Studies (United States)

University of Essex
United Kingdom, Colchester
Tuition fee To be confirmed
More information

Expenses, accommodation, working etc.



The complex and ever-changing American culture continues to fascinate. For well over a century, the US has been one of the most influential countries in the world, rising to be a world ‘superpower’ and dominating the world stage. Its commercial and cultural products are exported all over the world, from Silicon Valley and Hollywood, to jazz, blues and hip hop.

BA American Studies (United States) is for those with enthusiasm, passion and intellectual curiosity about all things American. At Essex, we offer you an opportunity to understand some of the diverse and paradoxical aspects of the US through interdisciplinary studies. The US – perhaps more than any other society – lends itself to interdisciplinary study; its literature and film are connected to its politics, its cultures are linked to its histories.

Crucially, you also spend either a term or a full academic year studying in the United States, so you can explore and become immersed in American culture.

The degree is built to be extremely flexible and student-led, and as you progress through the course you can choose from an enormous range of options from across the humanities and social sciences including:

- Contemporary social issues, such as the struggles for racial justice
- The legacies of slavery and the civil rights movement
- Environmental protection of the ‘wilderness’ of the Far West
- Native American histories and rights

Based within our Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (CISH), this course allows you to explore the many ways of understanding the American experience. You draw on multiple perspectives in order to reach a deeper understanding of the world we inhabit, opening up exciting possibilities to discover the American continent. The cities, vast open plains, mountains and deserts shape diverse and intriguing ways of life.

By encouraging you to think and operate across traditional boundaries, our American studies course has produced confident, assertive and intelligent graduates who have become successful in many professional fields.

Programme structure

Year 1

The Enlightenment
Introduction to United States Literature
Introduction to US History
Introduction to United States
Introduction to United States Sociology
Death, God and the Meaning of Life (optional)

Year 2

America: Centres and Margins, Borders and Boundaries
Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action (optional)
Doing Interdisciplinary Research for a BA Dissertation: Approaches, Methods, Practice (optional)
United States Literature Since 1850 (optional)
‘The Special Relationship’? Anglo-American Relations 1850-2005 (optional)
The African American Experience (optional)

Final year

Term Abroad Module 1 (optional)
American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the Making of the USA (optional)
“There is a Continent Outside My Window” : United States and Caribbean Literatures in Dialogue (optional)
American Political Institutions (optional)

Career opportunities

Our course offers you the chance to gain a wide-ranging knowledge of many aspects of American life and intimate acquaintance with the region in the United States where you have spent a period of study.

This provides excellent preparation for careers in media, education, politics, the Civil Service, international organisations such as the UN and NATO or non-governmental organisations, and many other fields.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of desirable roles including an events co-ordinator for Age UK, a business provision manager for BT, an accountant in London, and an account executive for Bluesky PR.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States