MA American Studies by Research

Year of entry

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

The MA by Research in American Studies gives you an opportunity to develop your research interests in the history, politics, literature and/or culture of the United States in a supportive environment, with the guidance of a supervisor who is an expert in their field. At Canterbury Christ Church University, we have a small team of experienced American Studies MA by Research supervisors who are committed to supporting research students to reach their potential.

The programme is aimed at both recent graduates and returners to education who are passionate about a research area related to the United States. If you enjoyed researching and writing your undergraduate dissertation, have a desire to expand your knowledge of a US topic that has sparked your interest, or you want to pursue an established interest through a formal degree, then an MA by Research in American Studies may be for you.

Students who complete an MA by Research often go on to MPhil or PhD study in American Studies or a related discipline, such as History, Political Science, or English Literature.

You will study your own research area under the guidance of an experienced supervisor in your field. We recommend that you contact potential supervisors when you are developing your research proposal so that we can advise you on the feasibility of your project and provide support and guidance through the application process.

On this programme you will gain research, written communication, time-management, and independent study skills that are invaluable to a range of careers.

You could also continue to further study, such as an MPhil or PhD.

The emphasis of this programme is on independent research. That said, you will have regular meetings with your supervisor, and you will have the opportunity to attend sessions with the Graduate School’s Researcher Development Programme.

All supervisory teams will include access to an experienced supervisor.

You will also be invited to attend the regular American Studies Research Seminar—a guest speaker programme—which will allow you to network with academics in the field, and hear about some of the cutting edge research taking place in American Studies both in the UK and Internationally.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time £4,327 £12,160
Part-time £2,597 N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course. The fees for this course are set in line with the Research Councils UK Indicative fee level for Doctoral courses, which usually increases year on year in line with the GDP deflator (in recent years this has resulted in year on year tuition fee increases of approximately 1.5-2.0%). The tuition fees for the following academic year are usually confirmed in the preceding February.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can  email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Possible US travel Depending on the project, you may need to travel to the US to visit specialist archives (or have copies of materials sent to you). You will receive advice from your supervisor about the necessity of these costs as you plan your research project.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

The MA by Research is awarded by dissertation.

Supervised by a panel of experienced researchers, you'll meet regularly with your first supervisor and present your work in progress to the full panel at a review meeting halfway through your registration period. Following advice from this review meeting, you'll complete the writing up of your 25-30,000 word dissertation.

'The guidance and support from my supervisors has been excellent. Their tuition has allowed me to develop an idea I had as an undergraduate into a Masters dissertation and has made me want to carry on to further study!'

Andrei Ryniejski (current student)

'I've gained so much knowledge and experience doing the MA by Research in American Studies. The American Studies Programme at CCCU is actively engaged in research which helped me feel part of the academic community, I was able to take part in numerous discussions and contribute to my ideas to many different aspects of American Studies, not just my own research area. The entire school is friendly and supportive and made me feel at home. I received so much support and encouragement from my supervisors, their guidance and advice was invaluable. Their help enabled me to develop my interests from undergraduate in Native American studies but also helped me to discover the field of Women's and Feminist studies, areas I have gained a strong interest in. My Master's by Research has made passionate about these areas of study and has given me the confidence and skills to discuss and share my ideas.'

Becky Newton (current student)

The American Studies team are part of the larger School of Humanities, which has been recognised as producing world leading research in the results of the 2014 National Research Excellence Framework (REF). 94% of our submitted research in History, English Language and Literature, and Theology and Religious Studies was classed as world leading (4*), internationally excellent (3*) or internationally recognised (2*).

Read more about the latest American Studies research projects.

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time

Entry requirements

  • A 2:2 honours degree in American Studies or a relevant discipline is required.
  • Holders of other qualifications will be considered individually.



Last edited 26/06/2019 10:40:00

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Last edited: 26/06/2019 10:40:00