The American and Canadian Studies with year abroad BA begins by giving students a foundation in the core disciplines of American history, American literature and Canadian Studies, as well introducing crucial research skills through project-based learning. In subsequent years you will continue to study these core disciplines, at the same time as developing your own individual programme of study by selecting from options in history, literature, film or visual studies.
At its core, this programme first revolves around the study of North American history and literature and then branches out to explore politics, culture, film and the United States’ international relations, in ways that become increasingly specialised. These elements can be combined in different ways and to different degrees depending on how your interests evolve. Opportunity exists to present assessments in a variety of forms, including audio-visual modes.
You take a foundation course in American History and Literature up to 1890, together with an introduction to Canadian Studies. A group project module provides you with key research and IT skills. An ancillary study of a subject such as Film Studies will also be undertaken.
You will continue to study history and culture from 1890 to the present but you’ll also develop your own interests - political, sociological, literary or multicultural - by selecting specialist options modules – be these political, sociological, literary or multicultural .You will also get the chance to become an exchange student at the Free University, Berlin's J F Kennedy Institute. A group project 'skills' module provides you with key research and IT skills and you can also take additional subjects such as Film Studies. Second year modules have included:
Third Year - Your Year Abroad
You will spend the third year in North America studying with one of our exchange partner Universities. Once at these Universities you are free to select from a wide range of American and Canadian civilisation courses. In recent years our students have been to the following universities:
University of Wyoming-Laramie, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Virginia, University of Mississippi, University of Cincinnati, McGill University, Dalhousie University, Simon Fraser University, University of Alabama, Berry College, Southern Birmingham College, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto
While abroad you are free to study a wide range of American and Canadian civilisation courses and to begin research on your dissertation, which is then completed in the final year of study back in Birmingham. This year abroad counts towards your final degree.
Please note, you must pass the second year course with a mark of at least 50% to be eligible for study abroad.
We also offer a limited number of students an internship (a work placement) working with the British American Business Council (the BABC) or a company who have membership of the BABC. Currently, these internships are located in Chicago, but, working with the BABC, we expect to broaden this programme out to take in other US cities in future years. In the third year you research your dissertation, which is then completed in the final year of study back in Birmingham. The year abroad counts towards your final degree.
Your final-year modules are drawn from a wide range of options which examine multiculturalism, cross-cultural themes, contemporary literature and film, American international history and politics. At the very centre of your studies is a year long Dissertation project, which gives you a chance to develop your own interests in considerable depth, whilst learning how to handle a sustained programme of research.
MA American and Canadian Studies
If you choose to study BA American and Canadian Studies with year abroad, you have the option of transferring to an integrated Masters programme during your degree. This decision is made in your second year and enables you to graduate from Birmingham after four years with a Masters in American and Canadian Studies. If you take this route you will be required to take more intensive study during your year abroad and your final year, and you will need to meet higher assessment methods such as producing a longer and more critically demanding dissertation.
Meet this year's graduates
American and Canadian Studies has a strong research profile (ranked joint second in the last national Research Assessment Exercise) and a real commitment to bringing our research into the classroom. For example, Dr Danielle Fuller's final year module Reading and Popular Culture explores ideas developed in her Beyond the Book research project, while Dr Steve Hewitt offers expert opinion for the BBC and other news organisations and continue their analysis of current events in their foreign policy teaching.
Ranked 5th in the UK in Guardian League Tables 2013 and The Complete University Guide 2013, and consistently scoring highly on student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, teaching emphasises discussion, group work and independent learning, and is led by enthusiastic, approachable lecturers. Our lecturers have recommended websites, films and books for anyone considering choosing American and Canadian Studies here.
Alongside traditional written assignments we offer a range of learning and assessment methods that develop our students' communication skills and enhance employability. These include the exciting opportunity to develop skills in media production using our state of the art editing suite to produce a documentary film dissertation in the final year.
We also offer a limited number of student internships in the US or Canada (we currently have placements based in Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City). Working with the British American Business Council (BABC), we provide academic mentoring and a structured programme that make our internships a unique work experience and networking opportunity.
Our four year single and joint honours programmes provide the opportunity to spend a Year Abroad at one of our wide range of American and Canadian partner universities that include University of Alabama, University of Virginia, Pitzer College, University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and University of Toronto. Your year abroad will help you stand out in a competitive job market. Employers are likely to be impressed with the skills you have developed and you will also be able to demonstrate your personal development and confidence through this experience.
American and Canadian Studies at Birmingham is one of the most respected of its kind in the world, consistently rated highly in the UK teaching and research rankings. Part of the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, we offer exciting opportunities, first-class facilities and a commitment to excellence in teaching. Study here and you?ll have the privilege of learning from academics who are at the forefront of interdisciplinary research into literature, culture, history, film and TV, politics and international relations.
At Birmingham, you will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you are a fully supported and active learner. Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that is highly sought after by employers in today's intellectual and creative industries. The courses are also very flexible, allowing you to specialise more and more as you progress, culminating in a final-year dissertation that allows you to carry out in-depth, individually supervised research into topics of your choice.
Open day talk
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: AAB-ABB
Required subjects and grades: Preferably English Literature and/or History
General Studies: not accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 34-36 points
Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements
We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
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