Postgraduate course

American Studies MA

Explore the USA through history, film, literature, popular culture and more.

If you enjoy approaching a subject from different angles and challenging yourself to see things in new ways, this could be the course for you. This course takes a broad approach to questions of identity, nationalism, race, sexuality and gender in the USA. We consider America as a cultural construct as well as a geographical and political entity.

  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 1 year full-time | 2 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2019, September 2020
  • School – Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related discipline.

    Interview You will be required to attend an interview if your honours degree is in an unrelated discipline

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £5,000

    International 2019-20 £12,750

Course overview

You will become an increasingly independent writer and researcher, taking more of a lead in your seminar discussions than you may have at Undergraduate level. Our focus on presentations as a way of sharing and discussing your response to topics will also give you valuable transferable skills. This programme is well-suited to those students who prefer diversity to the narrower focus of a single-subject Master’s degree.

The modules take you on a series of journeys - from a discussion of American Studies itself as an approach, and then from the immediate localities, regions and borders of the United States, to wider national and international settings. This will offer multi-perspective interpretations of the United States, internally, with its neighbours and with the rest of the world.

Course structure

Modules include:

  • Critical Approaches to American Studies (30 credits)
  • Negotiated Territories: Cityscapes (30 credits)
  • Transnational Border Crossings (30 credits)
  • Peril and Progress: Security in the Post-1945 World (30 credits)
  • Contemporary American Literature (30 credits)
  • Alternative Americas (30 credits)
  • Research Dissertation I (60 credits)
  • Research Dissertation II (60 credits)

Teaching and assessment

The academic year is divided into three terms: term 1 (September –December); term 2 (January-March); term 3 (April to June). July and August is the period when you write up your dissertation.

All taught sessions take place in the evening, 4.00pm - 7.00pm. Full-time teaching is two evenings per week and part-time one evening per week.

Each week, small presentation groups lead/initiate the discussion of the topic. You will therefore bring to the table your own interpretation of the given material, working independently as well as in a group. The sessions will provide you with the opportunity to discuss your ideas in a safe and supportive environment.

Workload: 30 contact hours per taught module/124 supported open learning hours (e.g. online documentation) per taught module/146 independent study hours per taught module.

Our Academic Support Team provides help in the following areas: study skills, written English, and research skills. Details on where to get support will be provided at the beginning of the course. In addition, you will meet regularly with an academic tutor, who is there in a pastoral capacity.

Coursework makes up 100% of assessment. You will be assessed by portfolio for two core modules (essay, film and or book reviews, reflective journal) and by a 5,000-word essay for the two optional modules. You will also produce a 15,000-word dissertation, which will be submitted at the end of the course.

All assignments and feedback is exchanged through the University’s virtual learning environment.

Entry Requirements

UK/EU Students 

Applicants should normally have a first degree in the subject or an equivalent area at 2:2 or above. Candidates who do not have a first degree in History will be required to have an interview.

International Students

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (ie the same entry criteria as above). If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

APEL Policy 

Where applicants do not meet the stated entry requirements above, it may be possible to take into account evidence of APEL as an alternative method of meeting the programme’s entry requirements. In such a case, appropriate references and records of employment might be presented to support the applicant’s case for admission.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for a Postgraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 - 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £5,000 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For part-time options, see the Fees & Funding webpages for more information

Postgraduate Loan: A Postgraduate Loan is available to help you pay for your Master’s course. Find out more about the Postgraduate Loan.

A 10% discount is applicable to all YSJU Alumni (subject to a minimum of 120 credits and achievement of a recognised award) undertaking PG level study (excludes PGCE).

International (non-EU) 2019 - 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this Postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration webpages.

International Fees & Funding

Funding your course

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full-time or part-time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Applications for September 2019 entry must be submitted and completed by 5 October 2019.

Apply Now: Part-time

Apply Now: Full-time

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