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    What courses does ashesi University offer?

    By | September 23, 2020

    Programme Structure


    Course Pre-requisites


    Degree Requirements
    For information on degree requirements, see Section 5.2 of the Ashesi Students’ Handbook.

    Ashesi’s core curriculum consists of an interdisciplinary liberal arts program that includes courses in the humanities and social sciences, as well as mathematics and preparatory business and computer science courses. The core curriculum is supplemented by a set of courses in African Studies, which help develop students’ understanding of Africa’s past, present and possible future trajectory.

    • Text and Meaning
    • Quantitative Methods
    • Written and Oral Communication
    • Research Methods
    • Statistics with Probability
    • Social Theory
    • Pre-Calculus and Problem Solving I
    • Pre-Calculus and Problem Solving II 
    • Calculus I
    • Calculus 2
    • Microeconomics
    • Macroeconomics
    • Introduction to Finance
    • Leadership Seminar Series
    • African Music and Dance: Traditional and Contemporary Music (with a Focus on Ghana)

    Text and Meaning

    Code: ENG 113Prereq: None

    Text and Meaning takes a fresh approach to the study of literary and critical theory, integrating critical thinking into activities to increase students’ very ability to learn and question. It is designed to teach students critical thinking skills, how to pose questions, propose hypotheses, gather and analyze data, and make arguments. In order to accomplish this, the term ‘text’ is used in its broadest possible sense, and includes literature, newspapers, magazines, speeches, advertising, websites, blogs, film, music and documentaries.   Put simply, Text and Meaning encourages students to do their own intellectual fishing, instead of waiting to be served.

    Objectives:

    After completing the course, students will have: familiarity with key debates within literary theory; the ability to interpret a variety of set texts from multiple perspectives; and an appreciation and awareness of popular culture, our role in shaping it, and its significance in shaping society.

    Quantitative Methods

    Code: MATH 223Prereq: MATH 122 Precalculus and Problem Solving 2 or MATH 142 Calculus 2 and MATH 221 Statistics with Probability

    This course will survey quantitative approaches to work in the business world. The course introduces students to concepts, techniques and software with which all successful managers should be familiar. The course has three main units: operations research/management science, project management, and statistical testing. The course is hands-on, using spreadsheet techniques with minimal reference to complex or abstract mathematics. The statistical tests covered will be useful in nearly any senior project work, as well as any significant quantitative decision-making in a business context.

    Objectives:

    After completing the course students will be able to: apply analytical and conceptual thinking skills to quantitative problems in the business context; use statistical tests to evaluate a claim the business context; and use spreadsheet and statistical software to model and solve business problems.

    Written and Oral Communication 

    Code: ENG 112Prereq: None

    This course offers an introduction to the practices of reading and writing for general university studies.  Students will develop academic writing and analytical skills through critical reading, group discussion and various writing assignments. Strong emphasis will be placed on revising, with weekly workshops to clarify assignments and expectations and/or receive recommendations and feedback on works in progress.

    Objectives:

    By the end of this course students will be able to: use writing and reading as tools of learning and critical thinking; communicate clearly through writing and oral presentation; recognize and employ tools of argument and persuasion; find, evaluate and properly cite academic texts and other sources; and apply these skills in university work and professional careers.

    Research Methods

    Code: SOAN 329Prereq: MATH 223 Statistics

    The course is designed to provide the student with broad fundamentals of research methods. To this end, students will be introduced to quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches for conducting research. Students will be guided through the various stages of conducting research; i.e. writing research proposals, where they will identify problems to study; collecting information by conducting appropriate literature review; collecting appropriate primary and/or secondary data; analyzis, lectures, in-class assignments, critiquing published articles, homework assignments and quizzes. At the end of the course, students will be required to present written proposals suitable for a mixed-method approach and write an end-of-semester examination. The course is hands-on, using R as the main software.

    Objectives:

    At the end of the course, the student will be able to access relevant information in the literature using various search engines, the library and other sources of information; propose a research study requiring quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed-method approaches; design an effective data collection instrument and use it to collect data that accurately address the research problem; analyze qualitative and quantitative data using R, with exposure to SPSS and Stata; and present written proposals suitable for a mixed-method approach. 

    Topics:

    Literature review (search engines, Journals/books, other sources); proposal writing (aims/objectives of research, qualitative and quantitative research, research questions; data collection (primary/secondary data, design of questionnaires, sampling strategy, electronic data collection; data analysis (data analysis, including descriptive data analysis, graphical and tabular displays, hypothesis tests, based on data from qualitative and quantitative research using mainly  R); Proposal and mini report writing (formats for capstone project reports and journal articles, referencing and citation).

    Content:

    During discussion sessions The week’s lectures will be reviewed; feedback on homework assignments and quizzes will be given; and one-on-one discussions with students will be made.

    African Music and Dance: Traditional and Contemporary Music (with a Focus on Ghana)

    Code: SOAN 233Prereq: None

    This course on the music of sub-Saharan Africa begins by looking at the general differences between traditional music, art-music and popular music – and then moves on to some of the main stylistic areas, including southern Africa and Francophone/Anglophone West Africa. The course then focuses on the development of Ghanaian popular dance-music since the late 19th century and with the aid of slides and music examples covers the following Ghanaian genres: palmwine music, marching bands, dance band and guitar band highlife, Afro-beat, Afro-rock, local reggae, burger highlife, hiplife and local gospel. These are dealt with in terms of musical style and also their relationship to traditional music, the independence movement, national identity, Pan-Africanism, urbanization, social commentary, political change and generational and gender issues. An exploration is also made of the links between Ghanaian music and that of the Black Americas – such as jazz, rock music, soul, salsa, reggae and hiphop, etc. The course include a component on the Ghanaian music industry, changing technologies, copyright and the commercial ‘World Music’ sector. A practical component on African drumming is also included. The three hour slot will not only include lectures but will also involve video films, group discussions, tests and also at least two practical classes on local traditional and highlife drumming. As Prof Collins co-runs the Local Dimension highlife band and is a patron of the Ghana Musicians Union (MUSIGA) he will also suggest music programs that might be of interest to the students.

    Objectives:

    Since the early 1990s there has been an enormous expansion of the Ghanaian music industry with the multiplication of local private TV channels, FM radio stations and recording studios. Also important is the recent growth of a large Ghanaian commercial music sector linked to local ‘gospel’ music and a rising international interest in African popular music and ‘World’ music. Our students therefore have to be ready for the new private commercial music market that is opening up at home and abroad. This course therefore familiarizes students with history and development Ghanaian/African popular music and the industry that has grown up around it. The course therefore not only introduces students to African culture and social history, but also provides them with information that may help them find jobs in areas such as commercial music production and promotion, radio/TV music programming, music  journalism, music copyright law and so on.

    Statistics with Probability

    Code: MATH 221Prereq: MATH 122 Precalculus and Problem Solving 2 or MATH 141 Calculus 1

    Do you ever speculate about social change and why groups of people behave the way they do? Do you sometimes wonder about the different life choices individuals make? Why are some people healthier, better in school, or more athletic than others? Are you interested in understanding the physical or natural worlds or how climate change is impacting the area in which you grew up? The discipline of statistics is about how we turn data into useful information that can help answer the questions that pique our interest. In this course, learning statistics will be motivated by using real data to answer questions that you come up with and by applying a quantitative research process: (1) generating a testable hypothesis; (2) understanding large datasets; (3) formatting and managing data; (4) conducting descriptive and inferential statistical analysis; and (5) communicating the results to expert and novice audiences.

    Objectives:

    The process of converting data into useful information draws on the following statistical foundation skills taught in the course: producing data, exploratory data analysis, probability, and inference. Statistical computing software is the essential tool that ties the entire quantitative research process together. In this course we will use R and R Studio to manage data, carry out statistical analysis, conduct simulations, and create graphs and plots to represent data visually.

    Social Theory

    Code: SOAN 221Prereq: ENG 112 Written and Oral Communication

    In this course we will engage rigorously with some of the central ideas directed at how to build the ideal society. In the attempt to unravel what is clearly a complex matter we will focus on some of the compelling debates and ideas from classical antiquity to our times. The course will highlight Africa’s contributions to these debates and ideas within a global framework. In this undertaking, the student will be called upon to reflect on the various postulations, the counter–? claims, the attendant tensions and arrive at his or her own conclusions.

    Objectives:

    By the end of the course students will have: an in-depth knowledge of the seminal theoretical debates on the socioeconomic and political organization of society; a deep appreciation for Africa’s historical and contemporary contributions and responses to these theoretical debates; and an improved ability to articulate and support critical arguments in writing.

    Precalculus and Problem Solving 1

    Code: MATH 121Prereq: None

    One definition of mathematics is the science of patterns. Patterns are all around us and the human brain is wired to recognize them! Precalculus uses the formal concept of functions to identify and describe patterns found in data, patterns expressed as a formula, and patterns identified visually in a graph. The emphasis of the course is on developing a conceptual understanding of the definition of a function, the characteristics of important function families, connections to real life, and how the study of functions facilitates the understanding of calculus. A problem solving heuristic and specific problem solving strategies, such as drawing diagrams, systematic lists, looking for patterns, matrix logic, unit analysis, estimation, and others, further develop students’ skills in quantitative reasoning

    Objectives:

    After completing the course, student will have: a mastery of algebra fundamentals; conceptual understanding of functions, including the linear, piecewise, exponential and logarithmic function families, their applications and various forms of representation, such as graphic, symbolic, and tabular forms; the ability to apply a problem solving heuristic and appropriate strategies to a wide range of novel and challenging application, logic and quantitative reasoning problems, and present solutions using proper notation and clear communication.

    Pre-Calculus and Problem Solving 2

    Code: MATH 122Prereq: MATH 121 Precalculus and Problem Solving 1

    One definition of mathematics is the science of patterns. Patterns are all around us and the human brain is wired to recognize them! Precalculus uses the formal concept of functions to identify and describe patterns found in data, patterns expressed as a formula, and patterns identified visually in a graph. The emphasis of the course is on developing a conceptual understanding of the definition of a function, the characteristics of important function families, connections to real life, and how the study of functions facilitates the understanding of calculus. A problem solving heuristic and specific problem solving strategies, such as drawing diagrams, systematic lists, looking for patterns, matrix logic, unit analysis, estimation, and others, further develop students’ skills in quantitative reasoning.

    Objectives:

    After completing the course, student will have: a mastery of algebra fundamentals; conceptual understanding of functions, including the polynomial, rational, radical and periodic function families, their applications and various forms of representation, such as graphic, symbolic, and tabular forms; the ability to apply a problem solving heuristic and appropriate strategies to a wide range of novel and challenging application, logic and quantitative reasoning problems, and present solutions using proper notation and clear communication

    Calculus 1

    Code: MATH 141Prereq: None

    Objectives:

    After completing the course students will have: a conceptual understanding of variable rates of change, limits and derivatives; mastery of the various techniques of differential calculus; the ability to apply calculus concepts and techniques to real world problems in business, economics and engineering.

    Calculus 2

     Code: MATH 142Prereq: Calculus 1

    This course emphasizes conceptual understanding of integral calculus concepts and its application to real life problems, especially in business, economics and engineering.

    Objectives:

    After completing this course students will have: an understanding of the concepts of indefinite and definite integrals; the ability to know when and how to apply the various techniques of integration; and be able to apply the concepts and techniques learned to real world problems in business, economics and engineering.

    Principles of Microeconomics

    Code: ECON 102Prereq: ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics MATH 141A Pre-calculus I

    This course is an introduction to macroeconomics, with a strong emphasis on international applications. The course has two objectives. First, it will develop simple models of goods and services, assets, capital and labour markets which can be usefully applied to generate realistic predictions regarding the behaviour of such macroeconomic variables as: output; employment; inflation; the current account; and interest and exchange rates (if time permits). Second, the course will teach students to use these models to understand and interpret current and historical macroeconomic developments. Current macroeconomic developments and policy changes such as the financial crisis, austerity in Europe, quantitative easing, inflation targeting among others will be discussed. Even though the course will provide examples from Ghana and Africa a component of the course will be based on advanced economies.

    Objectives:

    The primary goal of this course is to help students develop an analytical framework for understanding the economy as a whole. Apart from facilitating job acquisition, we want students to absorb enough economic knowledge to be able to take advanced classes in economics and business that Ashesi offers. In delivering the course we aim to guide students to develop an understanding of the workings of macroeconomic policy and to familiarise students with the interpretation of macroeconomic and monetary data. We encourage students to use the tools provided in the lectures to gain a better understanding of current macroeconomic events and issues in Ghana, Africa and beyond. Our weekly classes, assignments, exams and projects will consolidate the understanding and interpretation of macroeconomic data.  ASHESI LEARNING GOALS ADDRESSED IN THIS COURSE: 1. Leadership & Teamwork: An Ashesi student is adept at leading and functioning in teams. Students will work together in pairs for many of the Friday discussion class. In-and out-of class group assignments will sharpen teamwork and communication skills and provide opportunities for fine tuning leadership skills. 2. Curiosity and Skill: An Ashesi student is inquisitive and confident, has breadth of knowledge, and has attained a high level of mastery in their chosen field. The policy report should provide opportunities for students to demonstrate academic curiosity in defining a research problem and skill in planning and executing solutions to the problems. 3. Technology Competence: An Ashesi student is an effective and flexible user of technology. The homework will require that students gain competence in the use of EXCEL for plotting charts and summarizing data which should encourage students to strive to be technologically competent. 4. Critical Thinking and Quantitative Reasoning: An Ashesi student is able to apply critical thinking and quantitative reasoning to approach complex problems. The homework will typically involve the use of calculus and will comprise of problems that will challenge students to think critically and to hone their quantitative reasoning skills. Additionally, there will be challenging questions that require students to read beyond the lecture and textbook materials.  5. Communication: An Ashesi student is an excellent communicator in a variety of forms. Students will have the opportunity to pitch their policy report before their peers at the discussion class. Prior to submitting the final report students will present their report before their colleagues for comments and criticisms. This should provide students with ample opportunity to hone their communication skills.

    Topics:

    Measuring a Nation’s Income: Income and Expenditure, GDP, Components of GDP, Is GDP a good measure of quality of life  Production and Growth: Economic growth, productivity, economic growth and public policy  Savings, Investment and the Financial System: Financial institutions, savings and investment and the national accounts, market for loanable funds, present value of money  The Monetary System: Meaning of money, banks and the money supply, tools of monetary policy  Money Growth, Inflation and Unemployment: Classical theory of inflation, causes and costs of inflation, calculating the CPI, identifying unemployment.  Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply: key facts about economic fluctuations, explaining short-run fluctuations, AD and AS curves, causes of economic fluctuations, New Keynesian economics  The Influence of Monetary and Fiscal Policy on AD: How MP influences AD, how FP influences AD, stabilization polices  A Short Introduction to Open-Economy Macroeconomics: International flows of goods and capital, real and nominal exchange rates, purchasing power parity  The budget and public debt: Deficits and debt, fiscal policy & national income, financial crisis, Ricardian model, sovereign debt crisis, austerity policies, quantitative easing

    Content:

    Solving problem sets Presentations by students on topics chosen for group projects General question and answer sessions Discussion of topical issues related to the course

    Macroeconomics

    This course is an introduction to macroeconomics, with a strong emphasis on international applications. The course has two objectives. First, it will develop simple models of goods and services, assets, capital and labor markets which can be usefully applied to generate realistic predictions regarding the behavior of such macroeconomic variables as: output; employment; inflation; the current account; and interest and exchange rates. Second, the course will teach students to use these models to understand and interpret current and historical macroeconomic developments.

    Introduction to Finance

    Modern financial economics applies economic tools to the analysis of financial problems. This course will introduce students to such analytical tools by covering basic financial theory and concepts. Topics will include the calculation of net present values, basic asset pricing, evaluation of risk and return, capital budgeting, and financial derivatives. Whenever appropriate, the course will take the view of corporate financial managers who interact with efficient capital markets. This course is designed to introduce students to financial theory and concepts and to provide them with an overview of the issues addressed by financial economists, and the techniques necessary to analyze financial investment decisions.

    Leadership Seminar

    The Leadership Seminar Series is a series of interdisciplinary seminars designed to promote self-awareness among Ashesi’s students and to expose them to the ideas of great historical thinkers and contemporary leaders. Students will be asked to think broadly and to explore how the might use the examples set by other leaders to achieve their goals in their future professional lives. The leadership seminar series draws upon experts in different fields of corporate, social and academic life. Students must complete the full series in order to graduate from Ashesi University. The entire series is worth 2 credit units (0.5 units for each of four seminars). The series consists of the following seminars:

    Leadership Seminar 1Code: SOAN 111Prereq: None

    This course explores such questions as “What is good leadership? “What are the attributes of a Great Leader? and “What does a good do or not do? In this seminar, students will do readings of various historical and contemporary public and business leaders and explore the ethical dimensions of leadership. This is a half unit seminar taught in the format of discussions and assigned readings. Learning

    Objectives:

    Course content addresses the purpose of leadership and the qualities of a great leader. Students will explore ethics and civic engagement in course readings and discussions. By comparing frameworks for leadership and ethical decision-making and applying those frameworks to leaders in a variety of contexts, students learn to analyze and evaluate the leadership they observe around them. Weekly writing assignments build students’ skills in reflective writing. In-class discussions and debate build students verbal communication and presentation skills.

    Leadership Seminar 2Code: SOAN 221Prereq: None

    This seminar probes the most fundamental questions about the good society: “What are the most fundamental rights of humanity?  “What impact does national government have on the trajectory of nations? “What is the Social Contract – Rule of Law, and what impact does it have on civilizations? 

    Objectives:

    After taking this seminar, students should have a deeper understanding of constitutional law and the concept of nations, whose leaders are expected to be servants of the people.  This seminar also expands on the discussion of ethics, from corporate social responsibility to ethical issues in public office. Students will develop their skills in writing analytical and reflective papers.

    Leadership Seminar 3Code: SOAN 311Prereq: None

    This seminar asks the questions: “What is the best way to organize the economic activity of a good society? “ What is the proper definition of ‘best’ in the issue?  “How do we best achieve a balance of liberty, efficiency, equality and community?  This seminar is a natural progression from the previous discussion about Rights and The Rule of Law. 

    Objectives:

    At the end of this seminar students should have a better understanding of the interplay between natural and civil rights on the one hand, and economic activity on the other. They will gain skills in analytical and reflective writing.

    Leadership Seminar 4Code: SOAN 411Prereq: None

    This seminar is a capstone to the leadership seminar series and puts into practice many of the general concepts discussed in the previous seminars as well as courses taken at Ashesi. In particular, service learning helps students develop a sense of citizenship by giving them an opportunity to become engaged with their surrounding community, while also considering how they can make  positive impact on improving that community or solving its problems.   The Leadership as Service Seminar is designed to extend this series beyond the classroom, gets students engaged in the larger Ghanaian community, help them experience the impact that they can have in society, and thus develop a confidence that we hope will stay with them through their professional lives.  

    Objectives:

    The course aims to: help you carve out your personal identity as a leader and to find yourself in this equation: personal integrity + desire for social change + relevant skills + creative problem-solving + courage = an Ashesi Leader; to help you understand servant leadership and enhance your ability to lead by example; to help you understand your role as a contributor to problem-solving and positive social change in your community; and to expose you to a variety of leaders, inspire, encourage and support you to be a great servant leader.

    Programming I: Fundamental Ideas in Computer Science

    This course will cover the basics of information technology literacy, including hands-on use of microcomputer applications, principles of digital computers and information technology and an introduction to problem-solving through programming. The algorithmic concepts will be illustrated in Visual Basic and will include the concepts of elementary data types and variables; arithmetic expressions and assignments; program control flow; and using prewritten functions.

    The goal of this course is to introduce students to common desktop and database applications and to elements of basic programming and of problem solving using the computer.

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