4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018
Our faculty are experts in their fields and active on both sides of the Atlantic. This means you’ll be guided and supervised through your research project by leading practitioners.
We welcome research applications focusing on the social and political history of the United States. Much of our research focuses on:
- US race relations
- the Civil Rights movement
- transnational race relations
- the Civil War era
- the history of American racial violence.
Full-time and part-time study
You can choose to work on your research full time or part time. For details about part-time study, contact us.
PhD or MPhil?
You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.
- An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
- A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.
If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.
Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.
- Faculty profiles
Dr Anne-Marie Angelo
Lecturer In American History
Research interests: African American history, African diasporas, American History, Archives, black British history, Black Power, Cultural History, history and theory, history of creativity, Memory, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, Photography History, Theory and Practice, Post-Colonial Studies, race and ethnicity in global perspective, Television History, Theory and Criticism, Transnational history
Prof Stephen Burman
Professor of American Politics & History
Research interests: International Studies & Relations
Dr Natalia Cecire
Lecturer in English & American Literature
Research interests: American Studies, English and American literature, Feminist theory, History and Philosophy of Science, Modern and contemporary American poetry
Prof Robert Cook
Professor of American History
Research interests: History, Political History
Dr Sue Currell
Reader in American Literature
Research interests: American History, American Studies, Cultural History, English and American literature, Twentieth Century Literature
Dr Tom Davies
Lecturer in American History
Research interests: 'race' and class, African American history, American History, American Studies, History
Prof Richard Follett
Professor Of American History
Research interests: American History, Atlantic History, Brazilian Football, Caribbean History, Emancipation, Historical Demography, Latin America, Plantation Societies, Public Health (Eighteenth & Nineteenth Centuries), Race Relations, Slavery, Sugar
Dr Doug Haynes
Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Visual Culture
Research interests: Affect Theory, American Modernism, American Visual Art, Critical Theory, Economic Theory, Fictions of Threat, Ideas of pornography, Ideas of security, Marxism, Modern and contemporary American literature, Postmodern Literature, Psychic phenomena as types of literature, Thomas Pynchon
Dr Michael Jonik
Lecturer in English & AmericanLiterature
Research interests: African American literature and culture, American Philosophy, American Studies, Continental Philosophy, Critical Theory, Critical Theory and Marxism, Deleuze, Early American Literature, Emerson, English and American literature, Foucault, Henry James, History of science, Intellectual History, Melville, Nineteenth-Century American Literature, psychoanalysis, systems theory, Systems Theory; Control, The Transatlantic Enlightenment, Theory of mind, Thoreau
Dr Daniel Kane
Reader in English & American Literature
Research interests: Modern and contemporary American poetry, Popular Music, US cinema and popular culture
Prof Maria Lauret
Professor of American Literature and Culture
Research interests: 20th C Americanisation in the US, African American literature and culture, Alice Walker, American feminism, American immigrant literature, American immigration, Bharati Mukherjee, Junot Diaz, multilingual literature, Richard Rodriguez
Dr Katharina Rietzler
Lecturer in American History
Research interests: 20th C history, American History, charity & philanthropy, Diplomacy & International Relations, History of international law, history of the social sciences, history of think tanks and expertise, International History, International Organization, International theory, Liberal internationalism, Postcolonial/Decolonial theory, Transnational history
Prof Clive Webb
Professor Of Modern American History
Research interests: Anglo-American relations, Political violence, race and ethnicity
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.
English language support
Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.
Additional information for international students
We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.
Visas and immigration
Scholarships and fees
How can I fund my course?
Postgraduate Masters Loan
MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.
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.
Alfred Bader Scholarship Programme - PhD Scholarship in Modern Jewish History and Culture (2017)
3-year PhD scholarship - UK/EU tuition fees (non EU students will need to fund the difference in fees), as well as a maintenance payment.
3 May 2017
Asa Briggs PhD Scholarship (3 year) (2017)
This scholarship celebrates the key role in the foundation of Sussex by Lord Asa Briggs.
2 May 2017
Collaborative Doctoral Project Studentship- Sussex University and the British Library: American Political Pamphlets 1920-1945 (2017)
The University of Sussex and the British Library intend to make a PhD studentship appointment under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme
1 June 2017
Commonwealth Scholarship (2017)
Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study in the UK are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries.
29 March 2017
Dr John Birch Music Scholarship (2017)
Four scholarships of £800 to reward talented musicians and encourage music performance whilst studying at Sussex.
19 May 2017
Einhorn Oestreicher MPhil Scholarship (2017)
A £10,000 scholarship for students of any nationality wishing to pursue MPhil research in Resistance Studies commencing full-time in September 2017
31 May 2017
We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.
How much does it cost?
Fees for self-funding students
Home: £4,195 per year
EU: £4,195 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year
Overseas: £15,100 per year
Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.
Life at Sussex
Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator
+44 (0)1273 876612
- Admissions enquiries