American Studies, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #301 (WUR) ,
Members of the Centre for American Studies provide supervision in many aspects of American Studies. Supervision is team-based and reflects the active research interests of the Centre.


American Studies dates back to 1973 at the University of Kent. Since that time, we have built up an impressive range of materials at the Universitys Templeman Library and forged strong research links with American research institutions and regional archives, especially in the US West. We offer an attractive postgraduate research bursary, in the form of the The Christine and Ian Bolt Scholarship that covers one years stay in the United States at costs up to £10,000. As one of the few UK institutions where staff actively research both traditional topics (such as slavery) and emerging fields of dominance (such as environmental problems and Native American writing), we offer an extremely good base for postgraduate study. Our work here is cutting edge and treats the American experience in a critical and reflective manner, with a welcome wide scope that includes Canada, Mexico and Central/South America.

Staff interests broadly fit within the parameters of US literature, film, history, and politics, and Latin American studies. Our breadth of coverage is truly impressive, with staff working on visual culture, immigration literature and politics, the Cuban Revolution, military culture in Peru and Bolivia, hunting cultures in the American West, and Native American literature today. We actively welcome interdisciplinary projects that probe several areas of study. We also have three active research clusters: (1) The American West (2) The Study of US Environmental Issues (3) The Study of Race, Ethnicity and Borders.

National ratings

Most recent Research Assessment Exercise: History ranked 2nd and English ranked 18th nationally for research quality.

American Studies at Kent was ranked 4th in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2015 and The Times Good University Guide 2014.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Average part-time duration 72 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Research areas

Staff interests broadly fit within the parameters of American literature, American history, American film and American politics, although we actively welcome interdisciplinary projects that investigate several areas of study.

Current strengths in American Studies at Kent are: Native American literature and culture; African-American history; slavery and the Atlantic world; the American West; US environmental issues; US visual culture; Disney and recreation; American realist fiction; modern American poetry; US immigration politics; American science fiction; Hollywood; US foreign policy.

The American West

Kent is the only UK institution to operate a research cluster on the American West, with five members of the Centre specialising in trans-Mississippi studies. The research cluster engages in pioneering work on Native American literature, Western films and video games, female frontiering and several other elements of the Western experience.

The Study of US Environmental Issues

US environmental history is a relatively new field of study, but of increasing importance. Our two environmental specialists work on wildlife management, animal studies, nuclear protest and concepts of ecological doomsday.

The Study of Race, Ethnicity and Borders

The Centre has a long history of studying race and ethnicity. Currently, six members of the team cover a range of topics that include African-American political, cultural and social history, Native American literature, Latin American relations and immigration writing and politics.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the school websites:

Latin American

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS

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Academic Requirements

A first or 2.1 class honours degree in an appropriate subject (for example, American Studies, History or English degrees with US study component).

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    13340 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 13340 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    4121 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4121 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
Part-time: UK/EU: £2,060; Overseas: £6,690


We have a scholarship fund of over £9 million to support our taught and research students with their tuition fees and living costs.

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