Our BA Politics & International Relations and American Studies degree will transform your understanding of the world’s most powerful and influential nation, the United States. These two complementary paths of study explore the politics, history, society and culture that shape America and they situate that country within a politically and culturally globalised world.
In American Studies, you will explore American society through literature, historical documents, music, film and television. These will help you to understand America in different ways: by exploring regional differences between areas such as the South and the West and considering the cultural significance of the city in American life; and by focusing on a variety of key themes which have shaped American life, such as revolution, the environment, war, protest and race.
In politics & international relations you will explore the central challenges that American and international politics faces in the 21st century. You will consider why contemporary politics seem so focused on security and how gender and racial discrimination shapes societies. You will gain an independent, critical and nuanced insight into global issues beyond ‘fake’ news stories and one-sided political narratives.
Here at Hertfordshire, as well as learning about political and cultural theory, you’ll be doing rigorous and creative thinking of your own. Our internationally regarded academics will help you learn to address the arguments of others, to understand and engage with them so that you can arrive at your own conclusions and create your own original work.
You will be taught by experts who work at the cutting edge of their research disciplines and will share the excitement of doing original work in a supportive and highly-rated academic community.
You will be able to undertake a placement or study abroad year to gain professional experience or increase global awareness to build skills relevant to your studies in Politics & International Relations and American Studies.
We give you:
The study of both politics and American studies teaches you to ask penetrating questions and identify flawed arguments – skills sought by many employers. At Hertfordshire, you’ll develop other transferable skills, such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and the ability to communicate ideas in a structured, productive way.
Our graduates have an excellent record of securing roles in a range of industries including the civil service, the media, publishing and information management.
For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with our School of Education. Many graduates go on to higher levels of study, engaging in research in their chosen fields.
All Humanities students have the option to gain valuable career experience through a work placement or a year studying abroad.
Our politics and American studies students benefit from being part of a diverse and active academic community. Our interactive seminars and workshops help you find your feet in the academic environment, and establish ways of working confidently, creatively and collaboratively. We see our students as fellow researchers, and we place a great deal of importance on sharing and developing skills.
You will have the opportunity to get involved in activities that will complement your studies. Not only do these enhance your experience, they also make for a more impressive CV. We offer extra-curricular modules in debating and model United Nations. Our Film Club and Oral History Team will allow you to make connections with students from across the School while also exploring different facets of your studies in a social environment.
A natural step from studying politics and international relations alongside American culture is to spend time experiencing it for real. Living in another country opens up fresh perspectives and helps create global citizens. As a student of American Studies, you will also have the unique opportunity of spending a semester abroad in the second half of your second year, studying at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. After this, you would return to UH to complete your degree in three years.
Wherever you choose to study, immersing yourself in a host country enhances your learning, giving you a greater appreciation of other cultures and societies, and a deeper understanding of their everyday lives.
*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
72 - 168 UCAS points
IB – 72 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above.
GCSE Maths grade 4 (D) and English Language grade 4 (C) or above.
The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.
All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.
If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.
For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page.