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An MA by Research in American Studies at Swansea enables you to undertake a substantial project led by your own passions and interests. 

A research degree in American Studies represents a highly respected qualification which can present a pathway to a career in academia or widen your scope for employment in fields such as education, government or the private sector.

Your American Studies project will take one year full-time or two years part-time. It is suitable if you want to undertake a first research degree as the culmination of taught studies, or if you are considering further research.

You will submit a thesis of up to 40,000 words, demonstrating original research with a significant contribution to the subject in American Studies. This is followed by an oral examination of the thesis.

Our dynamic research environment is driven by committed staff who are all active researchers with a diverse range of interests and expertise through our Research Groups:

  • The Conflict, Reconstruction and Memory Research Group (CRAM)
  • Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO)
  • International Studies, Conflict and Security (ISCAS)
  • Political Analysis and Government (PAG)

This expertise in American Studies includes:

  • the American civil war
  • US foreign policy
  • the US ‘war on drugs’
  • US politics and government
  • surveillance and urban America
  • American conservatism
  • American military history
  • 20th century American literature, film and popular culture

As a American Studies research student, you are required to attend valuable skills and training courses. You will have the opportunity to deliver presentations to research students and staff at departmental seminars, and at the College of Arts and Humanities Postgraduate conference.

How you're supervised on the American Studies research programme

We take care to ensure that each American Studies research student has the expert supervision required to complete their project within the candidature period. You will have a minimum of two supervisors based in the Department. Upon receipt of your application, we will identify supervisors whose research expertise matches your chosen topic. You will usually meet your supervisors once a month, and possibly more often at critical stages of your candidature, including preparing for final submission. MA by Research students are eligible to apply for an upgrade to a Ph.D within the first year of their candidature, if they demonstrate the ability to perform at doctoral level.

Politics and International Relations

American Studies is part of the Politics and International Relations, based in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies, is one of the leading research-led units at Swansea University. We challenge our students to investigate the wide and complex issues arising from how our societies are currently organised in political terms, both domestically and internationally, and how they should or could be better organised in the future.

American Studies

Swansea University is the leading centre in Wales for the study of the United States. American Studies is located in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies and we offer four year degrees (third year abroad) or three year degrees (optional semester abroad). 

Our students enjoy a warm and friendly atmosphere and all have a personal tutor. You can study American history, politics, literature, culture, and film. Visiting Faculty from the US contribute to delivering an exciting teaching programme which is intellectually stimulating and demanding. 

American Studies and Study Abroad

You may be able to take part in a semester abroad if you are enrolled on one the following degree schemes:

  • Ancient History, Classics and Egyptology
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Political and Cultural Studies (including American Studies)

You will need to start thinking about whether this is something that you are interested in during semester 1 of your first year and consider attending the information talk. Applications will then need to be submitted at the start of semester 2 during your first year. 

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Visit the American Studies MA by Research page on the Swansea University website for more details!




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