The MLitt in American Studies is the only Masters programme in Scotland that provides an interdisciplinary focus on how the United States developed. Why did American culture, politics, and business become so dominant in the 19th and 20th centuries, and in what directions might it be headed in the 21st century?
- The programme is linked to the Andrew Hook Centre for American Studies, which hosts visiting speakers for seminars, conferences and other special events.
- The Centre also welcomes applications for partial or full fees-only Gordon Scholarships in American Studies.
- From early in the 17th century, Glasgow has been a gateway for economic, social, and cultural exchange between Scotland and North America. The University has been at the forefront of teaching and research in American history and literature since the late 19th century.
- This programme draws upon a variety of academic fields such as literature, history, theology, music, history of art, politics, archaeology, anthropology and media studies.
You will take two core courses and choose three optional courses. The programme draws on a wide array of subject areas: literature, history, film and television studies, popular music, art history, religious studies, archaeology, and politics; to foster understanding of the overarching themes, as well as complexities, of American life.
The culmination of the MLitt in American Studies is your dissertation. You will choose a topic based on the breadth of perspectives that you have explored and conduct original primary source research. You will be supported in your research and writing by an assigned supervisor with expertise in your specific field of interest.
- Approaches to American studies
- Topics and methods in American studies.
Approaches to American studies
An introduction to the different disciplinary approaches and methodologies for the study of North America, organized around a defining theme that is revised annually. Defining themes of the past have included American Identities, the Frontier and the American West, and Freedom. This core course also incorporates research training in American Studies, geared toward the requirements of the rest of the programme, especially the dissertation.
Topics and methods in American studies.
This course is based around the Hook Centre's series of visiting speakers - who are all leading national (and sometimes international) figures in American Studies. Students keep a notebook detailing their developing understanding of, and reflections upon, American Studies as an academic discipline throughout this series. They produce an essay at the end of the module, as well as participating fully in occasional seminars to discuss themes and issues raised by the series and to reflect upon these in light of readings of some 'classic' texts in American Studies.
Optional courses vary from year to year; they may include:
- American counterculture
- Thomas Paine as an enlightenment revolutionary
- Media, war, and security
- People of plenty: the politics of consumption in the US since 1890
- History of critical writing on film and television
- The American way of war
- Poverty and inequality in the modern world
- American material culture
- The Mind of the Contemporary American Novel
Courses available in recent years have included: American communities; The politics of race in America; Modernity and technology; American society and culture in the 1920s and 1930s; and, The Vietnam war in American history and culture; and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton and Dialogues of American Literary Modernism.
If you study the MLitt in American Studies you will benefit from the strong links with the Andrew Hook Centre for American Studies.
Since the seventeenth century Glasgow has been a gateway for economic, social and cultural exchange between Scotland and North America. From the tobacco trade to the annual Transatlantic Sessions concerts, these connections provide the foundation for American Studies at the University of Glasgow.
In 1997 the Andrew Hook Centre became Scotland’s only centre for American Studies. The Centre brings together academics from across the university to create a focus for research and teaching in the history, literature, media and culture of the United States. Staff associated with the Centre are based primarily in the subject areas of History; English Literature; Theatre, Film and Television Studies; Music and Politics.
Discover what our former American Studies postgraduates say about their experiences at Glasgow here.
Glasgow students also hosted the BAAS postgraduate conference in 2015.
The Andrew Hook Centre for American Studies has featured presentations by the Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, the Oscar-winning documentary film-maker Ken Burns, and the Grammy-nominated musician Bruce Molsky, as well as scholars from North America and Europe.
The Centre sponsors the most extensive American Studies lecture and seminar series in Scotland, which is open to academics, students and the general public. The seminar series can be found on our website.
We also have a blog devoted to the lecture series.
for entry in 2016
Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject unless otherwise specified.
Note: a short (one paragraph) statement of interest is also required.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.5
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 22 with Speaking no less than 23
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 64; minimum 62 in writing
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the
MLitt. This includes graduates and those who have
completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at
the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who
are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No
additional application is required.
The skills you gain: critical, analytical, and written and oral communication skills, as well as the specific understanding of American history and culture; offer you a broad range of career choices.
The programme provides you with an excellent foundation to study for a PhD and to establish an academic career. Other graduates have used their specialist knowledge of America in their media, business and teaching careers.
Positions held by recent graduates include Teacher and Alumni and Development Officer.
We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.
You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.
Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?
Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.
Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?
No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
What documents do I need to provide to make an application?
As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
- A two-page personal statement highlighting:
- How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
- Why you want to study this programme
- How you think this programme will help you in your future career development
If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?
Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.
How do I provide my references?
You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?
If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.
You may send them to:
Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Fax: +44 141 330 4045
Can I email my supporting documents?
No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.
What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.
What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
- References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016
- UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016
Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.