BA American Studies

Key facts

(Guardian University Guide 2017)


American Studies at the University of East Anglia is recognised as one of the best departments in the UK. We offer our undergraduate students a broad range of courses and modules, allowing you to tailor your learning as you progress through your time with us. Most of our degrees also involve a year studying abroad. Throughout their course, our students develop skills that are highly attractive to employers.

Watch It
"Many employers have expressed interest in my year abroad at interview, and I now feel more independent, experienced and ready for anything"

In their words

Kirsten Irving, American Studies Graduate who spent her year abroad at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

American Studies allows you to understand the United States from literary and historical perspectives, by exploring great novels, movies, photographs and paintings, or historical documents and the nation’s defining historical events. You will get to grips with race, gender and civil liberties in America, consider its urban cityscapes and the landscapes of the wilderness, and delve into anything from popular culture to the counterculture and the avant garde.

Students on a four-year programme spend their third year studying in America or Canada, and have the option of spending a semester in Australia, New Zealand, or Hong Kong.

During your final year, you write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, guided by a supervisor, taking an interdisciplinary approach or specializing in American history or literature.


The BA American Studies degree programme is an interdisciplinary course, enabling you to study American history and literature, as well as giving you the opportunity to study politics and film. The programme invites you to engage with diverse forms of cultural expression, including novels, poetry, photographs, paintings, historical and political documents, classic texts, bestsellers, and movies.

The third year of this degree programme is spent abroad, providing you with an invaluable academic and cultural experience, one that most students consider to be the highlight of their time at university. You will spend the majority of the third year studying in America or Canada - with the option of spending a semester in Australia, New Zealand, or Hong Kong.

This opportunity allows you to appreciate American literature, history, film and politics from a different perspective; furthermore some institutions will provide you with internship placements in organisations such as publishers, newspapers and TV stations. See the “Study Abroad” heading below for more details.

Course Structure

The course begins at UEA with core modules that introduce to many aspects of American life and culture. You will then have the opportunity to tailor your learning, selecting optional modules from a wide range in your second and final years. The third year is spent studying abroad.

Year 1

In the first year you will engage with a number of compulsory modules, introducing you many aspects of American life and culture. You will begin with year-long modules that provide an introduction to the core texts of American literature and the defining events in American history: Imagining America, parts I and II, and Containing Multitudes, parts I and II. In addition you will take Reading Cultures, which focuses on American Icons in the first semester, and Ideas and Ideologies in the second, to deepen your understanding of the United States.  At the same time the module is designed to develop the critical and writing skills essential for success at university.

Year 2

In your second year you are invited to choose from a wide range of seminars on topics, including American Southwest, American Music, Looking at Pictures: Photography and Visual Culture in the USA, American Material Culture, which might approach subjects such as the US environment, adolescence in American culture, the Harlem Renaissance, the punk movement or 1980s cinema.

We also offer literature options covering, for example, nineteenth century, twentieth century, and contemporary American or Cuban American writing, comparative American and Australian writing, or poetry, the Beat movement, American writers in Paris between the wars, and more.

Our history options span the breadth of the American past, taking in the aftermath of the Civil War, the dawn of the American century, the history of New York City, the Civil Rights Movement, US foreign policy, and much else besides.

Year 3 (Year Abroad)

Your third year is spent abroad. Students on a four-year programme spend their third year studying in America or Canada - with the option of spending one of those semesters in Australia, New Zealand, or Hong Kong.

Year 4

During your final year you will write a dissertation on a subject of your choice inspired by your year abroad. This research project will be supported by an academic with expertise in your area of interest. All students in their final year will have the option of taking advanced modules including American Violence, The American Body, The New American Century: Culture and Crisis – and many other possibilities from the literature and culture of the 1960s, of the Pacific, or of the nineteenth century, for example, multi-ethnic writing or Native American writing and film, or poetry and the environment, and more.

Should you wish to emphasise history, you may choose from options covering, for example, the history of the CIA or of immigration and migration, or choose to take a two-semester documents-based “special subject” which could include options such as American slavery or the politics and culture of the 1960s, Native American history or, the Cold War.


Assessment takes place at the end of each semester through coursework, and at the end of each year by examination. In your final year, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice with the support of your tutors, therefore is no final examination. Your final degree result is determined by the marks you receive in years two and four.

Want to know more?

Come along to an Open Day and experience our unique campus for yourself.

Study Abroad

What We Offer

We offer every one of our undergraduate students enrolled on a four year degree programme the opportunity to study abroad during their third year at one of forty-eight universities across the US and Canada – from New England to California, Alaska to Louisiana, Vancouver to Montreal.

Our Year Abroad programme has been running for over 30 years and is the largest in the UK for American Studies. Students are able to study in the US or Canada for a full year, or choose to split the year between North America, Hong Kong and Australasia (where we currently have 20+ partner institutions), and so experience American Studies from a Pacific Rim point of view, as well as the Atlantic perspective gained while at the University of East Anglia.

For more information please see the Study Abroad website.

Why do a Year Abroad?

Study abroad is a unique educational opportunity that can enhance your studies, but can also demonstrate a range of skills and provide key experiences that are sought by employers. Studying abroad can provide students with increased self-awareness, the ability to adapt to new situations, as well as an increased understanding of different cultural perspectives. Spending time studying overseas also allows students to demonstrate the ability to work and communicate in different cultural contexts, skills that are of vital importance to a range of international employers.

Studying abroad also provides an opportunity to meet new people and experience new things that can have a positive effect on a student’s academic progression. Students often return to UEA after their year abroad with a new sense of confidence and enthusiasm for their subject. Having experienced different teaching methods and subjects, students are also able to bring a range of new skills and perspectives into he classroom during their final year of study.

To find out more about our student experiences of overseas study you can read the following blog entries:


The advantage of our exchange programme is that you do not pay tuition to your exchange institution. These costs are covered by the tuition fees you pay here, and moreover, for the year you are overseas you only pay a percentage of your standard tuition fee (currently 15 per cent for Home/EU students and 25 per cent for international students)*.

Accommodation costs must be paid and vary in each institution.
*Please note that fees are subject to annual review.

Our Partner Institutions

See the map below for a full list of our current partner institutions. Please note that these agreements are reviewed and renewed periodically. In addition to this, we consistently form exchange agreements with new institutions across the US, Canada, Australasia and Hong Kong:

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


Imagining America: Literature I is a level one module designed to introduce the major writers and themes of literature in the United States. For this module there will be a weekly lecture and a two-hour seminar. Lecture Slot: Monday, 1200-12.50. Further information on the timing of the seminar can be found in the published timetable.




Imagining America: Literature II is a level one module designed to expand upon an introduction to the major writers and themes of literature from the United States. For this module there will be a weekly lecture and seminar. Further information on the timing of the seminar can be found in the published timetable.




This module provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary research methods and writing skills that are essential for students undertaking a degree programme in the School of American Studies. Students will be encouraged to look at reading American culture across disciplines and media, and to develop their own strategies for learning, from note taking and planning, through locating and engaging with critical opinions, to producing and evaluating academic writing. This module is intended as an introduction to interdisciplinary scholarship and its transferable skills.




The module develops and expands the research methods, writing skills, and oral skills acquired in Reading Cultures I: American Icons. By continuing the exploration of contemporary American culture and introducing cultural and critical theory as a means to engage with current ideas and ideologies circulating around American cultural icons, the module will encourage exploration of America's changing position in the world. The module is intended to further facilitate skills in reading, writing, analysis, synthesis, independent thinking, and confidence as self-supporting learners in order to provide a strong foundation for work at levels 2 and 3.




The compulsory module will offer a fundamental challenge to the opening lines of the American Constitution, "We the People", and consider the question of inclusion: who did "the people" refer to and who was excluded from this term of reference? The end of the eighteenth century saw a marked shift in how people understood the political structures they lived under. Starting with an examination of revolutionary movements that were taking place throughout Europe and the Americas, this module will examine how these political upheavals shaped the history of the United States up until 1865. Lecture and seminar discussions will include the radical underpinnings of the creation of the American Constitution; the Second Great Awakening; the reconfiguration of gender identities and ideals in the post-revolutionary period; Native American resistance to white settlement during the first half of the nineteenth century.




This survey module provides students with an introduction to the broad outlines of American history from 1865 to 1945. It will follow a chronological sequence with weekly topics on the major themes and events in US history since 1865 - including African American challenges to slavery and the construction of "race" as a legal category, the Civil War as the second American Revolution and the abolition of slavery, Reconstruction; the closing of the frontier, the war of 1898, Depression, New Deal, and the World Wars to explore the impact of major political, economic, cultural, and social change in the United States.



Students must study the following modules for 40 credits:

Name Code Credits

EXCEPTIONAL STATES: US Intellectual and Cultural History

This is a compulsory module for all students on an American Studies related degree programme. The module offers foundational understanding in US intellectual thought and culture from the roots of democracy coming out of the Enlightenment through to the contemporary moment of globalisation and biopolitics. In short the module maps-out the US from its origins in the European imagination to its current position in a globalised world. It address such important questions as: Does the US have a distinctive culture? What of the melting-pot? How has the diversity of ethnic, racial, gender, class, and religious identities shaped US intellectual and cultural history? How have the concepts and practices of related disciplines such as history, sociology, economics and literary criticism influenced US intellectual and cultural life? Should we speak of cultural imperialism? How has capitalism and its various political-economic and cultural critiques shaped the US? And how can the study of intellectual and cultural history help us understand the dynamics of power?



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

American Studies Modules

Name Code Credits


This module explores the ever expanding concept of 'American Frontiers'. Since Frederick Jackson Turner's influential 'Frontier thesis' of 1893, American identity has been increasingly linked to the concept of the 'frontier' which has, in more recent years, become subject to an ever-widening geography. Often referred to as the 'transnational turn,' this critical and theoretical trajectory has constantly reinvented - and multiplied - what constitutes the 'American Frontier'. From violent clashes between colonisers and Native peoples to the Space Race, from literary cosmopolitanisms to Hollywood in the South Seas, from America's own national borders to its internal racial and ethnic boundaries, to name just a few of the possible ways of thinking about the Frontier, this module considers American geographies in tandem with the critical movements that have shaped American Studies.




The first book published in the New World was a hymn book. Music, sacred and profane, has been at the centre of American lives ever since. Accordingly, this module will explore the history of American music - but it will also examine the way that its development tells a larger story. Focusing largely on the vernacular musical traditions we will encounter a wide range of musical styles and musicians, each of which has something vital to tell us about the shaping of America. After all, as Plato knew, "When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake."




The module will examine America in the1980s. It will look at youth culture, post-Vietnam revisionism and the 'remasculinization of America', yuppie culture, and the impact of both AIDS and drug addiction. Core factors of study in this module are the effects of both New Right morality upon the American socio-cultural landscape, and Ronald Reagan as postmodern president administrating to a 'celluloid America' of his own fantastic imagining. Overall, the module will offer the chance to analyse the tensions and contradictions of the decade as they were played out in both the content and structure of contemporary American film.




Photographic portraits, family albums, anthropological illustrations, lynching postcards, advertisements, food packaging and fashion photos are just some of the pictures that will be "read" and analysed in this module. Students will explore how visual texts can contribute to an understanding of nationhood, class, race, sexuality and identity in the USA. Opening sessions will focus on ways of "reading" visual texts. [No previous experience of working with images is necessary]. Most of the semester will be devoted to analysing how photographic images both reflect and contribute to constructions of American culture.




What was the Cold War? How did it start, where and how was it fought, and why did it last so long? This module analyses these issues by exploring the contest waged by the U.S. and Soviet Union in every corner of the globe during the twentieth century. It considers nations and peoples who aligned with the superpowers or, as was increasingly the case, with neither. It looks at the multiple ways in which this unique 'war short of total war' influenced all aspects of life, from diplomacy and politics, to economics, to culture and values, to bombs and warfare, to societal norms, to questions of race and sexuality. With attention to a range of state, private, and transnational actors, it analyses the global and international nature of the Cold War. It explores the place of the conflict amid other transformative historical narratives during the century and, finally, considers the changing ways that historians have written about the Cold War.




With its main focus on the 20th century, this module will explore key moments of change or crisis in the century and consider the ways the panic caused by such changes is distinctly gendered and/or sexualised. It will concurrently examine gender and sexual resistance to dominant ideas of American identity and the subsequent creation and/or promotion of liberationist discourses and alternative communities. Film and literature will provide the focus for this cultural study, and the module will range widely over a number of different genres including the western, sci-fi, detective and LGBT themed works.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

American History and Literature Modules.

Name Code Credits


This module provides a broadly chronological view of American poetry from the start of the twentieth century to the present day. It wonders about what the consequences might be if we consider seriously Emerson's claim (made in 1844), that America might be seen as a poem. Through detailed examination each week of groups of three related poets, the module aims both to question what constitutes an American poetics, and to examine how this conception has changed over the course of the twentieth century. As well as tracing a trajectory in American poetry from modernist to postmodernist modes, one of its primary concerns is also to start exploring how ideas of what an American poetry might be are inflected differently in 'mainstream' and in more avant-garde (or 'experimental') poetries. Indeed, by explicitly thinking about these differences the module will pay particular attention to the ways in which ideas of nationhood, of political dissent and protest, of poetic 'groupings' and canon-formation, are instrumental in determining what we choose to see as America's representative poetry. By the end of the module students should have a wide knowledge of a range of different twentieth-century American poetries, as well as a strong sense of how the political, cultural and literary 'tastes' of America across the century have delivered it the sorts of poetry it deserves.




This module explores both America's fascination with crime fiction, and crime fiction itself as an American genre. From its emergence in the mid-nineteenth century writings of Edgar Allen Poe, this module will investigate the ways in which American crime fiction has traced and exposed a wide range of social and cultural anxieties in America. Moving through the early twentieth century hard-boiled detective narratives of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Chester Himes, and into the postmodern concerns of late twentieth and early twenty-first century writers such as James Ellroy, Patricia Highsmith, Sara Paretsky, Carl Hiaasen and Patricia Cornwell, we will examine the ways in which American crime fiction asks a series of searching and troubling questions about contemporary American society. Central to our analysis will be the ways in which crime fiction represents a range of American concerns including individualism, the 'hero', race, gender, class, regionalism, the city, and the environment.




This module surveys the prose of some of the twentieth century's most important American women writers, writers who (or whose 'other' works) tend to disappear from reading lists that include books by women only out of duty. Along the way we will seek to interrogate the terms with which we begin: American, women and prose. Assuming that biology does not define literature, we will instead seek to understand the social pressures on these women writers, and their responses to them, in an effort to maintain the specificity, diversity and range of these women's literary pursuits.




The purpose of this module is to expose students to a range of prose works by important contemporary American writers. In particular, we will be concerned with some of the key concepts associated with contemporary American fiction, including the definition of the contemporary: postmodernism; metafiction; historiography; postcolonialism; and memory.



LIVING ON THE HYPHEN: Multiethnic American Literatures

America has long been interpreted as the location of social possibility founded upon a desire to assimilate and negate ethnic 'others'. This module traces the literary responses of distinct 'American' cultures: including Native American; African American; Asian American; and Latin American. Each group of texts engage with the specific historical, cultural and political relationships between the US and each author's country of origin or national/cultural history, across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics will include race and racism, exile, return, family, belonging, identity, language and memory, colonisation, imperialism, slavery, segregation, immigration, and illegality/invisibility, with an emphasis upon contemporary experiences.



SLAVERY IN THE USA: 1619 - 1865

This is the first of two modules examining the black freedom struggle in the United States. The module will follow a chronological sequence, allowing us to trace the course of racial slavery in North America, reflecting on the roots of racism that flourished during the antebellum years and beyond. Through engaging with the developing historiography of slavery in the United States students will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary (then and now) debates concerning race and racial identity as well as American slavery per se. We will be interrogating various sources found in the Morgan Reader alongside representations of slavery in novels, cinema, and oral histories.




This module covers the writers known as 'The Beats' in terms of their antecedents, the literary and cultural traditions in which they worked, and the social and critical debates that raged during their heyday. Students will be asked to read widely, to compare and contrast different writers' styles, and to make informed judgements about the writers' relationships to the times in which they wrote. The module aims to foster an understanding of the Beat literary phenomenon in literary, political and social contexts. It will also examine the debts Beat writers owed to 'American Renaissance' writers including Emerson and Whitman, to wider ideas of the 'avant-garde' in the Twentieth Century generally, and to European Romantic traditions. It will investigate how a Beat poetics developed as a response to Cold War 'consensus culture', and sought to establish a countercultural (though distinctly American) 'tradition'.




This is the second of two modules examining the black freedom struggle in the United States. This module examines the struggle from 1865 to Black Lives Matter. Students will study the political activism of African American figures such as Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Mary McLeod Bethune and Angela Davis. Students will gain a detailed understanding of the race, gender and class dimensions of the 'long' civil rights movement, paying specific attention to the activism of black women organisers. Finally, the module will encourage students to think through the diverse and changing nature of the civil rights movement as black activists responded to specific political situations both within the United States and abroad.



Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


A semester spent at an American university taking an approved course of study. Restricted to students on American Studies 4 year programmes.




A semester spent at an Australian university taking an approved course of study. Restricted to students on 4 year programmes.




A year spent at an American university taking an approved course of study. Restricted to students on 4 year American Studies programmes. For students on programmes:U1T700401, U1TQ73401, U1TW76401, U1T7W8401, U1V238401, U1V2L2401, U1TW76401.



Students must study the following modules for 30 credits:

Name Code Credits


Final year dissertation involving research into a specific issue or topic in American culture, society, history or literature. Restricted to students on the 4 year American Studies degree programmes. Topics will already have been approved on the basis of dissertation proposals submitted during the year abroad.



Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This module will examine the transnational nature of U.S. history through black thought and protest. African American writers, politicians and performers have been at the forefront of seeing U.S. history in global terms. Historically denied full citizenship rights in the United States, African Americans have often looked abroad in order to forge political alliances. Challenging ideas of 'American exceptionalism', this module will explore how African American activists developed international alliances designed to promote civil rights on a local and a global level. Covering the connections between African American activists and movements for racial justice in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and beyond, this module will explore the pioneering work of prominent black figures such as Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. Du Bois and Barack Obama, with seminars analysing a range of diverse themes relating to black international activism throughout the twentieth and into the twenty- first centuries.




This module aims to introduce students to the fascinatingly wide and diverse area of American autobiography. It takes a broadly chronological structure in order to introduce key narratives and writers in the history of American autobiography, and will also enable students to engage with important theoretical debates influencing how we might understand autobiography - debates which can perhaps best be described as attempting to determine what is at stake in writing, reading and defining the autobiographical 'I'. Questions to be explored will include: What do we mean by autobiography? Why is it so difficult to define autobiography? What is 'American' about autobiography?




"Violence," the firebrand black militant H. Rap Brown infamously said, "is as American as cherry pie." Many Americans who lived through the turbulent 1960s understood what Brown meant even if they disagreed with his politics. Writing in 1969, the liberal historian Arthur M. Schlesinger conceded that, with the Vietnam War raging overseas and ghetto riots exploding at home on a yearly basis, in the wake of the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy, and looking at the violent preoccupations of TV and movies, Americans must surely be judged "the most frightening people on the planet." Certainly, viewed from the relatively orderly perspective of Europe, the United States appears to have an exceptional relationship with violence - perhaps represented above all by a homicide rate far higher than other comparable industrialised nations. This module explores key themes in the history of violence in the United States. It takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on a range of sources, including film, photography and music, in order to understand how violence has shaped American society and culture.




This module looks at the ways in which California has represented itself, or been represented, in fiction. Beginning with the 'first' published Californian novel of 1854, The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, the Celebrated California Bandit, we will trace the development of the Californian novel into the early twenty-first century. One particular interest is the ways in which Californian novels engage with, dissect, and critique notions of California as a 'dream' or ideal/idyll; and we will explore how novelists address crucial, and often contentious, historical moments in Californian history. Topics include settlement and 'removal'; migration and immigration; corporate interests and 'big business'; Los Angleles as the City of Dreams; and 'global' California. Writers will include some or all of the following: Mary Austin, T C Boyle, Joan Didion, Chester Himes, Frank Norris, Kem Nunn; John Rollin Ridge, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck, Helena Maria Viramontes, Nathaniel West, and Karen Tei Yamashita.




This module reads the changing values, presentations and representations of the body that move through and construct American culture. This module will involve pairing theoretical perspectives with current and historical ideas of the body to allow us to interrogate intellectual and popular meanings assigned to and played out through the body, reading particular moments in American writing, art, photography and popular forms for the things they might tell us about corporality and self presentation, but also about the wider structures of the social and cultural environment. We will engage with canonical debates about race, gender, sexuality and ideas of 'representation', but also with categories that cut across and through these modes of reading - with the normal and the ideal, ideas of illness and wellness, ability and disability, of the organic and the machine, of the body under servitude, or under punishment, and with the whole idea of embodiment in itself. This module - like all other modules at this level - requires a substantial, regular, reading commitment.




The covert activities of the CIA represent arguably the most notorious face of US foreign relations. Yet to what extent is clandestine American interventionism consistent with official overt policies? And how do we come to understand covert action campaigns? This module will introduce the main conceptual and historic debates relevant to the analysis of covert action as a tool of US foreign relations. In so doing it will consider the institutions and processes behind covert action, especially the role of the CIA. It also considers the mediums that narrate and explain American covert action. This will provide a fuller and richer understanding of the United States' place in the international system since World War II, its relationship to other states and non-state actors, and discussions about American identity and the nation's role in the world.



Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


The aim of this module is to think about democracy in the United States through a gendered lens. The Declaration of Independence declared that "all men were created free and equal", but throughout the history of the United States certain social groups have been denied their rights to citizenship and democracy. Therefore this module will be focusing upon the ways in which gender has been central to the construction of citizenship and democracy in the US. These concepts are critical elements in the formation of a modern American identity, and this module will provide a broader understanding of this distinctive feature of American history and society.




This module considers Native American writing and film as sites of cultural and political resistance, analysing the ways in which a diverse range of Native authors, screenwriters and directors within the United States respond to contemporary tribal socio-economic and political conditions. Taking popular ideas of 'the Indian', this module considers the ways in which stereotypes and audience expectations are subverted and challenged. Topics include race and racism, indigeneity, identity, culture, gender, genre, land and notions of 'home', community, dialogue, postcolonial theory in its application to those who remain colonised, and political issues such as human rights and environmental racism.



NEW AMERICAN CENTURY: Culture and Crisis

On the eve of the twenty-first century it appeared that the United States of America was indeed entering into a new American Century with its role as global leader as strongly defined as it was a century earlier. However, the last decade and a half has been witness to a nation in turmoil and crisis, from the conflict between a universalising (Americanising) globalisation and an introspective nationalism; the war on terror and the conflicts in Afghanistan Iraq and Syria; environmental crisis and disaster; the conflict surrounding immigration and national identity, to the present financial crisis. The renewed and vigorous return to rhetoric of national 'unity' that characterised the campaign and election of Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2008 serves to highlight the historical divisions and crises of American society and underscores that contemporary America is in crisis geopolitically, economically, democratically, environmentally, and culturally. This module seeks to engage with these areas of crisis and examine a variety of cultural responses to the America of the millennium. Through a variety of cultural texts, from literature, film and documentary, political speeches and letters, to historical texts and pop culture, this module examines the ways in which these crises have been culturally and politically constructed and given particular sets of meaning.




This module will examine the relationship between popular music and its social context by concentrating on several music forms such as the blues, soul, hip hop, funk, dancehall, Afrobeat, and Afro-Brazilian. Readings will focus on: (1) concepts such as audiences, the music industry, cultural infrastructure, the African Diaspora, youth culture, and race; (2) processes such as urbanization, demographic change, globalization, and the politicization of popular music.



TEAM USA: America and the Vietnam War

This module will explore the relationship of the war in Vietnam to US culture, history and politics. It will place the war within the discourse of US cultural values, from questions of American colonialism to an exploration of the iconography of the war, and it will further examine how the war has had a dynamic and long-lasting series of effects upon the US.



Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


American fiction began in the period of the European Gothic novel, which thus marked the American tradition from the first. In this seminar module we will establish the meaning of gothic conventions and consider their persisting effects in American fiction.




This module considers the ways in which American literature has represented the opening up of Pacific space from the early nineteenth century to the present. From Melville's adventures on whaling vessels throughout the Pacific, to Pearl Harbour and anxieties about Japanese presence in and beyond the borders of the United States, to writing by contemporary Asian-American and Pacific authors, the texts on this course chart the ways in which the Pacific Ocean and its peoples have contributed to, created, and contested American national narratives. The module will develop students' insights into issues of U.S. national history and cultural geography, and deepen their engagement with current theories of nationalism and transnationalism as a frame for reflection on their studies abroad. At its heart a course in American literature, students will encounter an array of different genres of writing, including novels, travel narratives, poetry, short stories, and memoirs.




Indian Halloween costumes, reservation casino wealth, Washington Red Skins, Cowboy and Indian Alliance, powwow, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, and the Native tourist industry are just some of the contemporary topics that will be analysed to open this module's explorations and discussions of the histories of Native Americans within the context of United States' settler colonialism. A wide range of sources will be studied: traditional written texts; photographs; art; fashion; advertisements; museums displays. Students will learn the techniques to conduct these analyses, and to participate in current historical debates, evaluate the historiography, and define their own topic for the written assessment.



THE US SUPREME COURT, 1900-TODAY: The Rights Revolution

The 20th Century saw a major expansion in the role of the Supreme Court in American politics and society. Changing understandings of individual rights and liberties spurred a constitutional revolution in areas of civil rights and individual freedoms. Legal and social changes occurred alongside changing interpretations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to fundamentally alter the way many Americans related to each other and to the government. Following World War Two the Court became increasingly active in areas of public policy, deciding cases involving freedom of speech, religion and the press, campaign finance, gun control and the right to bear arms, the rights of criminal suspects and defendants, same-sex marriage, abortion, and the death penalty, among many others. This module introduces students to the role and operation of the Court as well as to the historic events it has been involved with since the early 20th Century. From repeatedly striking down New Deal legislation in the 1930s to halting the recount of votes in Florida in the 2000 election, from holding the state had no responsibility for the protection of individuals in the first two decades of the 20th Century to expanding understandings of "equal protection of the laws" in the second half of the century, the module will encourage students to consider the role of law in shaping and influencing American history and politics, as well as asking how and why the Court ruled in particular ways. Through a combination of Court opinions and academic studies, students will be asked to consider key issues in 20th and 21st Century US history and the role of the law and Constitution in shaping them. Students are challenged to consider how understandings of key legal "rights" have changed over time and what this tells us about the Court, the Constitution, and about American society more broadly.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • Discrimi-nations

    How did the South African anti-apartheid movement inspire African Americans in their fight for freedom from racial inequality? Dr Nicholas Grant explores the history of international opposition to racism to find out the answer.

    Read it Discrimi-nations
  • Undergraduate Scholarships

    UEA has an awesome range of scholarships to support your undergraduate degree – make sure you check them out!

    Read it Undergraduate Scholarships

Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB preferably including English and/or History
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points preferably including 5 in HL English and/or History
  • Scottish Advanced Highers ABB preferably including English and/or History
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AABBBB preferably including English Literature and/or History or 2 subjects at H1 and 4 at H2 preferably including English Literature and/or History.
  • Access Course An Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences pathway is preferred. Pass the Access course with Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 preferably including English and/or History modules, and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3
  • BTEC DDM preferably alongside a GCE A-level or equivalent in English and/or History
  • European Baccalaureate 75% preferably including English and/or History

Entry Requirement

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE Level.

A GCE A-level in English and/or History is preferred. 

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (with no less than 6.0 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic and or English requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO University of East Anglia offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme. Depending on your interests, and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:


The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact directly to discuss this further.


The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

GCSE Offer

  • A Level ABB (preferably including English Literature or a History-based subject)
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points including 5 in Higher Level English or History
  • Scottish Highers At least one Advanced Higher preferred in addition to Highers
  • Scottish Advanced Highers ABB (preferably including English Literature or a History-based subject)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AABBBB including English or History
  • Access Course An Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences pathway is preferred. Pass the Access course with Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 including English Literature or History modules, and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3
  • BTEC DDM, an ARTS/Humanities subject preferred alongside a GCE A-Level or equivalent grade B in English Literature or History related subject
  • European Baccalaureate 75% (preferably including English Literature or History)

Entry Requirement

Typical A-level offer: ABB including a Literature-based or History-based subject.

Typical International Baccalaureate offer: 32 including English or History

All equivalent qualifications considered, please contact the University for further information

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS (SELT): 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in Reading and Writing with no less than 5.5 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic and or English requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO University of East Anglia offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme. Depending on your interests, and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:


The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview. However, for some students an interview will be requested. These are normally quite informal and generally cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.

Students will have the opportunity to meet with an academic on an Applicant Day in order to gain a deeper insight into the course(s) you have applied for.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.

Deferred Entry 

We also welcome applications for deferred entry, believing that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and may wish to contact the appropriate Admissions Office directly to discuss this further.


This course's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact university directly for further information.

GCSE Offer

Students are required to have GCSE Mathematics and English at Grade C or above.

Fees and Funding

In each year, American Studies offers a number of scholarships of up to £1000 to students on a Year Abroad.  Those students scoring top marks in their A level exams will be considered for one of these awards.

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support: Home and EU Students

Tuition Fees

Please see our webpage for further information on the current amount of tuition fees payable for Home and EU students and for details of the support available.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

Home/EU - The University of East Anglia offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships.  To check if you are eligible please visit the website.


Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support: International Students

Tuition Fees

Please see our webpage for further information on the current amount of tuition fees payable for International Students.


We offer a range of Scholarships for International Students – please see our website for further information.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Office prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

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    Next Steps

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