American Studies research degrees

How to applyAmerican Studies

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Our programmes

Hull pioneered American Studies in Britain. After more than half a century, American Studies at Hull has one of the finest collections of American resources of any British university. This is a superb archive for postgraduate research students on our MPhil and PhD courses. Our academic staff have distinguished national and international reputations for teaching and research, and, like the University of Hull as a whole, American Studies at Hull is also known as one of the friendliest departments in the country.

One of our strengths is our ability to carry our research across disciplinary borders best illustrated through recent PhD projects such as 'How Can One Tell the Truth About My Lai?', which examined how historians, novelists, journalists, filmmakers, and the US Army sought to ‘explain' the notorious Vietnamese massacre of 1968. Another recent project drew upon cultural studies, gender studies and political history to analyse Cold War history to explore 'Masculinity and Myth in Marvel Comics, 1961-74'. Many of our successful PhD candidates have published books or have gone on to become lecturers at universities including Cambridge, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bangor, Manchester and Northumbria. Others have entered teaching, publishing, arts administration and broadcasting.


Our academic experts welcome applications for postgraduate research across a broad range of topics. 

Our principal areas of historical expertise include:

  • gang culture and the incarceral society
  • history on film
  • Mexican-American history
  • the African-American experience during and after
  • the Civil Rights movement
  • the Cold War era
  • war and 20th-century American society

In literary and cultural studies, our main areas of research activity include:

  • cinematic and televisual narratives
  • conspiracy culture at the turn of the millennium
  • modern American poetry
  • Modernist and Postmodernist aesthetics
  • the racing and gendering of contemporary American culture
  • 20th-century visual art (painting, photography, sculpture and architecture)
  • radical culture

Admissions status

Open for admission in 2018/19

Research options

MPhil: 2 years (full-time) / 3 years (part-time)

PhD: 4 years (full-time) / 7 years (part-time)


Home/EU: £4,195 (full-time) / £2,098 (part-time)

Overseas: £12,800 (full-time)

*Please note, the fees shown are for 2017/18 entry. The fees for 2018/19 have not yet been confirmed, and may increase.

These fees are for all American Studies research degrees research programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit www.hull.ac.uk/money.

The Postgraduate Training Scheme

It is now widely recognised by employers, professional bodies and research funding agencies that specialist expertise alone is not sufficient preparation either for research or a subsequent career. With this in mind, the University of Hull requires all its postgraduate research students to follow a research training programme relating both to their particular field of study and to generic skills; for example, information technology and communication skills.

Postgraduate Training Scheme

Next steps


For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

Entry requirements

Students with a BA degree of first or second upper class or equivalent in any discipline of the Arts and Humanities can apply.

Applicants for MPhil and PhD degrees are asked to submit a detailed proposal for research (a few pages of description and a brief indicative bibliography) together with examples of their written work (approximately 5,000 words on any pertinent subject). At least two members of staff with appropriate expertise will read this material independently and confer, to ensure that proposals for research are viable from the outset.

International students (language requirements)

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University’s required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.


American Studies has been studied at Hull for more than half a century and we boast one of the finest collections of American resources of any British university.

Our academic experts have distinguished national and international reputations and we consistently poll exceptionally well when it comes to student satisfaction.