Understanding America in the 21st century is more essential than ever. Studying one of the world’s most significant superpowers at this fascinating moment of flux and change opens a wide range of pathways.
The programme is organised thematically, covering topics such as race, gender and civil liberties; power and protest; and American popular culture and the avant-garde. Your studies will equip you with the critical skills and methodological training needed to pursue your interest in America from multiple disciplinary perspectives. It is excellent preparation for future employment in several fields, as well as the platform for doctoral research.
This MA is equally well suited to American Studies graduates wishing to deepen their expertise, and to graduates of literature, history, or other disciplines wishing to discover new perspectives.
UEA has been a pioneering centre of American Studies for over 50 years. We are one of the most well established and highly regarded departments in the UK, with a long heritage of researching and teaching all aspects of life and culture in the United States. We continue to be at the forefront of the field today.
American Studies allows you to understand the United States from literary, cultural, and historical perspectives. On this course, you’ll study landmark historical events, novels, films, comic books, photographs and paintings. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of key moments and debates that have animated the history and culture of the United States.
You’ll discover the events and forces that have shaped the modern-day United States, deepening your understanding of how the country influences the cultural, political and economic lives of its own peoples and the world.
You’ll explore the subject through a mixture of seminar classes and academic tutorials. You’ll engage in debate and creative discussion, while choosing your own specialist pathway though the subject.
If your background is in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary American studies, we can support you as you continue to specialise in this vibrant field and find exciting new areas to pursue.
If you’re a graduate of literature or history, or another discipline, we’ll not only provide a place to explore the United States in depth but offer new theoretical and conceptual perspectives that can enliven your existing learning.
Study and Modules
This course will help you develop exceptionally high levels of knowledge and theoretical understanding of American thought, culture, history and politics. All teaching is conducted in small seminar groups. You’ll have the opportunity to engage fully with your own ideas and those of others.
The broad-ranging programme combines the study of cultural theory, literature, film, history and politics. You’ll take team-taught modules that directly reflect the cutting-edge research being carried out in the department. Modules may include Race and Resistance, Democracy and Dissent, and American Word and Image. These are underpinned by a module that introduces you to both the field of American Studies, and to research practices and interests shared by the American Studies faculty. You’re also able to choose one module from a wide range of MA offerings from across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, in fields such as film studies, literature, politics, and comics studies.
Finally, you’ll write a dissertation of 15,000–20,000 words. This is an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the topic that stimulates your interest. You’ll receive intensive one-on-one mentoring from a supervisor whose expertise and interests match your chosen project.
Optional A Modules(Credits: 20)
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. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with 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. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
You’ll learn through seminars and independent study. We pride ourselves on our small-group seminar teaching and the high level of discussion between academic staff and students.
You’ll refine your research skills throughout this MA and be introduced to new and exciting methodologies and theories that drive the study of American history, literature and popular culture. This will culminate in your dissertation, a substantial piece of original research in an area of your choosing, which you’ll undertake with the supervision of a member of the faculty.
As you progress through your degree, you’ll develop as a self-motivated researcher and an independent, creative thinker.
As well as timetabled seminar slots, each member of staff at UEA holds dedicated office hours where you can seek additional advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis. You’ll also be assigned an adviser who can support you through your studies by providing academic and career guidance.
You’ll be assessed on the basis of coursework and your dissertation. The dissertation will count for a third of your total marks.
You will receive constructive feedback on every piece of assessment that you submit. These comments and reflections will help you identify the methods and strategies to improve your work and get the most out of your studies.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.1 or equivalent
- Degree Subject
- All subject areas considered
- English Foreign Language
We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:
IELTS: 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in two components only, with 6.0 in the other two)
PTE (Pearson): 64 (minimum 59 in only two components with 64 in the others)
Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.
Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests
INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This course is open to UK, EU and International applicants. This course's annual intake is in September of each year.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2023/24 are:
UK Students: £9,500 (full time)
International Students: £19,800 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
You’ll graduate with expert communication skills and a well-honed ability to evaluate and organise large amounts of information. As a graduate of this MA, you will be able to put your skills and knowledge to a huge range of uses, including further study at doctoral level; commercial and policy-related research; editing and content writing; and marketing and social media communications, to name just a few. You’ll be particularly good at working independently and initiating, developing and successfully completing projects, and will be an invaluable part of any team.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Examples of careers you could enter include:
- Civil service
- Marketing and advertising
- Creative and cultural industries
- Commercial/policy research