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

Course overview

(BA) Bachelor of Arts
American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Area Studies

UK and EU applicants should have, or expect to have:

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

Essex Pathways Department accepts a wide range of qualifications from applicants. If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

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.

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 Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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.

External Examiners

Dr Jonathan Mitchell
University Of East Anglia
Senior Lecturer in American Studies

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.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


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
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
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 CS101-4-FY Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture Compulsory 30
02 LT121-4-FY Approaches to Film and Media Core 30
03 LT161-4-AU Introduction to United States Literature Core 15
04 HR162-4-SP The Great American Experiment Core 15
05 GV163-4-AU AND SC164-4-SP OR LT122-4-FY Compulsory with Options 30
06 CS711-4-FY Skills for University Studies Compulsory 0

Year 2 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 CS261-5-FY Crisis of the American Idea Compulsory 30
02 CS200-5-AU or CS712-5-FY and 2nd year United States option from list Compulsory with Options 15
03 US option(s) from list in different discipline Optional 30
04 2nd year Film option(s) from list Optional 30
05 CS241-5-SP or United States option from list Optional 15

Year Abroad/Placement - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 AW600-6-FY Compulsory 60

Year 3 - 2023/24

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

P1. 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.

P2. 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.

P3. 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.

P4. 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.

P5. To develop students' intercultural skills necessary for living and working a different culture.

P6. To enable students to acquire a foundation for further study, employment and lifelong learning and to prepare studetns for further work or study on and in the United States.

P7. 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

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

C: Practical skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

D: Key skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:


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.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: