Interdisciplinary Studies Centre

American (US) studies

US car number plates

Undergraduate courses

Student Profiles

Want to know more about American (US) Studies? Our student profiles allow you to hear students and alumni talk about their experiences of our interdisciplinary courses and the world of possibility they open up.

  • Top in the UK for student satisfaction for the second year running – 100% satisfaction for American Studies in National Student Survey 2016.

Our undergraduate curriculum offers study of the US through an interdisciplinary programme in the humanities and the social sciences. You can build a course that matches your interests by choosing from modules in literature, film, history of art, history, politics and sociology.

As well as studying modules offered by a variety of University departments, you will take interdisciplinary core modules that bring all American (US) studies students together in small seminar groups. This means that our graduates are often a close-knit group and you can travel and visit friends from Essex during your time spent studying abroad.

Each of our courses listed below can be taken as either:

  • BA American (United States) Studies

    The US truly lends itself to interdisciplinary study; its literature and film are connected to its politics, its cultures to its history. Contemporary social issues, such as the struggle for racial justice, can only be understood with reference to the legacies of slavery and the civil rights movement. The crisis over environmental protection of the far west can only be understood by looking at the history of westward movement and issues of Native American histories and rights. These are the kind of issues you will study as an Essex student.


  • BA Criminology and American (United States) Studies

    The US holds over five million of its citizens in confinement. American criminological ideas and practices heavily influence global approaches to crime. The US is a global innovator in formulating policy responses to crime and a prime producer of images of crime and punishment in fiction, film and art. Our course combines sociology and criminology with American (US) studies and provides an opportunity to spend time in the US studying criminal justice, sociology of crime and cultural representations of crime, and to undertake internships in various criminal justice agencies.


  • BA American (United States) Studies with Film

    Our joint-honours BA American (US) Studies with Film offers students interested in both the US and its cinematic output a chance to combine modules that will give a deeper understanding of both areas. More information about film studies is available from our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.


American Studies graduate talks about his Essex experience

2012 American Studies graduate John talks about campus life and playing for the University rugby team.

frontrunners placements

Frontrunner students gathered round a table

frontrunners is our original placement scheme that offers students paid work opportunities on campus. You'll get on-placement training and great experience to add to your CV.

Essex Interns

Students walking up stairs

Internships are an excellent way to earn money and develop a stand-out CV. Register with us for information on paid internship opportunities with local, national and even international employers.

Graduate profiles

Leila Bow

Our graduates acquire an exceptionally diverse range of skills during their time at Essex and have entered a wide variety of industries. Their stories demonstrate the versatility of an interdisciplinary qualification.

Study in the USA

Route 66

All of our undergraduate courses include a term or year spent studying abroad, giving you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live and study in the United States and immerse yourself in its culture.