Taught course

American Studies

University of Kent · Faculty of Humanities

Entry requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in an appropriate subject or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

This interdisciplinary Master’s programme provides an opportunity for you to deconstruct the American experience at an advanced level.

It interrogates, challenges and moves beyond the Exceptionalist rhetoric and nation-states ideology of traditional American Studies to consider the USA, and its neighbours, in an insightful, challenging and relevant way.

You develop specialist knowledge and research skills in a range of disciplines by navigating complex historical, cultural, geo-political and environmental issues. A sophisticated awareness of the reach (and the limitations) of US hegemony, as well as issues of cultural collision, media penetration, region and identity, give our graduates an intellectual grounding well-suited to many careers, in addition to a solid foundation for graduate work at MPhil or PhD level.

Course structure

You take a compulsory 30 credit module ‘Transnational American Studies: Research and Approaches’. This is a year-long module designed to introduce key modes of analysis in transnational and interdisciplinary study as well as consider different methodologies, themes and intellectual debates. Assessment includes an extended essay, seminar presentation and a critical review of an academic research paper.

You also select 90 credits from a range of optional modules, spread across at least two disciplines. Optional modules vary year to year and below is a selection of recent modules on offer:

  • American Cold War Propaganda
  • Geiger Counter at Ground Zero: Explorations of Nuclear America
  • From Wounded Knee to the Little Bighorn Casino: The Vietnam War in American History
  • American Narrative in the Age of Postmodernism
  • American Modernism
  • Boundary Busting and Border Crossing
  • Myth, Image, Fashion and Propaganda in the Cuban Revolutionary Era
  • History and Memory
  • American Foreign Policy

The remaining 60 credits are made up with a Dissertation. Written over the summer term, this 12,000 word extended study allows students to work on their own research project based on primary research. You have the opportunity to present your ideas as part of workshop sessions on researching American Studies in the core course and receive supervision from an academic specialist.

Teaching and Assessment

Assessment for this course includes an extended essay, seminar presentation and a critical review of an academic research paper.

Information for international students

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/ems/eng-lang-reqs/index.html Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

Please visit our funding webpages for the most current information and application processes.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Recruitment & Admissions Office
+44 (0)1227 827272