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2020/2021  BA-BBLCO2010U  British and American Studies 1

English Title
British and American Studies 1

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Ole Helmersen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • International political economy
  • Political Science
  • Language
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 16-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • 1. Content:
  • Describe, analyze and discuss basic political, economic and social affairs – systems, structures and mindsets - in the United States and the UK against the backdrop of the literature reviewed and the particular foci developed throughout the course.
  • Identify political, economic, and social issues of current importance in the US and the UK and analyze those against a contemporary historical development.
  • 2. Language:
  • Use correct oral and written English, including specialist vocabulary and concepts consistent with the topics dealt with in lectures and seminars.
  • Present and discuss the topics and issues taught in a coherent, well-structured, academic English.
  • Write English at a level which conform to generally accepted principles of academic composition, including consciousness of style and genre specific requirements (C1 level).
British and American Studies 1:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

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 relation to the political system and its different components: federal and local government, interest groups, and the media. In addition, the course will include a focus on the increasing polarization of US society in general and the increasing partisanship that characterizes the US political environment.


Language competence

As an integrated part of the course, there will be a focus on enhancing students’ oral and writing skills. Students will be expected to make one or more presentations in class, participate in class discussions and to submit two voluntary essays. Students are expected to achieve a language competence level which conforms to the requirements laid down in the Common European Framework for Languages (the Language Portfolio) at a minimum level C1.



Description of the 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.
Feedback during the teaching period
The principal way for students to receive feedback on their readings and work for this course is through active participation in lectures and classes. Students are therefore expected to attend all lectures and classes and to come prepared and ready to participate actively.

In addition, students receive individual written feedback on the two exercise essays that they are asked to write in preparation for the two exam essays towards the end of the course.
Student workload
Lectures 18 hours
Exercises 24 hours
Preparation and exams 164 hours
Total 206 hours
Further Information

This course will run for the last time in Autumn 2020. The last exam will be held in winter 2021.

Expected literature

Heffernan, Richard et al (2016) Developments in British Politics, Palgrave.


Russell Duncan and Joseph Goddard (2018) Contemporary United States, Palgrave.


Ole Helmersen (2018): Compendium: British and American Studies 1.


Hogue, Ann (2003) The Essentials of English: A Writer's Handbook. Longman.

Last updated on 16-02-2021