You will be taught through diverse methods including lectures, seminars, small discussion groups, and individual supervision. The degree culminates in a dissertation conceived, researched, and written independently by you under the one-to-one supervision of an expert in American Studies.
Each term you will study three modules, attending a minimum of two classes per week for each module. Typically a week will involve additional events such as workshops on careers and study skills, learning groups, introduced film screenings and the opportunity for one-to-one meetings with tutors.
Assessment methods are varied too. Our major forms of assessment are submitted essays, blogs, passage analysis and written exams. On some modules we also assess by means of oral presentations and group work projects in order to give you a more fully rounded academic experience and to help you develop vital oral and teamwork skills for the professional workplace.
In all our modules you learn - and we teach - with the assistance of the latest technology. Our virtual learning environment (Blackboard) will give you access to articles, websites and discussion groups and so enable you to participate more fully in all areas as well as become more fully informed.
You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they be academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.
When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.
Typical workload hours for American Studies courses in 2016/17:
Year 1: 13% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 156 hours
- Independent learning: 1044 hours
Year 2: 17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 204 hours
- Independent learning: 966 hours
Final year: 11% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 132 hours
- Independent learning: 1068 hours
While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.
Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:
- study and exam skills
- academic writing
- numerical data skills
- referencing sources
Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.