American Studies and Politics 

(2018 Entry)

BA (Hons)

At Keele, studying a combined honours degree will include some modules from both of the single honours degrees. In this case, your programme will be made up of a combination of modules from both American Studies and Politics.

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

UCAS code: LT27

View entry requirements

Course Overview

Keele was a pioneer in American Studies in Britain in the 1960s, and this remains one of the leading programmes in the UK devoted to the study of the world’s leading industrial nation. From music to McDonald’s, movies to military engagement, the U.S affects the daily lives of people in every corner of the world. If you want to understand current events and culture, you must understand America.

Keele is famous for bringing different disciplines and approaches together to create exciting learning opportunities, and American Studies at Keele exemplifies this. You can examine historical, literary, cinematic, political and geographical perspectives on issues such as slavery, crime, power, imperialism, conflict, security and the presidency, and compare the USA with Great Britain. Through the study of politics, you’ll learn by addressing current issues and debates of political concern, ensuring the relevance of your learning to modern life.

Politics is of vital importance to all of us in our daily lives. It concerns fundamental choices about the ways in which societies are organised and the way we are governed. Politics is not just the concern of politicians. It is about big issues such as the environment and human rights. Political engagement can change lives and encourage changes in government in the UK and elsewhere. Politics at Keele seeks to understand society and the events and forces which shape it, engaging with questions of power, justice, conflict, legitimacy, accountability, and governance. You will explore why citizens are increasingly disillusioned with politics; what a democracy is; when and how it’s legitimate to protest; and the effects of different models of government. You can tailor your studies to your interests, whether theoretical, historical or oriented to specific issues. Politics at Keele is informed by our research expertise in environmental politics, security studies, European and American politics.

What will this mean for my future?

Keele enjoys high rates of graduate employment, where in 2016, were recognised nationally as 1st for employability in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey. You might work as a politician’s assistant, a researcher for an MP or think-tank, or a public-affairs consultant. You could work in the civil service, in local government, or for a campaigning or lobbying group. A wide range of other employers also see a politics degree as evidence of your ability to think critically, take a balanced approach, make reasoned arguments and collaborate with colleagues, so many graduates go into careers like journalism or management. Students with an American Studies degree have gone on to careers as a journalist, an academic librarian, a social researcher, a museum conservator, an advertising copywriter or a politician’s assistant.

Indicative modules

First year

  • Debates in American Politics
  • Modern Democracies
  • Why Politics Matters
  • New York, New York: An Introduction to American Culture
  • The American Past: Explorations in US History
  • Mass Media in America

Second year

  • U.S. Government
  • History of the US in the 20th Century
  • Political Research in Practice
  • Discovering America: From Empires to Revolutions
  • Burning Crosses: Religion and American Culture
  • Comparing the U.S. and U.K.

Third year

  • Dissertation
  • The U.S. Presidency
  • 'Eyes on the Prize': The Struggle for Civil Rights in America
  • High Culture: Drink, Drugs, and the American Dream
  • Environmental Politics in the USA
  • Arms Control and Disarmament