If you enjoy history, politics, international relations, literature, and film, and are looking to gain a wide set of skills, I would highly recommend this course.


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4 years

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A foundation year helps you develop the study skills and self-confidence needed for higher education when you don’t reach the entry requirements for your subject.

America is distinct among modern countries because of the stories it tells about itself; as the land of the free, and as a site of endless possibilities.

A degree in American Studies asks you to uncover the stories that are not being told and to interrogate the world’s superpower using a variety of disciplinary approaches.

Why study American Studies with Foundation Year?

American Studies is a fascinating subject because the United States is one of the most diverse places in the world, with a rich history, a vibrant political culture, world changing literature and film, and global influence. In this programme – which encompasses BA American Studies Single Honours and BA American Studies Combined Honours – you will learn about the history, culture, and politics of the United States. 

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

You do not need to have significant prior knowledge of Arts and Humanities related subjects but should be motivated to study the subject.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme:

  • Year 0 provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • Year 0 offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year may give you a way of accessing higher education.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

In a typical semester, you will be taking three modules. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops. You will typically have between 9 and 12 contact hours per week.

Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures. In addition, you will meet with your academic personal tutor.

Styles of teaching, and contact hours, depend on the option modules you select.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

American Studies students are expected to undertake independent research and reading outside of their classroom time. Through the library they will have access to all the relevant books for each module, as well as a wealth of digital resources. Core learning resources will be made available through each module’s Virtual Learning Environment, or “Blackboard”.

Your overall workload typically consists of 9 to 12 contact hours during semester time. In addition you will undertake 15 to 18 hours of independent research alongside workshops and one to one supervision sessions. If you choose to undertake a field trip to the United States, average contact time rises considerably.

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

All our team members hold doctoral and teaching qualifications. They are research-active. They have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching on our Meet the Team webpage. You should note members of the teaching team might change. 

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, the permanent programme team teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

American Studies provides intellectual flexibility to design your own course of study across disciplines and to learn from a decolonised curriculum that explores the histories and cultures of marginalised peoples.

Althea Legal-MillerProgramme Director

How you’ll be assessed

Single Honours American Studies is assessed almost entirely by coursework. Different modules will have different types of coursework, depending on what best suits a particular topic or discipline, but most modules will be assessed by a combination of essays, presentations, and shorter portfolio assignments.

Study in North America

We encourage students to spend time abroad because we understand the importance of personal and academic growth during your university career. If you already know that you want to spend a year or a semester in the USA or Canada, you can apply through UCAS for that option. If you are unsure, you can apply in year 2 through our internal competition to study at one of our exchange partners in the USA or Canada as part of your degree. Please see this web page for further details.

Extended essay and dissertation

In second year, you will have the opportunity to produce an Extended Essay, a 5,000 word research project of your own devising that is linked to a module that you have studied. In third year, the dissertation gives you even more freedom, allowing you to work with your supervisor to create an original research question, for which you will produce a 10,000 word response.


The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £9,250 £13,000
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000
Full-time - year abroad * £1,385 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 / £1,385 relate to 2021/22 only. Please read the 2021/22 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2021/22 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

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4 years

UCAS code:



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