American Studies and English Literature 

(2018 Entry)

BA (Hons)

American Studies enables you to study the history and literature of the United States. You can also take modules in American politics.

Combined Honours
Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: QT37

View entry requirements

Course Overview

American Studies and English Literature

School link:
School of Humanities

Alongside studying the culture and society of the US, this programme enables you to study another national culture – that of Great Britain – through literature (and also film and television). Our relationship with our transatlantic ally is sometimes referred to as the ‘special relationship’, though it is also said (in a phrase attributed to Wilde, Shaw and Churchill) that we are ‘two nations divided by a common language’. So what are the connections – and the differences – between the two cultures?

What literary traditions do they share and in what way might American literature (the US itself, even) be said to be ‘exceptional’ or distinctive? How have the two nations developed historically and what are their respective attitudes to, for example, race, class and sexuality?

These are some of the questions that you will be encouraged to ask in a range of modules on this exciting and distinctive degree programme. We offer options in Film Studies and Creative Writing. Our programme has high rates of student satisfaction and our staff are experts in their respective fields. We provide high levels of academic and pastoral support.

What will this mean for my future?

You will graduate from this programme with a wide range of skills in research and communication and excellent opportunities. You will be a well-informed critical thinker with transferable skills and a knowledge of history and contemporary culture. Keele enjoys high rates of graduate employment and students on this programme have gone on to careers in teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, law and the arts. You could also go into marketing, research, broadcasting and publishing.

Indicative modules

First year 

  • Dissertation in American Studies
  • Violence and Power in Civil War America
  • Words and Pictures: the Contemporary American Graphic Novel
  • High Culture: Drink, Drugs and the American Dream
  • Dissertation in English Literature
  • Sex, Scandal and Society: Eighteenth-Century Writing
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • Post-colonial and World Literature in English Writingscapes

Second year 


  • History of the US in the 20th Century
  • Romanticisms
  • From Modernity to Counter-culture
  • The Detective and the American City
  • The Renaissance
  • Post-War British Fiction


Third year 

  • Dissertation in American Studies
  • Dissertation in English Literature
  • Film Noir
  • Shakespeare on Film
  • British and American
  • Children’s Literature
  • The Struggle for Civil Rights in America
  • The US Presidency
  • Writingscapes