This multidisciplinary MA comprises a broad range of specialist modules in the humanities and social sciences, bringing together the academic expertise of the institute with United States specialists from other UCL departments and University of London colleges. The programme's graduates have established careers in research, journalism, teaching and policy formulation and implementation in both government agencies and NGOs.
Students will develop analytical and critical perspectives in multidisciplinary aspects of US history, politics, cultural studies and international relations, depending on their chosen areas of specialisation. They will gain key research skills, enhance their capacity for oral and written presentation, and develop their knowledge of up-to-date scholarship and theoretical/conceptual debates in United States studies.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of one core module (15 credits), five optional modules (75 credits), and the research dissertation (90 credits). Please note: All optional modules are subject to availability.
-Researching the Americas: The USA
Optional modules - students choose five optional modules from a selection that includes the following:
-Confronting the Colossus: US Anti-imperialism, 1945-present
-The Culture Wars: Arenas and Issues in Contemporary US Political Conflict
-From Emancipation to Massive Resistance: Race, Racism and the African American Freedom Struggle 1865-1960
-From Skid Row to Obamacare: The Politics of Social Welfare in the United States Since 1900
-From the Civil Rights Revolution to Obama: Race, Racism and the African American Freedom Struggle in Modern America
-Politics of US Foreign Policy
-Post-Cold War US Foreign Policy
-US Presidents and the Presidency
-Race and US Foreign Policy
-From the New South to the Modern South: The (Re)Making of an American Region
Of the 75 optional module credits, students can choose a maximum of 30 credits from other departments or from other University of London colleges, subject to the Programme Director's approval.
All students write a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits) on a research topic of their choice linked to the subject area of one of their taught modules.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures, presentations, research skills training, independent reading and research. Assessment is through written assignments (which may include essays, term papers and analytical exercises, depending on selected options), group and seminar presentations, and the dissertation.
Many of our Master's students undertake fieldwork in order to carry out research for their dissertation projects. There may be travel costs associated with fieldwork. The institute has limited funds available to students to help towards the costs of fieldwork. These funds are awarded on a competitive basis on the criteria of academic performance to date, the quality of the research proposal and the importance of fieldwork for completing the research.
Graduates of this programme will be well placed to use their skills and knowledge to find employment in government, business, journalism, finance and international NGOs, and teaching, or to engage in doctoral research in this field.
Top career destinations for this degree:
-Junior Research Executive, UKTV
-Justice Committee Support Assistant, House of Commons
-Administration Manager, University College London
-Interpreter and Translator, National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI)
-PhD US History, University College London
Our graduates enter wide-ranging occupations, the most subject-specific becoming university lecturers in the UK and US. Students have drawn on broader skills of communication, research, and presentation developed through the programme to obtain posts in the civil service (mainly Foreign Commonwealth Office), other public services, think tanks (such as the Henry Jackson Society), university administration, secondary school teaching, and management positions in the private sector. Those interested in careers in national government, and think tanks have particular opportunities to interact and develop networks with representative members of these communities who participate in our rich US events programme.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Institute of the Americas occupies a unique position at the core of academic study of the region in the UK, promoting, co-ordinating and providing a focus for research and postgraduate teaching on the Americas, including Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.
The institute actively maintains and builds ties with cultural, diplomatic and business organisations with interests in the Americas, and provides resources to the wider academic community, serving and strengthening national networks of North Americanist, Latin Americanist and Caribbeanist scholars.
Students benefit from tuition by world-leading scholars in an academic environment at the cutting edge of research in the humanities and social sciences.
Normally an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.