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Come and study the most contemporary and interdisciplinary perspectives on the United States at the Sussex Centre for American Studies.

You’ll use:

  • materials from the American Special Collections at The Keep, the world-class centre for archive on our doorstep
  • information from our exceptional digital resources
  • ideas developed from stimulating seminars on subjects including race, empire, democracy, transnationalism and identity.

The MA combines hands-on research with cutting-edge theoretical training. This helps you understand a globally situated North America in the 21st century and its longer historical context. You’ll work with experts in the field towards a dissertation or an archive-based final project.

Why choose this course?

  • We’re maintaining our place in the UK’s top 5 for American Studies: we’re ranked 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2018 and 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2018.
  • You’ll benefit from digital resources unavailable elsewhere outside the US, including African-American newspapers, mainstream and alternative print media, protest movement history, 1940s government policy, and the New Masses collection.
  • You’ll gain skills for a career in the cultural heritage sector – including museums, libraries and archives – or PhD research. Sussex is a co-ordinating institution for CHASE (AHRC doctoral funding consortium), in which American Studies is a prominent field.

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact us at 

How will I study?

You have the opportunity to develop your specialism or broaden your intellectual repertoire as you choose. You’ll be part of our enthusiastic scholarly community, attending research talks and events.

In the autumn term, you’ll take core modules exploring the latest methodologies and archival practices in American Studies.  

In the spring term, you’ll complement those studies with a range of small-group options on historical, literary or political topics. You’ll visit other institutions, such as the British Library, and you’ll work with a diverse range of people.

In the spring and summer terms, you’ll research your dissertation or archival project, supervised by a specialist tutor.

This course is currently subject to validation, in line with our procedures for assuring the quality of our degrees. This means that some course detail may change. The validation process will be concluded before the course starts.


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work


Your Critical American Studies MA will help develop your self-confidence as well as your attention to detail, written communication and teamwork skills. 

As a graduate, you’ll be well prepared for PhD research or to undertake work in a variety of sectors, including:

  • teaching, law and publishing
  • libraries and archives
  • public history and museums.

Visit the Critical American Studies - MA page on the University of Sussex website for more details!




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