BA American Studies and International Relations (4 year)

Course Overview

American Studies and International Relations includes the study of American Literature, History and Politics and provides a detailed understanding of the international political system, key issues and an appreciation of the global dynamics at work.

Teaching and Assessment

In order to structure an academically coherent and intellectually rigorous programme, the degree is built around compulsory and optional modules. (Have a look at our module booklet for full information on modules).

The programme is delivered through lectures, tutorials and seminars. You will usually receive nine hours minimum scheduled contact time with your teachers every week. Every degree involves choices, options will be available and if first choices are not secured then the alternative will be as good. Full attendance at lectures, seminars and personal tutorials (personal tutorials are obligatory). All Arts and Humanities programmes include independent learning which requires initiative and hard work. 

We will challenge you with demanding teaching and assessment. Assessment includes essay, coursework and examination, presentations and a dissertation.    

Key Features

  • A UNIQUE STUDY EXPERIENCE IN THE UK! New students who are admitted to our BA programmes will be offered Centenary Graduate Scholarships to reward academic achievement. The Excellence and Merit scholarships will be available to EU, UK and International students who have completed a full-time three or four year BA programme, achieved a 2:1 or above, and gained a place on a one-year full-time Taught Masters programme in the College.
  • BA students who graduate with a 1st class degree will automatically receive a full tuition fee Excellence scholarship for the MA year. 
  • BA students who graduate with a 2:1 degree will automatically receive a Merit scholarship and pay £1,000 fees for the MA year.
  • Visiting American Professors offer modules as part of the American Studies and International Relations degree.
  • Students spend the third year studying at a University in the USA.
  • Our students have a personal tutor who provides pastoral support and guidance on issues that may affect their well-being, attendance and progress through University.
  • Our staff are active researchers known across the globe and we teach an exciting range of topics that cover every branch of the subject across many regions of the world.
  • Our Graduates are truly international and have careers all around the world.
  • American Studies is ranked 2nd in the UK in the Guardian University League Tables 2016.

Modules

Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 2 (Level 5)

HE Level 5 Degree / HEDip

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
AM-213Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Topics in American Studies II:
PO-203Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Anarchy and Order: Theories in International Relations
PO-232Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Empire Strikes Back: American Security Policy in the Post-Cold War Era
PO-239Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Moralities of War and Peace
Optional Modules
American Studies Modules 

Choose Exactly 60 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Students must select at least 40 credits of AM-coded modules.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
AM-200Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Crime Story: American Hard-Boiled Fiction and Film Noir
AM-204Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Race and Ethnicity: American Perspectives
AM-213Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Topics in American Studies II:
AM-214Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Frontier Narratives
AM-215Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20American Word/American Image
AM-217Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20The Making of Transatlantic America
AM-218Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Re-Thinking the South: Southern Culture and History, 1865-1955
AM-232Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Issues in American Politics
AM-240Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Paradox of Power: American Foreign Policy
AM-245Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20John F. Kennedy and America
AM-250Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Ghettos, Streets, Suburbs: Cultural Representations of the American City, 1890 - present
AM-251Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20America in Crisis: Political Culture and Society from the Tet Offensive to the Tea Party
HIH253Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Welsh Century: Politics, Nationality and Religion, 1847-1947
HIH267Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The History of the Mass Media in the United Kingdom
HUA203Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Digital War
HUA206Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Contemporary Wars and Conflicts
HUP201Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Fundamental Issues in Moral and Political Philosophy
HUP202Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Founders of Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant
ML-227Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20War and Conflict in European Film (Modern Languages route)
MS-219Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Studying Digital Media
MS-231Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Introduction to Journalism
MS-235Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Media Law
MSP200RSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Public Relations Theory
PO-219Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Global Political Economy: From Mercantilism to Neoliberalism
PO-222Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Globalisation
PO-232Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Empire Strikes Back: American Security Policy in the Post-Cold War Era
PO-234Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Elections and Voting
PO-235Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Human Rights and Global Justice
PO-237Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Latin American Politics through Film
PO-256Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Genocide
PO-281Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20British Politics and Public Policy

Year 4 (Level 6)

HE Level 6 Degree / Honours

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PO-396Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Researching Politics 1
PO-397Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Researching Politics 2 (PO-327)
Optional Modules
International Relations Dissertation 

Choose Maximum Of 40 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select 1 module below for TB1/2 (long module, extending over two terms)

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
AM-336Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)40American Studies Dissertation
PO-3000Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20The National Assembly for Wales
PO-395Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Dissertation (PO-325)
AND
Optional Modules 

Choose Maximum Of 60 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Students taking Joint Honours American Studies will be expected to take 120 credits for the year. 60 credits must be offered by the American Studies Programme (AM code) or from modules in the cognate disciplines as listed below and 60 by the Joint Honours Department. Please note that AM-336 (Dissertation) is a Compulsory 40 credit module unless you are taking the dissertation in the other joint honours discipline. It is recommended that 40 credits should be modules with an AM code.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
AM-300Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Power and Protest in American Political Culture
AM-316Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Contemporary American Fiction
AM-330Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20America and the Bomb
AM-331Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The American Presidency: Leadership and Power
AM-333Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20African American Literature 1910-1940: The Harlem Renaissance
AM-335Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The American Civil War in History and Memory
AM-337Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20"A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall": America in the 1960s
AM-338Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Clear and Present Danger: Terrorism and America
HIH3215Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Media and Society in the 1930s
HIH396Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20From Machiavelli to Mussolini: Government and society in Western political thought
HUA300Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Rise of Brazil
HUA301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Gunfighter Nation: the West in History, Mythology and Fiction
HUA305Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Spanish Civil War - Its Origins, Course and Legacy
HUA306Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20The Aftermaths of War
HUA308Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Real War, Imagined War: War in Literature, Art and Cinema
HUA309Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20The Russian Civil War
HUP301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Religion, Science, and Superstition
HUP304Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Philosophy and the Social Sciences
MS-302Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Media, Gender and Sexuality
MS-306Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Digital Futures
MS-309Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Online Journalism
MSP300RSemester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Strategy, Marketing and Branding
PO-3110Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Visions of Democracy
PO-3114Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The International Politics of Space
PO-3117Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Politics and International Development
PO-3121Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Parliamentary Studies
PO-3316Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Shadow Wars: US Presidents and covert action from the Cold War to Obama
PO-345Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Contemporary Political Economy: Competing Perspectives on Global Capitalism
PO-392Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Contemporary Security
POA301Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Dissertation in Parliamentary Studies

Description

American Studies and International Relations is a well-established programme.  Students study six modules a year, 3 in American Studies and 3 in International Relations.

Entry Requirements

Our preferred offers for UK applicants BBB-BBC at A-level. However, flexible offers are made on review of the application form, after taking into consideration the subjects studied, predicted or achieved grades, reference and personal statement. For candidates offering the International Baccalaureate 32-30 points. We ask for Welsh Baccalaureate plus BC at A-level. Access candidates should have 15 Distinctions and 18 Merits. We require a minimum IELT score of 6.0.

How To Apply

EU/UK candidates apply here.

International students apply here.

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2016/17 are as follows:

UK/EU International
BA (Hons) Full-time £9,000 £13,650

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3% for International students and at the capped fee rate as set by the UK Government for UK/EU students.

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, year abroad or placement year) a lower fee will apply. For more information visit our tuition fees page.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

There are additional costs for study abroad. Find out more here.

Student Quotes

"The American Studies course at Swansea is broad but I felt that this allowed me to select modules to suit my needs and interest and thus I was able to excel because I could study the topics I felt truly passionate about. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the US and worked as a researcher for a professor and spent some time working on a local political campaign. I also enjoyed the breadth and flexibility of the American Studies course in that I covered history, politics and literature in the first two years before focussing on politics in my final year through the modules I selected and my dissertation. I now work as a Research Consultant, Russell Reynolds Associates one of the top four executive search firms globally. We are a NY headquartered company and quite “American” in terms of our culture which I easily understand after studying American Studies and experiencing a year abroad in the USA."

Amy Tindale


 "My degree is fantastic. I have learnt so much about international relations and developed valuable essay writing skills. The IR Professors are very helpful. I would say that so far my experience as a student in IR is self-fulfilling and very interesting and Swansea University is the right place to study this course. After graduating, I intend to study an MA in International Affairs. My dream would be to work for the UN."

Salma El Hankouri

Research

The Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) brings together academics, postgraduates and visiting national and international scholars to create a rich and vibrant research environment geared to international excellence and impact.

Employability and Careers

92.9 per cent * of American Studies Single and Joint Honours Graduates from Swansea University are in work and/or further study six months after graduation. American Studies at Swansea is ranked 1st for graduate prospects in The Guardian Good University Guide 2016.

Graduating with an internationally recognised degree in American Studies will put you in a great position to succeed in a wide range of careers. You will gain excellent oral and writing skills and you will learn to present your ideas in a range of formats. You will also develop strong research and analytical skills and the ability to problem solve and make informed decisions. Our programmes include various forms of assessment, teamwork through seminars, tutorials and group presentations and an independent study - dissertation module. You will learn to manage your time and workload effectively. All of these skills will ensure you can compete very successfully in the employment market.

Our students have progressed to a broad range of work sectors including education, marketing, government, research and events management, working for organisations such as:

  • Westminster Forum Projects
  • Labour Party
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers

Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:

  • MA International Communication and Development
  • MA International Relations
  • MA War and Society

*First–degree Swansea University graduates of American Studies. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.

Student Video

Student Video