American Studies (with a study abroad year) BA (Hons)

Key information

Duration:
4 years full time
UCAS code:
T700
Start date:
September 2025

Intrigued by American culture, politics and history? Fascinated by the many facets of modern North American culture, including literature, film, popular culture and art?

On this course, you’ll learn from one of the largest groups of academics dedicated to American Studies in the UK. Your teaching is underpinned by our cutting-edge research expertise. This includes American culture, gender and sexuality, social and racial justice movements, women’s history, ideas in US foreign policy, American literature and philosophy, and literature’s scientific connections. 

During your studies, you’ll:

  • conduct research on topics related to North American history, literature, politics and popular culture
  • get to grips with theoretical concepts in American Studies around race, class, nation, empire, gender and sexuality
  • take electives from other subjects – from modern languages to media and law – to open your mind to other disciplines and tailor your degree to your interests
  • learn how to critically analyse a range of media, including music, art, film, political documents and speeches
  • hone your verbal and written presentation skills
  • be a part of our active student community, with activities including field trips, social events and a seminar series.

Your exciting year abroad in North America is a highlight of this course. You’ll build your confidence and broaden your outlook. From Tulane University in New Orleans to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we have many prestigious partner institutions all across the continent.

When you graduate, you’ll be prepared for a wide range of jobs – from the radio, tv and film industries, to the Civil Service, research, journalism, marketing and non-profit organisations.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

I wanted to know how we could move beyond typical representations and give people a voice.”Victoria Gill
American Studies (with a study abroad year) BA 
Read Victoria’s story

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are currently under review – please check back in early March 2024.

Modules

This is a single-honours course, allowing you to focus in depth on your core subject.

Find out about our types of undergraduate degrees, their structure, modules and credits

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in four electives across Years 1 and 2 helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives and pathways

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in four electives across Years 1 and 2 helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives and pathways

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

You spend your third year studying at one of our US or Canadian partners’ campuses. Our range of partner institutions represents every facet of the American experience, and includes:

  • UC Berkeley and UCLA
  • Tulane University in New Orleans and the University of North Carolina
  • Georgetown University and George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Whether you are interested in Native American culture, the Civil Rights movement, or American modernist poetry, Sussex offers you a unique experience while studying in North America.

If your application to study abroad is successful, you’ll have to meet the academic requirements at Sussex and also at the partner university. Find out more about studying abroad as a Sussex student

In the heart of Washington DC – just a 10-minute walk from iconic monuments and museums – I’ve had the chance to continue my Sussex education in a completely new environment, supported by kind and caring professors.”Louis Hubbick
American Studies (with a study abroad year) BA 
Studied abroad at George Washington University, 2021-2022

Please note that courses with a study abroad year are not eligible for USA federal Direct Loan funds. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Options

You choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Find out about American Studies at the University of Sussex

TEF 2023 silver

Silver

The student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality.
This rating was awarded in 2023, for four years.
(Teaching Excellence Framework 2023)

Find out more about our approach to teaching and supporting you to thrive

Our staff

I chose Sussex so that I could learn from academics who have made groundbreaking contributions to their fields.”Oliver Hypolite-Bishop
American Studies (with a study abroad year) BA 

Fees

Fees are not yet set for the academic year 2025/26 – please check back in September 2024. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2025/26.

Careers

You gain skills in critical thinking across disciplines, attention to detail, flexibility of thought, self-confidence, teamwork, research and written communication.

Using the cultural and social insights from your year abroad, you can work in fields such as:

  • design
  • media and publishing
  • public relations and marketing
  • business and research
  • arts and events
  • the Civil Service
  • non-profit organisations.

Graduate destinations

Our recent American Studies graduates have started work as:

  • Junior Account Executive, Alexandra Public Relations
  • Fundraising and Social Media Officer, St Michael’s Fellowship
  • Education Co-ordinator, Whitechapel Gallery

(School of Media, Arts and Humanities careers database) 

Working while you study

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

I couldn’t have done any of this without Sussex. Living and studying in another country has been crucial to my career.”Lucy Westcott
International Reporter, Newsweek 
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