American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)
Current
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Full-time
Area Studies
BA T7W8
10/05/2023

Details

Professional accreditation

None

Admission criteria

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.

Standard offer:

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.

International applicants:

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.

Additional Notes

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.

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).

None

Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

None

External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Kevin Corstorphine

Lecturer

University of Hull

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.

Key

Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 0 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  IA118-3-FY-CO  Becoming Enlightened Citizens: Foundations in Politics and Government  Core  30  30 
02  IA145-3-FY-CO  Research and Academic Development Skills  Core  30  30 
03    IA101-3-FY or IA108-3-FY or IA111-3-FY or IA121-3-FY  Core with Options  30  30 
04    IA101-3-FY or IA108-3-FY or IA111-3-FY or IA121-3-FY  Core with Options  30  30 

Year 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CS101-4-FY-CO  Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture  Compulsory  30  30 
02  LT121-4-FY-CO  Approaches to Film and Media  Compulsory  30  30 
03  LT161-4-AU-CO  Introduction to United States Literature  Compulsory  15  15 
04  SC164-4-SP-CO  Introduction to United States Sociology  Compulsory  15  15 
05    (GV163-4-AU and HR106-4-SP) or Film option(s) from list  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
06  CS711-4-FY-CO  Skills for University Studies  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CS261-5-AU-CO  America and the World  Compulsory  15  15 
02    CS200-5-AU or (CS712-5-FY and 2nd year United States option from list)  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
03    US option(s) from list in different discipline  Optional  45  45 
04    (LT225-5-AU and LT226-5-SP) or 2nd year Film option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
05    CS241-5-SP or United States option from list  Optional  15  15 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  AW121-6-FY-CO  Abroad Module 120 Credits  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2027/28

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    US Studies option(s) from list or outside option(s)  Optional  30  30 
02    US option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
03    LT408-6-FY or Final year film option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    CS831-6-FY or CS301-6-FY or (CS315-6-SP and option from list)  Compulsory with Options  30  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • 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.

    Learning methods

    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 methods

    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.

    Learning methods

    The skills are acquired through lectures, classes and seminars. Students are expected to do independent research to consolidate classwork.

    Assessment methods

    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.

    Learning methods

    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.

    Assessment methods

    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

    Learning methods

    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.

    Assessment methods

    All key skills are assessed through coursework and examinations.


    Note

    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

    Contact

    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

    If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.