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2013/2014  BA-BLC_BAS1  British & American studies 1: Britain and the US in the age of globalisation

English Title
British & American studies 1: Britain and the US in the age of globalisation

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration Two Semesters
Course period Autumn, Spring
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BSc og MSc in Business, Language and Culture, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Ole Helmersen - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
Last updated on 15-03-2013
Learning objectives
1) Content
• describe, analyze and discuss basic political, economic and social affairs – systems, structures and mindsets - in the United States and the U. K. against the backdrop of the literature reviewed and the particular foci developed throughout the course.
• account for current issues of importance to these countries – political, economic, social, and cultural –
• relate these issues to the theories and conceptual frameworks presented and discussed in the course.
2) Language
The learning objectives for the language component of BAS 1 conforms to the requirements laid down in the Common European Framework for Languages (the Language Portfolio) at a minimum level C1.
This means that, at the end of the course, students should be able
• To present and discuss the above affairs and issues in a coherent, well-structured English.
• To employ grammatically correct language, including a specialist vocabulary consistent with the material being discussed.
• To express themselves fluently and spontaneously without much searching for expressions
• To present clear and detailed accounts of complex subjects, develop points and arguments.
• Pronounce the language in a manner that does not impede understanding.
At the written level, students are expected
• To produce concise, coherent and well-structured academic texts.
• To write texts which conform to generally accepted principles of academic composition, including consciousness of style and genre specific requirements.
• To observe a high degree of correctness of grammar and syntax in the written texts.
• To employ a vocabulary derived from and in accordance with the topics written about.
• To develop arguments on the basis of coherent sentences and paragraphs.
British & American studies 1: Britain and the US in the age of globalisation:
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
The evaluation of the first year BAS course consists of three obligatory home assignments (essays of 1000 words) which must be passed.
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale Pass / Fail
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

The course will give the students a chance to work with different types of texts relating to both the US and the UK within the fields of the state, civil society and the market. This implies looking at a number of issues that are of current interest in the two countries.

With respect to the UK, special emphasis will be given to the post war period’s Keynesian welfare state model’s transformation into a neoliberal model, and the ongoing discussions of how to modernize Britain’s systems of governance. This includes a critical look at the results and consequences of the financial and economic crisis in 2007/08 and its effects on discussions of ‘varieties of capitalism’. Another major theme is the ongoing discussion of multiculturalism in the UK. Finally, emphasis is placed on discussions of the nation state and British national identities, national culture and values, regionalism and subsidiarity vis-à-vis the European Union.

With respect to the US, the country’s size and federal construction provides the possibility of looking at how various cultures and subcultures encounter each other and interact. This will be looked at in relationship to the political system and its different components: federal and local government, interest groups, and the media. The course will also examine and analyze changes in American foreign policy at the end of the Cold War as well as reactions to September 11, and the ways in which the United States is both driven by, and drives the globalizing process.

Language competence

As an integrated part of the course, there will be a focus on enhancing students’ oral and writing skills. This will be based on systematic work with English language and composition as well as introductory studies relating to the concept of framing and the field of discourse analysis. As part of this process, students will be required to make one or more presentations in class, participate in class discussions and to submit three essays.

The course broadly follows the thematic organization of the parallel CSC lecture series and draws on theories and concepts dealt with here. These conceptual approaches are presented in conjunction with perspectives and concepts rooted in the specific language area, so that students develop an understanding of different theoretical traditions, enhance their nationally specific knowledge as well as their cultural sensitivity. In addition, some of the basic theoretical premises will also relate to the courses in French, German and Spanish American Studies.

Teaching methods
A combination of lectures and class sessions will be employed. Throughout the course, students will be required to make oral presentations in English; their performances will be commented on and judged along the way.
Expected literature

John Mc. Cormick (2012) Contemporary Britain, Palgrave.


Russell Duncan and Joseph Goddard (2009) Contemporary America, Palgrave.


Edward Ashbee, Kasper Grotle Rasmussen, Ole Helmersen, Paul Richmond (2010): Compendium: British and American Studies 1,

Last updated on 15-03-2013