(BA) Bachelor of Arts
American Studies (United States) with Film
University of Essex
University of Essex
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma:15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
To provide students with a multidisciplinary programme of study with which to assess American contributions to our understanding of political, historical , literary, artistic, social and cultural perspectives on the world.
To provide students with opportunities to acquire a critical appreciation of the United States and an understanding of its complex and paradoxical society from as many vantage points as possible.
To provide students with opportunities to experience a number of different critical approaches through teaching, reading and research in American history, literature, politics, sociology, art and film and a broad range of courses on the semester period of study abroad.
To enable students to become familiar with a range of approaches and genres in cinema, and to gain understanding of social, stylistic, thematic, cultural, ideological, aesthetic, narrative, technical and theoretical aspects of film.
To develop students' intercultural skills necessary for living and working a different culture.
To enable students to acquire a foundation for further study, employment and lifelong learning and to prepare students for further work or study on and in the United States.
To provide opportunities for studetns to acquire a wide range of transferable cognitive skills, practical skills and key skills.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the political processes of the United States and of some of the essential concepts Americans use to describe political life
A2: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of some of the most influential ideas that have informed sociological theories and visions of American society, related to the debates around race, inequality and gender in the United States.
A3: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of core concepts of the history of the United States, concerning its origins, development and influence
A4: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of some of the texts regarded as establishing and problematising U.S. literature as a separate literature from English
A5: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of some of the key cultural perspectives of the United States, its art, literature and film.
A6: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of genres and techniques in cinema.
A7: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of social, stylistic, thematic, cultural and theoretical aspects of film.
A8: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of some methods of critical analysis employed in studying film.
A1 - A5 are learned through a variety of historical, political, sociological and literary methods of investigation.
These may include historiography, institutional analysis, ethnography and literary criticism.
Outcomes A5-A8 are developed in film modules that include teaching methods and strategies of: lectures, discussion, and guided examination of visual material that addresses historical and contemporary methods of film analysis.
Course screenings, self-guided reading and viewing of visual materials in library allows students to develop ideas and to work independently.
A1-A8 are further developed through oral and written feedback on essays; guided instruction, questions and answers, and individual consultation in office hours for all modules.
Assessment is by unseen examinations and/or continuous coursework consisting of essays or term papers.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Students will be able to use their discipline-based training to think critically and analytically in relation to a number of different academic disciplines
B2: Students will be able to apply a range of primary and secondary sources which include written, oral and visual sources in a number of different contexts.
B3: Students will be able to reason critically, identify, analyse and solve problems, using appropriate methodologies and theories.
B4: Students will be able to demonstrate and exercise independence of mind and thought.
B5: Students will be able to analyse and interpret film materials and identify critical positions.
B1-B4 are acquired through classes and seminars where there is emphasis on group discussion.
Students are expected to do independent research to consolidate classwork and to conduct self-study of archive material.
B1 and B3 are also acquired through lectures and through staff advice and feedback on coursework.
All the stated skills are further developed in the optional final year dissertation.
All these skills are assessed in continuous coursework and examinations in all years.
C: Practical skills
C1: Students will be able to communicate ideas clearly and coherently in a range of disciplines and in a manner appropriate to a variety of target audiences at home and in the United States.
C2: Students will be able to present written materials using appropriate language, referencing, and other illustrative material as appropriate.
C3: Students will be able to work independently, write and think under pressure, meet deadlines, manage their own time and workload and demonstrate initiative.
C4: Students will be able to apply the necessary organisational and cultural skills for living and working abroad.
C1 - C3 are acquired through classes, coursework and preparation for examinations.
C2, C3 and C5 are acquired through classes, lectures, essays, term papers and further through the optional final year dissertation.
C4 and C5 are acquired through the guided but relatively independent process of organising and successfully completing a period of living and studying in the United States.
C1 - C4 are assessed through unseen examinations, coursework essays and term papers in all years.
D: Key skills
D1: Students will be able to present knowledge or an argument in a clear, coherent and relevant manner, work proficiently and effectively in a range of academic contexts and work independently in a different cultural and learning environment
D2: Students will be able to use a range of appropriate IT to research and present material.
D4: Students will be able to identify a research problem and apply relevant research methodologies and techniques
to resolve it.
D6: Students will be able to reflect on their own learning, to seek and make use of feedback on their performance, to recognise when further knowledge is required and to undertake the necessary research
D1 and D6 skills are acquired through participatory classwork in all years of study.
D1 is acquired through the period of study abroad.
D2, D4 and D6 skills are acquired through the presentation of continuous coursework in all years of study.
All key skills are assessed through coursework and examinations.