Degree Type: 

Bachelor of Arts

Department: 

Department of History

Programme Duration: 

4 years (Standard Entry)

Modes of Study: 

Regular

About Programme: 

Not Published

Entry Requirements: 

Applications are welcomed from holders of WASSCE/SSSCE as well as Mature Candidates. WASSCE/SSSCE candidates must have six (6) passes with an overall aggregate of not more than twenty (20). Three of the six passes must be in core subjects (including English Language, Integrated Science and Mathematics). The other three passes must be in any of the following: History, Literature-in-English, French, Ghanaian Language (Akan, Ewe or Ga), Government, Christian or Islamic Religious or African Traditional Religion. A good pass in Social Studies core will be an added advantage. Mature students applying for admission must be at least 30 years old by 31st December of the year immediately preceding that of the application. They must also pass the University’s Mature Students’ Examination and interview.


Candidates admitted to read history at the Department shall combine it with two other subject areas for four (4) semesters. These subjects are: Classics & Philosophy, English, Economics, Ghanaian Language, Religion and Human Values, and Sociology. Based on performance at the end of the fourth semester, a student may be invited to read for a single honours degree in History from the fifth semester. Students are also allowed to opt for double honours, where they combine History with the aforementioned subjects. Students reading for a degree in Education and taking History as well are deemed to be automatic double honours candidates and shall therefore combine the subject with another one.

Goal / Objectives: 

Not Published

Career Opportunities: 

Not Published

Programme Structure

Level 100

First Semester

CMS 107: Communicative Skills I
3 Credit(s)

Engaging in academic work at the university is challenging. This course is aimed at equipping fresh students to make the transition from pre-university level to the university level. It assists them in engaging and succeeding in complex academic tasks in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It also provides an introduction to university studies by equipping students with skills that will help them to engage in academic discourse with confidence and fluency.

HIS 103: A Survey of the History of Ghana to 1800
3 Credit(s)

The course explores significant themes and developments in the history of Ghana from about 5000BC to the end of the eighteenth century. It examines the earliest cultural achievements of the inhabitants of the area of modern Ghana, such as the technological innovations of the Kintampo Culture. Additionally, it explores other developments such as the existence of some autochthonous groups and the arrival of immigrant groups like the Akans. It further discusses the emergence and growth of settlements, urbanization and early state formation processes in distinct geographical regions. It also interrogates the nature of the early Ghanaian contacts with foreign culture, while examining early European activities including the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and interference in the political and social systems of indigenous polities.

HIS 104: A Survey of the History of Ghana in the Nineteenth Century
3 Credit(s)

The course examines the nineteenth century history of the states and people that later came to constitute modern Ghana. It briefly discusses the state of modern Ghana of 1800 and analyze the expansion of the Asante Empire and the growth of authority at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It examines Asante’s relation with the southern states and the Europeans on the coast. The course further discusses the relations between the people and states of Ghana, on one hand, and between the people and the British, on the other hand, up to 1800. Finally, it examines the imposition of colonial rule on the states and people of Ghana and how the people responded to it.

Second Semester

CMS 108: Communicative Skills II
3 Credit(s)

This is a follow-up course on the first semester one. It takes students through writing correct sentences, devoid of ambiguity, through the paragraph and its appropriate development to the fully-developed essay. The course also emphasizes the importance and the processes of editing written work.

HIS 110: World Civilization up to 5th Century AD
3 Credit(s)

The course surveys the earliest civilizations in Africa and elsewhere from a comparative standpoint. For Africa, it examines the civilization of Egypt, Kush, and Meroe up to the 1st Century CE. It also studies the civilization of Greece circa 1600 to 323 BC, Rome up to 410 BC, China up to AD 200 and then the civilizations of Assyria, Palestine, Persia and ancient India. The course enables students to acquire adequate knowledge of the features of the various civilizations and their legacies to subsequent civilizations. More importantly, it also enables students to appreciate Africa’s contributions to, world knowledge and technological progress which have hitherto gone unrecognized.

HIS 111: World Civilization from the 5th Century AD
3 Credit(s)

The course explores advances made in civilization in various regions of the world during the medieval period. Through the comparative approach, it provides students with the opportunity to compare the level of cultural, economic, social and political advancement in Africa and elsewhere during this period. Studies in the course focus on civilizations in sub Saharan Africa, India, China, Japan, the Mediterranean region, Russia, and the Americas. The course exposes students to an understanding of processes involved in the spread of Islam and Christianity, the first agricultural revolution, urbanization and the consolidation of papal authority. It enables students to analyze the features and bequests of these civilizations, particularly African technological advancement and legacy to the world.

Level 200

First Semester

HIS 205: Ottoman North Africa
3 Credit(s)

The course examines the social, economic and political developments in northern Africa at the height of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa. It analyzes the nature and effects of the Ottoman administration of North Africa and the responses of the indigenous people of the area to Ottoman rule. It also explores the advent of Europeans in the region and examines their activities, as well as the impact of these activities on the indigenous societies of North Africa.

HIS 206: Early West African Polities, 1000AD – 1500AD
3 Credit(s)

This course provides insights into the processes involved in the formation of the early major politics in the savannah (Ghana, Mali, Songhai) of West Africa. It enables students to understand the political, economic and social institutions created in these politics before the coming of European to Africa during the modern era. The course also exposes students to the consequences of European exploration of the West Africa coast. This course enables students to acquire adequate knowledge about the modes of polity formation and organization and the role of great personalities and external influences in these political processes. It further enables students to clearly conceptualize the phenomenon of decline and fall in the early state formation processes in West Africa.

HIS 207: Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, 1715AD to 1789AD
3 Credit(s)

The course examines European society during the period that is historically referred to as the Age of Enlightenment. It explores the new ideas and thoughts that some individuals expounded which challenged traditional beliefs and practices in Europe at the time. The course further examines the major conflicts which arose out of overseas commercial rivalries, including the dynastic issues and the struggle for political hegemony. It also studies the internal conditions in France which led to the French revolution of 1789. The insights gained from this course enables students to understand the underlying political, economic, cultural, and social ideas in Europe as Europeans made contact with Africans in subsequent centuries. These insights enable students to appreciate the influence of these ideas on European exchanges with Africa.

HIS 208: Colonialism, Independence, and Nation Building in the U.S.A. to 1840
3 Credit(s)

The course studies the beginnings of American society from the seventeenth century up to the fourth decade of the nineteenth century. It will provide an insight into the establishment of the thirteen British colonies in America. It examines the circumstances that led to the American War of independence as well as the efforts at building the first institutions of government for the nation. Particular attention is also given to the role of the African in these developments.

Level 300

First Semester

HIS 303: Forest and Coastal States of West Africa up to the Eve of the Colonial Period
3 Credit(s)

The course examines the emergence and growth of polities like Denkyira, Asante, Akyem, Akwamu, Oyo, Benin and Dahomey. The course also analyzes the impact of Europeans presence and the rise of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on these polities with particular reference to the processes of the state formation and inter-state relations. Furthermore, it examines the impact of the abolition of the trans- Atlantic slave trade, Christian missionary work, and increased European involvement on these polities and their local affairs.

HIS 304: The Rise of Modern Russia to 1800
3 Credit(s)

This course concerns itself with the growth of Russia from an insignificant state into a dominant power in Northern Europe in the course of the 18th century. The role of rulers like Peter (the Great) and Catherine II are highlighted. The examination of Russia's history of the period provides an opportunity to illustrate the crucial role leaders play in the growth of any country.

HIS 305: Philosophy of History
3 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to the nature of historical facts and how various authors perceive history. In doing this, the course examines both the speculative and critical philosophies of history. The speculative aspect deals with the various theories regarding the course of historical events. The critical philosophy of history, on the other hand, looks at the nature of historical explanation in history, interpretation of historical facts, and moral judgments in history, as well as objectivity in history.

HIS 306: Revolution and Remaking of Europe, 1789 – 1871
3 Credit(s)

This course examines the political, social, economic and intellectual forces that plunged Europe into a period of violent revolution as well as the nationalist activities which eventually led to the creation of powerful new nation states. The course exposes students to major upheavals in Europe with the French revolution as a key event which unleashed a chain of revolutions and series of wars beginning with the rise of napoleon. It studies significant developments like experimentation of the rise of Napoleon. It studies significant developments like experimentation with liberal democracy and constitutional rule; counterrevolutions; the surge of nationalism; and unification of culturally homogeneous (Germany and Italy). The course further examines new thought cultures like liberalism, Darwinism, Romanticism and Marxism, as well as personalities whose twists and turns shaped Europe during this epoch. By drawing on parallels between this aspect of European history and the decolonized experiences of Ghana and other African states, the course broadens students’ scope of understanding of African political history. It enables students to appreciate the instability in post-colonial Africa; the emergence of personal dictatorships; the ideas of revolution; African socialism, African Marxism, and, more recently, the drift towards western liberal democracy and constitutional rule.

HIS 308: European Activities in Ghana, 1800 – 1874
3 Credit(s)

This course analyses the activities of the major European powers that were operating on the coasts of Ghana during the first three quarters of the 19th century. It traces the shaping of the economy of Ghana following the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and investigates the nature of British policies towards Ghana which eventually led to the colonization of the Southern part of the country in 1874.

HIS 309: Caribbean History to 1865
3 Credit(s)

The course looks at the evolution of European colonization of the Caribbean. It deals with the earliest (pre-European) societies and how the arrival of the Spaniards and others affected the indigenes of the area. The course further examines how the different European nations came in and through the forced importation of Africans began to establish various European dominated multiracial societies. Much attention is given to the forced African immigrants in these societies, their labour, treatment, reaction, etc. up to the period when European governments decided to end slavery for their nationals.

Second Semester

HIS 311: Ghana up to 1800
3 Credit(s)

This course, examines the evolution of the various ethnic groups that make up Ghana, from the earliest times up to 1800. It analyses the pre-history of Ghana and traces the immigration and settlement of the various people as well as their economic, social and political institutions. It also examines the relations between the various peoples, the factors that motivated European exploration of the West African Coast and the consequences of the interaction. The course further examines the introduction of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and its effects on Ghanaians.

HIS 317: Colonial Ghana, 1874 to 1957
3 Credit(s)

The course examines the shaping of colonial rule in Ghana. It studies the institutions that the British created for colonial rule and the colonial regime’s approach to social and economic development. It also analyses the responses of the various sections of the Ghanaian society to colonial rule and the forms these reactions took. Furthermore, the course examines the factors that led to the independence movements in Ghana and the nature of the struggle for the recovery of independence.

HIS 318: Post-Independence Ghana to 1992
3 Credit(s)

This course assesses the progress of Ghana in its efforts at building a modern nation state. It examines the challenges the country has faced in its efforts to consolidate its political independence and to achieve economic decolonization and modernization. The course studies the approaches of the various regimes to the governance of Ghana. It examines the internal challenges to Ghana’s national efforts and the ways in which external factors mediated these efforts. The course enables students to draw a balance sheet of Ghana’s post-colonial economic, social, and political achievements up to 1992.

HIS 319: The African in Dispersion
3 Credit(s)

The course discusses the dispersal (in most cases by coercion) of African to many parts of the world-the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas. In particular, it investigates the sources of the dispersion by looking at the African end of the slave trade and examines how Africans fared under slavery in different host societies. The course also analyses the post-slavery situation in the alien societies they now live in.

HIS 320: History of Medicine
3 Credit(s)

The course examines the evolution of the art of medicine and other healing practices in different parts of the world with particular emphasis on the indigenous Ghanaian medical practice. It studies the introduction of Western and other types of non-African medicine into Ghana and how they have related to indigenous forms of healing.

HIS 399: Research Methods
3 Credit(s)

This course concentrates on providing the students with the necessary skills of historical enquiry and writing of research findings. It particularly equips students with the skills of identifying sources, different methods of collecting data and approaches to analyzing data. Furthermore, the course exposes students to the standard format for presentation of extended essays as well as the modern bibliographic and referencing styles in history.

Level 400

First Semester

HIS 404: West Africa Under Colonial Rule
3 Credit(s)

This course engages the issue of the reduction of West Africa to the status of colonial subjects by various European nations. It fosters an understanding of the reasons for the Europeans colonization of West Africa and the ways in which West Africa responded to colonization. It enables students to analyze the nature, and purpose of European colonial administration in West Africa, the shape of colonial economies, and the direction of economic and social developments in the European colonies of West Africa. Furthermore, the course examines the contexts for the emergence of nationalist movements in West Africa.

HIS 405: Age of European Diplomacy and Imperialism, 1871 – 1918
3 Credit(s)

This course examines the shifts in the balance of power and changing patterns of diplomacy in Europe from the 1870’s on. It analyses the implications of this complex system of international relations for the European imperialism and conflicts of a global dimension. These analyses provide students with an understanding of the ways in which Africa came to feature in European affairs during the last decades of the nineteenth century and eventually lost her independence through the European imperial project.

HIS 407: U.S.A. and the Rise of Modern Russia, 1800 – 1918
3 Credit(s)

This course provides students with an opportunity for an in-depth comparative analysis of the social, economic and political institutions in the United States of America, a republic and Russia, a monarchy. This course deals specifically with the history of Russia from Alexander I to the Russian Revolution of 1917. It examines Russia’s internal developments and foreign policy within the period and pays attention to how serfdom affected the Russian development efforts within the period. The course reappraises Russia’s participation in the First World War and the impact of this great conflict on Russia. These themes provide adequate grounds for comparison with developments in the USA in the same period.

HIS 408: Special Paper
3 Credit(s)

The course enables major students to do a detailed study of a selected area in or theme on Ghana for a specified historical period. The course exposes students to collections of primary historical documents which are related to the study area or themes and period. It equips students with the skills of reading and interpreting original documents. The course prepares majors students for postgraduate research.

HIS 409: Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, 1800 – 1960
3 Credit(s)

The course examines the ways in which new political systems emerged in the Bantu areas of East, Central and Southern Africa engaged with the outside world. It discusses the creation of the Omani economic empire along the coast of East Africa, the creation of new political systems in the Great Lakes region. The course analyses the nature of European activities and African responses to them in East, Central and Southern Africa.

Second Semester

HIS 410: Colonial Latin America
3 Credit(s)

This course deals with the history of the society and government institutions that Spain and Portugal began to build from the time they arrived in the New World i.e. from 1492. The confrontation between the Old-World people and the indigenous population of the Americas as well as the results of that confrontation in the political, social, economic and religious spheres will be the subject of discussion. It is expected that at the end of the course, students will be able to explain how Latin American society was built as well as peculiar institutions and challenges they have faced. This should provide a basis of comparison with what has happened and is going on in our part of the world.

HIS 413: Modern Latin America, 1825 – 1970
3 Credit(s)

The course expands the story of Latin America from the time of their independence at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It surveys the challenges Latin Americans faced at independence and how they tried to meet these up to 1970. The course studies the histories of specific countries at various periods of the post-colonial period as illustrations of the generalizations that are made about the twenty countries. It provides students with the opportunity to compare the post-colonial experiences of a region outside Africa which fell under European colonial rule with those of independent Africa.

HIS 415: Europe in the Inter-War Years
3 Credit(s)

This course examines the factors in the major events that brought irreversible political, social, economic and cultural changes not only to Europe, but also to all other continents. It explores the pervasive consequences of the First War and the ways in which the chain of events triggered by this war contributed to the outbreak of the Second World War. The course provides students with an understanding of the major European states and how these dovetailed into continental diplomacy. It provides the broader context within which some celebrated totalitarian regimes and their key personalities burst onto the European political landscape and the impact of these on European and world politics. The course enables students to draw parallels between totalitarianism in Europe and early independent Africa.

HIS 424: Post Independence Africa
3 Credit(s)

The course examines the problems that African states faced on attaining independence and the various ways in which the leaders addressed the problems of creating nation states, stable political systems and achieving social and economic development. The course also interrogates foreign interventions in African domestic affairs and how these affected the economic, political and cultural trajectories of African states in the post-colonial era. The course further explores the lessons from the successes and failures of the post-colonial Africa project.

HIS 499: Project Work / Long Essay
3 Credit(s)

This course gives students the opportunity of researching into a topic of their choice and writing long essays on the topic.