(BA) Bachelor of Arts
American Studies (United States) (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
- think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
- have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
- are returning to university after some time away from education; or
- are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.
Examples of the above tariff may include:
- A-levels: DDD
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
- T-levels: Pass with E in core
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student 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 required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Student 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.
Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.
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 .
To provide students with opportunities to acquire and apply research skills.
To develop students' analytical, critical and problem-solving skills.
To prepare students for further work or study on and in the United States.
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.
Lectures and classes
Individual and group tasks
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.
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.
B1 and B3 are also acquired through lectures and through feedback on course work.
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.
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 - C3 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
Key skills are acquired through participatory classwork in all years of study, through the presentation of continuous coursework and preparation for examinations.
Students are encouraged to engage in discussion, to listen effectively and to participate in group work to the benefit of the group as a whole.
On some modules oral presentation skills are assessed.
All key skills are assessed through coursework and examinations.