Approaches To American Studies (Core Course A) HIST5027

  • Academic Session: 2017-18
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

An introduction to the different disciplinary approaches and methodologies for the study of North America, organized around a defining theme that is revised annually. This core course also incorporates research training in American Studies, geared toward the requirements of the rest of the programme, especially the dissertation.


Weekly one-hour lecture, followed by a two-hour seminar. (Days and times to be confirmed.) Tutorials with course tutor for essay handback to be arranged.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Standard entry to Masters at College level


Students will each complete two essays of 3000-4000 words. The first will be due in approximately week seven, the second at the end of the semester: each will be worth 45% of the course mark. Students will also prepare and present a seminar paper in class: this written paper is worth 10% of the course mark.

Course Aims

This course aims to provide students with:

- enhanced understanding of the history and development of American Studies

- an introduction to the methodologies and approaches of different disciplines as pertaining to the study of North American civilisation, and the ways in which these disciplines inter-relate

- research training in the interdisciplinary study of North America

- practical experience in interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research and writing

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

- display a critical understanding of the approaches and methodologies of various component disciplines of American Studies (in particular History, English, Film and Media Studies, Music and Politics)

- display a detailed understanding of how these may be combined in an interdisciplinary analysis that may be greater than the sum of its parts

- undertake independent research and demonstrate critical analytical and interpretive skills

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components of the course's summative assessment.