Units & Timetables
The US Studies postgraduate program is designed to suit each student's professional and intellectual interests.
University of Sydney students can enrol through Sydney Student.
If you would like to apply for cross-institutional study, you can do so through the cross-institutional study application process.
If you would like to apply for non-award study, i.e. undertake one or more units of study for interest that will not count towards a degree, you can do so through the non-degree application process.
Compulsory Core Unit
Master of US Studies students must complete the following compulsory core unit:
- USSC6901 Fundamentals of US Studies
Master of US Studies students must choose at least three additional core units from the following list:
- USSC6902 US Politics: Presidency and Congress
- USSC6903 US Foreign & National Security Policy
- USSC6905 US Economic Policy and Regulation
- USSC6906 US Constitution
- USSC6907 American Exceptionalism
- USSC6914 Key Issues in American Culture
- USSC6920 US Media: Politics, Culture, Technology
Electives offered by the US Studies Centre:
- GOVT6359 US–China Relations
- USSC6915 Contemporary American Media
- USSC6916 Research Essay in US Studies
- USSC6919 American Film & Hollywood
Electives offered by other University of Sydney departments (follow the links for up to date information about these units):
- ARTS7000 Academic Communication for Postgraduates*
* Designed for international students
- CISS6001 New Security Challenges
- CISS6008 Population & Security
- EDPK5003 Developing a Research Project
- FINC6013 International Business Finance
- IBUS6001 International Business Strategy
- IBUS6002 Cross-Cultural Management
- IBUS6016 Social Entrepreneurship
- MECO6906 Literary Journalism: History and Theory
- MKTG6013 International & Global Marketing
- WMST6903 Gender, Media & Consumer Societies
Regarded by many as the most significant bilateral relationship in the world, this unit will introduce students to the dynamics of United States–China relations. Students will be given an overview of the history of US–China relations to deepen their understanding of the strategic thinking and policymaking of both China and the United States. This unit is taught jointly with the Department of Government and International Relations.
Taught in Semester 1, 2016 by Jingdong Yuan and Linda Jakobson.
USSC6901 Fundamentals of US Studies
This unit introduces students to the fundamentals of American history, politics, economics, society and culture. It examines the interplay of major themes, subjects, and ideas from these spheres, and will provide students with the foundation for understanding and analysing contemporary America. Designed to prepare both recent and returning students for postgraduate US Studies, the unit consists of lecture content and interactive group work organised around scholarly readings with consistent themes. The unit will make use of online delivery, distributing lectures ahead of seminars and saving class time for interactive group projects.
Taught in Semester 1, 2016 by Dr Aaron Nyerges
Providing a comprehensive understanding of American domestic politics, this unit explores the US system of government in detail and the ideas that underlie it. It will also examine the relationship between the President and the Congress, as well as presidential elections, and domestic issues such as race, inequality, law and order, and immigration policy.
Taught intensively in Winter School, 2016 by Professor Brendon O'Connor
How is US foreign and security policy formulated and implemented? How do individuals, government institutions, bureaucracies, the parties, the public and the media influence decision-making? This unit gives students a detailed overview of the processes of foreign policy and national security decision-making. This unit also considers a range of contemporary US foreign policy challenges, such as terrorism, military intervention, the use of intelligence, diplomatic engagement and negotiation, international law and multilateral engagement, and the use of public diplomacy.
Taught in Semester 2, 2016 by Dr Sarah Graham.
This unit of study is cross-listed with the Master of International Studies, Master of International Security, Master of Public Policy, Master of Peace & Conflict Studies and Master of Public Administration.
Economic and regulatory policies play a huge role in determining business conditions and social relations in the United States. This unit will explore how economic policies impact on issues such as innovation, employment, gender equality, education, productivity, competition, and social mobility.
Not on offer for 2016.
Focusing on interpretations of a document that remains an important part of American life, this unit will undertake to examine how the Constitution has dealt with issues such as Gay Marriage; the Watergate Crisis; Civil Rights in the 1960s and McCarthyism.
Taught in Semester 1, 2016 by Dr Harry Melkonian.
The American belief in the nation’s exceptionalism (as a special or ‘chosen’ nation) has influenced many aspects of society, politics, and foreign policy in the United States. This course examines the roots, growth, and contemporary significance of the United States as an exceptional nation.
Taught in Semester 2, 2016 by Professor Ian Tyrrell.
Week-by-week, students will be asked to examine defining moments in US cultural history and look at its impact on the American psyche. Blending written texts with works of visual art and elements of high and ‘low’ culture, the unit explores conflict and innovation in US culture.
Not on offer for 2016.
This unit of study is cross-listed with the Master of Public Policy.
Covering a diversity of forms, texts, and practises that define contemporary American media, this unit examines the history and evolution of film, magazines and advertising to engage with the pressing cultural and political issues facing the US and the world.
Not on offer for 2016.
Students undertake a research essay of 6000 words on an approved topic under the guidance of a supervisor from the Centre. The essay involves deeper study of a previously covered subject and offers an opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and research skills in an area about which they are passionate.
For more information please contact Dr Aaron Nyerges
USSC6919 American Film and Hollywood
This unit explores the aesthetic, political, and economic formation of the Hollywood studio system and its aftermath. From the 1920s to today, the unit explores the complex history of American cinema, charting the rise of its global power.
Taught in Semester 1, 2016 by Dr Aaron Nyerges.
This unit of study is cross-listed with the Master of Cultural Studies.
USSC6920 US Media: Politics, Culture, Technology
Focusing on television, documentary and new media, this unit explores the role of technology in shaping politics, political campaigning, and American society. The unit also examines contemporary debates in American journalism and the changing nature of media in the US and the world.