One of the top-rated departments in the UK for research One of the top-rated departments in the UK for research

The interdisciplinary American Studies programme at UEA enjoys an international reputation. American Studies has come 5th in the UK with 74% of its research rated 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent) in The Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), a major Government analysis of university research quality. Within the Area Studies Unit of Assessment we were the highest rated for American Studies. Our research areas encompass American studies, American literature and American history, with a focus on interdisciplinarity.

Research degrees

We welcome applications for research degrees at three levels: Masters by Research, MPhil and PhD. Studying for a PhD involves undertaking an original research project on a topic based on a research proposal from you, and producing a book-length thesis of up to 100,000 words. Students usually start in October, but it is possible to enroll at other times during the year.

Research and supervision

We have particular strengths in autobiography and biography; the historical and literary constructions of race, gender, sexuality and age as markers of differencematerial cultureland, space and place in the American environmentpost-colonialismand visual culture. Please contact our Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Sarah Garland, for further information concerning specific expertise.

Resources and research culture

Our research base, the Arthur Miller Institute, promotes the study of American Studies throughout Europe and sponsors an annual prize for the best article published by a British scholar of American Studies. The Centre organises an annual International Literary Festival that brings major writers from around the world to UEA, including Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, Richard Ford, Toni Morrison, Stephen Fry, Germaine Greer, Seamus Heaney, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith and Jay McInerney.

We have a vibrant research community of scholars from the UK, USA and other countries, which regularly brings faculty and students together for seminars and social events. We also have long-established links to over 40 universities in the USA. Our research seminars allow visiting speakers and American Studies staff to present papers based on their research and provide a forum in which staff and Postgraduate students with varying perspectives on American Studies can come together. Research students are encouraged to present papers at a suitable point in their Postgraduate studies.

PhD Programme 2017

The School of Art, Media and American Studies (AMA) at the University of East Anglia is inviting applications to our PhD programme.


This year (entrance in Oct 2017) the School intends to offer two fully-funded PhD studentships (Home/EU rates) in the following area of research:


American Visual Cultures


We see this as a broad and inclusive intellectual area that stresses the cross-disciplinary strengths of the School. Projects here could include aspects of American media, studies in America and the Americas, or issues around the trans-Atlantic. However, these are just indicative examples, and we would urge applicants to define and develop their relationship to American Visual Cultures in their proposals.


The University of East Anglia is part of the AHRC consortium CHASE (Consortium for the Arts and Humanities in South East England) which offers around 75 fully funded (tuition and maintenance grant) studentships per year to Home/EU PhD students across the consortium.


Additionally, there are fully funded Scholarships (equivalent to AHRC rates for both tuition and maintenance) offered by the Faculty (including 2 international), as well as the two School studentships outlined above.


The School holds a wealth of expertise in Art History and World Art Studies; Film, Television, and Media; and American Studies. You may wish to consult our list of staff and their research interests for guidance on possible supervisory expertise:


Particular research strengths are in the following areas:

Art History

American Studies

Film, Television and Media

World Art

Race, Gender, and Civil Liberties

Feminist Media Studies

Techniques of Making

Space, Place, and Environment

Media and Cultural Consumption

Material Histories

Popular and Avant-Garde Cultures

British Film and Television

Museums, Exhibition and Heritage

Transatlantic and Transpacific Studies

Genre Studies



It is important that prospective applicants contact the School as a matter of urgency to start the application process, preferably no later than the end of November to ensure that you work with potential supervisors on developing your proposal prior to application.


The deadline for applications (including all supporting information such as references) is Wednesday 11th January 2017.

Enquiries and how to apply


If you are interested in applying for a PhD in Art, Media or American Studies at UEA, please contact the School’s Director of Postgraduate Research, Dr Sarah Garland (, or contact a prospective supervisor directly but copying Dr Garland into the email.
More information and details of how to apply can be found at:  


Alternatively, please contact the Humanities Graduate School at: