Centre for American Studies

Why choose us?

We asked our students why they would recommend choosing American Studies at Kent. Here are their top five reasons:

  1. The variety of modules to choose from, ranging from Literature, History, Politics, Film etc, and the seminars are relatively small in numbers
  2. The fact that it is a varied programme gives you a chance to meet many different American Studies Lecturers/staff, who are very helpful, approachable and looking out for our best interests…
  3. … and you learn to write essays in different styles, whether it be History, Literature or Politics.
  4. It’s great, too, to have a choice of programme pathways, including History, Literature Or Latin American pathways.
  5. And of course the choice of a year or semester abroad, with a huge variety of destinations is a perennial attraction.

Oh, and we can’t count, so:

  1. This is also quite a small centre, which allows lecturers/students to get to know one another.

Our recent rankings

4th in the UK for American Studies in the Times Good University Guide 2016.

10th in The Complete University Guide 2016.

11th in The Guardian University Guide 2016.

Kent ranked 8th out of 20 HEIs within American Studies for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2015.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, History was ranked 8th and English 10th for research intensity.

Research-led, quality teaching

Many of the teachers in the Centre for American Studies have lived in the US and/or taught in American universities; all of us conduct regular research trips to the US, Canada, and Latin America. We have an international reputation for research, and received research assessment ratings of 2nd in the country for History and 18th in the country for English.

Areas of particular interest include ethnicity, the American West, the US Civil Rights Movement, modern American poetry; Native American literature, and environmental issues/history.  We held the British Association for American Studies conference in 2006, Jamestown events over 2006-7, and host regular conferences and other events on topics as diverse as gun culture, Indigenous art, and 20th century poetry.

Fruitful social life

Around 30 students are admitted on the American Studies programme at Kent every year. Sharing core modules and attending a number of academic and social gatherings, students often forge very close bonds with each other over the course of the degree. Recent social activities organized by the American Studies Centre include cinema visits, Thanksgiving meals, a photography competition and awards event, and even paintball and laserquest (and yes, staff have been ‘shot’ on occasion).

The University of Kent also runs an American Studies student society that you can join on arrival at Kent.

Promising career paths

Typical careers that follow from a degree in American Studies include:

  • Business, finance and management (especially working for international corporations)
  • Journalism, broadcasting and media
  • Teaching, postgraduate research and lecturing
  • And a variety of other occupations in Britain, Europe and the USA.

American Studies graduates have gone on to employment with:

  • Barbican (London)
  • Disney
  • Virgin
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Christie’s (London)
  • Morgan Stanley
  • BBC


Fax +44 1227 827060, Telephone +44 1227 823140

Centre for American Studies (Room N3 S1), Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX.
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Last Updated: 23/09/2015