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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

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.


Visit the American Studies MA page on the York St John University website for more details!

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