Brief History

The Department of English was established as one of the pioneer departments of the Arts Faculty in 1948. At its inception the Department taught courses that were patterned after similar departments in the UK. However, from the 1960s, the dominant theme of the Department of English has been the need to make its courses reflect the requirements of the nation, Ghana.
It has been necessary to study the problems arising from the use of English as a Second Language and to build up both the material and the expertise to address them. Change in the Department has therefore been gradual. Indeed, until the 1980s, the Department’s programme retained an essentially metropolitan character as this was considered the best way to equip students with the requisite mastery of the Language. By the early 80s the gradual change had resulted in an expansion in our original offering in literature, which had been almost entirely based on the literature of the colonial metropolis, to reflect our position in a changing world. Thus a significant offering in Creative Writing, African and Diaspora Literatures, the New Literatures in English and American Literature was included.
In the year 2004, the Department did a major revision of its courses, under the leadership of Prof. K. A. Anyidoho, and came up with a new syllabus in English Studies. The new syllabus took into consideration various areas where English is required beyond teaching and research. This was done in order to meet the requirements of a job market in which competence in oral and written communication skills is becoming a premium in a new world. An unintended consequence is that our graduates are now found in many fields, including banks, as a result of their good communication skills.
Today, the Department’s New Syllabus for English Studies for the Bachelor of Arts degree gives students the opportunity to offer a variety of courses that the Department believes will prepare them to meet some of the demands or challenges of the job market.
Business and Expository Writing and Children’s Literature are some of the new specialisations which the department offers. Our African Literature courses are also very attractive to both local and foreign students. The courses have actually revived interest in our graduate programmes on which student enrollment is increasing significantly with a bias towards research in Ghanaian Literature or Comparative Studies in African and other Literatures.
In the 2009/2010 academic year, the Department of English implemented its revised syllabus for English studies. This revision was intended to:

  •  offer courses that meet the educational, economic, social, and political challenges of the country;
  • offer programmes which students find rewarding as they pursue future career objectives;
  • give students the requisite language/literary skills to make them effective in their job situation.