MA American Studies

University of East Anglia Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Program Description

MA American Studies

University of East Anglia Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Why does the United States of America matter so much to us all?

Wealth, but world-wide credit crisis? Automobiles and highways? War on terror? First black president? International movie industry? The American dream? Patriotism and flag waving?

Whatever the reasons the United States matters to you, studying for one of our MA degrees [American History; American literature; American Studies; or American Studies and Film] will allow you to explore the events and forces that shaped the United States, and gain a deeper understanding of how this powerful nation moulds and influences the cultural, political, and economic lives of its own peoples and the world.

Why Study America at UEA?

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 vibrant research community ensures that faculty and graduate students meet regularly for research seminars and social events. The Arthur Miller Centre organises an annual Literary Festival, bringing major North American writers to the campus every year. All our MA programmes are interdisciplinary and are among the most established and prestigious in Britain.

Course Content and Structure:

Students build on their undergraduate training to develop exceptionally high levels of theoretical understanding and knowledge of American thought, culture, literature, history, politics and film. Faculty members and students of American Studies work within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. All teaching is in small seminar groups, which provides students with the opportunity to engage fully with their own ideas and those of others.

MA in American Studies

This is a broad-ranging programme that combines the study of cultural theory, literature, film, history and international relations. All students take Theories of American Culture (team-taught by eight faculty members) and choose two other modules taught within American Studies, for example: Twentieth-Century American Novel; The Black Atlantic; Slave Life in the Antebellum South; Native American History; American Foreign Policy Interventions; Race and Resistance; Gender and Genre in Contemporary Cinema; Postcolonial Theory. The fourth module is a free choice; students can select this additional module within American Studies, or take a module in a complementary MA programme, such as Studies in Fiction, Life Writing, Film Studies, Culture and Communication, History, or International Relations.

Final Dissertation

A dissertation of 12-15,000 words is prepared over the summer for submission at the start of September. Students are encouraged to select topics which have stimulated or grabbed their interest during the course of the year. Each student is allocated a supervisor whose expertise and interests match their chosen dissertation project. All students receive intensive one-on-one supervision and mentoring.

Course Assessment

There is no written examination. Assessment is on the basis of coursework (essays and sometimes class presentations) and the dissertation. The dissertation counts for half the marks of the course.

Research Community

MA students are valued members of the American Studies’ research community and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and interact intellectually and socially with faculty members and Ph.D students. As part of your training you will attend weekly research seminars, where distinguished scholars from the UK, USA and elsewhere present their research for discussion with the UEA American Studies research community. Postgraduate students are encouraged to present their work in this supportive environment, where they can critically engage in scholarly debates.

Transferable Skills:

Many transferable skills are developed through the MA programmes in American Studies, including: research and writing skills; ITC skills; presentational skills; practice in public speaking and academic debate; team-work; time and project management.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 1, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 year
Full time
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Norwich, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price Request Info