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Undergraduate course

American Studies & Film Studies BA (Hons)

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Combining American Studies and Film Studies at York St John University provides you with the opportunity to explore the genres, social and historical contexts, pleasures and the politics of film, whilst also developing a greater understanding of America’s profound influence upon the world and also of the way the world regards America.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – TP7H
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020, September 2021
  • School – Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

If you wish to study two academic subjects in depth our Joint Honours degree programmes are a great way to do this. 

The American Studies and Film Studies programme offers you the opportunity to consider film on a global scale with a particular focus across the degree on American society, history and popular culture. You will explore the history of American cinema and the ways in which it has reflected political and social climates. You will also be given the opportunity to explore key filmic movements such as the New Hollywood period from the 1970s and the independent cinema cycle of of the 1980s and 90s. American film will also be considered on a global scale and you will investigate how it has influenced, and has been influenced by, the cinematic cultures of other nations. 


You will be equipped with the tools to analyse and critically engage with cinema of different genres, styles, periods and world sites vis-à-vis a range of cultural forms such as visual art, interactive media and literature.

The Film Studies Programme can be studied as a single subject as well as alongside other programmes (Media and English Literature).

Course structure

Level 1

Modules include: 

  • Filmmakers on Film (20 credits)
  • Cinema & Society (20 credits)
  • Media Research (20 credits)
  • Film & its Audiences (20 credits)
  • American Foundation (20 credits)
  • America’s Century (20 credits)

Level 2

Modules include:


  • Mapping America (20 credits) 
  • Film and the American Imagination (20 credits) 


  • The Making of Modern America (20 credits) 
  • Adaptations (20 credits) 
  • Imaginary Worlds: Resrearching Science Fiction (20 credits) 
  • History, Community and Culture (20 credits) 
  • Media Enterprise (20 credits)
  • The Age of Anxiety: Culture and Society in the USA, 1929-60 (20 credits)
  • From Slavery to Freedom (20 credits)
  • Independent Cinema (20 credits) 
  • Gothic and Horror (20 credits) 


Level 3

Modules include: 

  • Special Study (40 credits) 
  • Special Study in History and American Studies (40 credits) 
  • Documentary Film Studies (20 credits) 
  • Animations (20 credits) 
  • US Conflict in the East Asian Mainland (20 credits)
  • Transnational Cinema (20 credits) 
  • The Nation Divided: The Civil War Era in American Life (20 credits) 
  • The Great Society: America in the 1960s (20 credits) 
  • American Literature in the Twentieth Century (20 credits) 
  • Pop Americana: Contemporary Popular Culture (20 credits) 
  • Gender and Sexualities (20 credits) 

Teaching & Assessment

On the American Studies and Film Studies BA (Hons) programme you will experience and take part in lectures, seminars, workshops, task focused activities, field-trips and excursions and informative engagement with media practitioners and those working in the creative industry. Crucially, this is backed up by four distinct features. These are:

  • Research informed teaching where experts in their subjects will work with you and develop your knowledge.
  • A schedule of tutorial support where you will gain advice and guidance on how to progress academically.
  • Technology enhanced programme instruction from experts that will help you to learn how to use media as a critical and creative tool.
  • An employability strand to equip you for work as a graduate.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways including essays, portfolios, single and group presentations (for example, voice-over commentaries using iPads and tablets), interactive e-portfolios (using platforms such as Word Press), creative visual pieces. All of these will be introduced at Level1 and then developed throughout your degree.

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Foundation Year

This course is available with a foundation year. This option is ideal if you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto a degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education. A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. Passing it guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Foundation courses

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate knowledge and commitment to the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, through previous study or wider reading.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include further study, career plans and transferrable skills such as time management.

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.

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