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Philip Ashon is studying his MA in International Journalism at Cardiff having being awarded a Tullow Scholarship.
Philip shares his experience as Cardiff University student.

Cardiff University enjoys welcoming students from Ghana every year to join the University's thriving West African community. The International Office visits Ghana at least twice a year, visiting Accra to conduct interviews with applicants. It also attends exhibitions with both the British Council and educational agents. Applications from Ghanaian students are welcome at all levels.

Foundation courses

We ask for evidence of strong results in your WAEC exams, with a majority of B grades. However, if you are applying for competitive courses, A grades will also be required.

English language
Whilst Ghana is, of course, recognised as an English speaking country, for the purpose of complying with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) rules, unfortunately, we require that all students joining us for Foundation level courses complete their IELTS examinations, gaining a minimum score of of 5.5.

Undergraduate courses

You will be required to have a WAEC qualification or a Foundation programme from a recognised and reputable institution. Cardiff University will also accept the equivalent of A levels for entry on to undergraduate programmes.

Postgraduate taught courses

You will be asked to provide evidence of having completed your Undergraduate programme in a related field, at an academically high level (usually the equivalent of an Upper Second grade or higher).

You will be required to show evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate programme in a related field with good grades (the equivalent of an upper second grade or higher).

Work experience can contribute towards gaining a placement in many subjects.

Postgraduate research programmes

You will be required to have a master's degree with a high grade, particularly in the research elements.

English language

Whilst Ghana is, of course, recognised as an English speaking country, for the purpose of complying with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) rules, we are asking that students demonstrate their English language abilities. We are constantly reviewing our admissions systems, whilst also abiding by the changes in UK entry laws. Please don't hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions about this.

If you obtained your WAEC or IGCSE with a level C or above, in the last 2 years, then this will be no problem for you if you are coming to study for your Bachelors Degree.

At Bachelors and Postgraduate level, even if you have attended an English speaking University or School, or conducted your job through the medium of English, then we will need further evidence of English language ability before we can issue unconditional offers.

This can be demonstrated by:

  • stipulating in your application's personal statement that you are currently working or studying through the medium of English;
  • obtaining two references which also mention your use of English language
    e.g. if you are working, then you are using English in a professional and skilled capacity, or a reference from an academic tutor to confirm that your course was taught through the medium of English and that you were successful in this.

If you are unsure of your qualifications or entry requirements please contact the International Office.

Representatives from the International Office visit Ghana regularly throughout the year. Details of our next visit will appear here shortly.

For further information regarding our visits please contact us at


Company Contact name Address Contact details

British Canadian International Education
Accra Office
Joyce Appiah-Agyekum
Student Counsellor
Off Oxford Street,
Behind SSNIT Hospital, Next to Mama Mia Restaurant
Osu, Accra, Ghana

Tel: 0302-778748
Fax: 024-4828577

Preparation For Life
Accra Office
  2nd Floor, Blueberry Mall Building
Anmada Street, near Shaka Zulu Restaurant
Olusegun Obasanjo Way (37 Military Hospital – Dzorwulu Highway)

Tel: (00233) 0302 765090/0264145468/0542409820

Accra Office
Marie-Stella HOOD The Orangery
169/4A, Otswe Street
Tedzii Ashieshi La, Osu Ako-Adjei
(Behind the Methodist Church, Rev. Peter Kwei Dagadu Memorial Society)

Tel: (00233) 502568920

Akwasi Dayo Sarpong

Akwasi Dayo Sarpong

Course Title: MA International Public Relations
Country: Ghana

Year of Graduation: 2008
Current Employer: BBC World Service

Being one of the compelling voices on the BBC World Service, Akwasi works hard at his job, navigating difficult hours and presenting complicated socio-political debates on BBC Africa. On hindsight, he says that socialising with people from diverse backgrounds in Cardiff taught him about the issues that resonated with people. He also remembers fondly, his lecturers who advocated painstaking care and fastidiousness when completing work, a trait worthy of his current role in the BBC.

As a Student at Cardiff University
Why did you choose to study at Cardiff?

Before I came to Cardiff I had practised journalism for almost 7 or 8 years in various roles in Ghana – I had been presenting programmes and anchoring the news. After a number of years working in the industry, I decided to go and get a new perspective. I wanted to go back to school, re-energise, recharge my batteries and diversify my thoughts. It was exciting, new and empowering. I knew that I needed to see things from another perspective, rather than just a West African one.

Did you enjoy your time living and studying here?

Cardiff University was the most amazing time of my life. I had a great time in Cardiff academically and socially. I also had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. It was doing something out of my comfort zone - there are so many experiences that I wouldn’t have gained elsewhere.

Life after Graduation
What is your current role in the BBC?

I produce and present two current affairs and news programmes of the BBC for Africa - the breakfast programme called Network Africa and the late afternoon news magazine, Focus on Africa.

I have just been assigned a third programme as presenter/producer which sees me traveling every month to a different African country to moderate a debate with a live studio audience of about 120 people - comprising experts, students, politicians, social commentators and so on. Any issue that is topical and at the core of the existence of our listeners must be heard on the BBC World Service. If it matters to Africa, we will debate it. I have just returned from Nairobi as a presenter for the BBC Africa debate. The current debate is whether Africa should be on trial in the International Criminal Court. We had spokespersons, advocates, lawyers and a live studio audience of 120 people with interest in the issues. The next debates will question Africa's global image: is it prejudiced or justified? That will be in Kampala, Uganda and then to Lusaka, Zambia where Africa will debate China's role in Africa.

How does an average day or average week look like?

The Network Africa breakfast show is a 10-hour night shift. From the moment I walk through the door, it’s all systems go!

I throw myself in the deep end with interviews with our correspondents via satellite phone, telephone and Skype. For example, when I talk to Heads of State they could be in their home countries or elsewhere. This means you need to be kept up to date by reading a lot of material to be able to appreciate and understand what is currently happening in those countries. Most importantly, you have to be good at interviewing and asking relevant questions. The sort of information you generate should be specific to citizens and nations, because you have a pan-African audience as well as a global audience.

What is the biggest challenge of your job?

I have to be constantly alert and think on my feet. From 10pm till 3am I am very busy so I don’t have time to feel tired. The preparation of the show involves creating scripts, recording interviews and preparing for live interviews. It’s exciting and there are always new things to work on.

The breakfast programme starts from 3.30am and ends at 8am. We rise with the sun in South-East Africa and set in West Africa. There are 5 editions every morning at every hour and the content is tailored for each part of the country.

Putting the programme together is exciting and then the show airs at 3.30am. I need to be awake and energetic. I don’t use coffee or energy drinks because I like to depend on my natural energy. That is a challenge of doing the breakfast programme. But you can look back at the morning’s work and know that you did a terrific job.

What is the most rewarding and meaningful part of your job?

To know that what I do makes a difference in peoples' lives. The reason why I have chosen media and journalism is because I want to be able to tell stories to people who are in the position to do something about it. If these people actually hear what I’m saying, they can take some action.

Today, the work I do is testimony to the last 12 years of hard work I've put in. Working on the BBC World Service commands the platform for Heads of State to listen to you. People can listen and actually use my commentary as a primary source of information. I am able to give power to the public who do not have the means or access to voice their opinions. What I aim to do is use my platform to give a voice to the voiceless.

What lessons have you learnt at Cardiff?

The MA was research-based which taught me to be very thorough and clear in my work. I learned how to think critically and be analytical in my writing.

A valuable lesson I learned was from a lecturer who told me:

“You did not travel all the way from Africa to stay in your comfort zone, you are here to benefit from the diversity that this master’s programme offers you.”

I learned to step out and engage with colleagues from elsewhere: China, America, Canada, Asia and India. I learnt their culture and shared my perspectives with them. This aspect of university allowed me to deal with real people from diverse backgrounds and be able to talk about issues that resonate with them. These are skills I have built over time and being in Cardiff helped hone that skill especially with my current role in the BBC.

What would you say to a student from Ghana who is thinking about coming to Cardiff?

It would be money well spent and an experience you will never regret. Cardiff is an amazing place to study, to meet people and to enjoy nightlife.

The materials that are available to you academically are limitless. Lecturers here make time for you, they talk to you and give you different perspectives that are useful for when you have to write your dissertation. They relate to you and give you the coaching that you need.

Cardiff is not an expensive place to live and I was very comfortable. You come to find that other cities in the UK are much more costly. I had little worry about money, so I had all the time to concentrate on my academic work. It was also very easy to find student work opportunities while I are there.

I worked with Halifax as a customer service adviser and many of my colleagues found similar financial institutions to make money to pay for their expenses during studies. This also gives you work experience for your CV. It shows you have a life outside the campus and can engage with people in a work environment. It can also help build a work ethic which is very important for when you graduate from University.

My time in Cardiff was absolutely amazing, if not the best time of my life.

Philip Ashon

Philip Ashon

Course Title: MA International Journalism
Country: Ghana

Scholarship: Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme

Philip Ashon's story is one of perseverance and courage. After a failed attempt at applying for the Tullow Oil Scholarship in 2012, he tried again and prevailed in 2013. He is now doing an MA in International Journalism, specialising in documentaries. Advocating hard work, research and clarity of purpose, he says that those were the ingredients to his success and hopes to be able to shape the socio-economic landscape of his country one day.

Settling into Cardiff University

The people in Cardiff are also very friendly and welcoming. I remember clearly on my first day here. I got lost and remembered how unfriendly the people in London were. I honestly thought I was not going to find my way. All it took was to ask someone randomly and I was very impressed with how they took their time to show me around. One of them even drew me a mini-map.

The one thing that you need to get used to is the cold. Summer is always glorious but autumn and winter are not pleasant for a Ghanaian who is used to 23 degrees Celsius on Tuesday afternoon.

The academic lifestyle at Cardiff

The academic atmosphere in Cardiff is very different from what I was accustomed to in Ghana. The quality of the tutelage, coming from practicing professionals with years of experience, is incomparable. They are always available and very accessible as well (though referring to them on first name basis takes a bit of getting used to).

The cultural diversity in my class is phenomenal and is one of the main advantages of this course. I especially like the debates we often get engaged in during sessions because in thirty minutes, you are able to consume knowledge from perspectives that some scholarly works could possibly not give you.

The manner in which technology is also used to communicate the material being taught is great. Books are always just a click away and the seamless coordination between departments and units make life a real pleasure. This is one of the major things I found very different especially from the situation in Ghana.

The adherence to time is one of the major things you would have to get used to very quickly. Your assignment cannot be ten minutes late and you will likely miss a class if you are five minutes late. The training has helped me with time management very well.

Social activities and extra-curriculars

I currently host a radio show on the campus radio station known as Xpress Radio called Rhythms on which I play hipline, highlife, Afro pop, Afro beat and Afro Caribbean tunes. I was also elected the course representative by my colleagues and have regular meetings with the leadership of the course on the welfare of my colleagues.

Gaining admission to Cardiff University has always been a dream.

Philip Ashon

Abubakari Bediako

Course Title: MSc Geoenvironmental Engineering
Country: Ghana

Scholarship: Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme

Under the prestigious Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme, Abubakari won a scholarship to study the MSc in Geoenvironmental Engineering. Passionate about the environment, he is currently studying at Cardiff’s Engineering School and hopes that his studies will help him contribute constructively to the oil and gas industry in the future.

Academic aspirations

I believe that environmental sustainability is important but to engineer and control the environment, it is vital to understand the natural processes which have shaped the environment as well as the human activities which are continually reshaping the environment. To play my part of helping maintain a better environment, I am taking an MSc in Geoenvironmental Engineering (under TGSS) at the school engineering of Cardiff University.

The academic lifestyle at Cardiff

The engineering programs at Cardiff University are typically tailored vocational training courses. The availability of ‘miniature industrial plants’ at the labs and the use of industrial soft wares for teaching, mean that they keep you abreast with current industrial practice. All these, coupled with the long history of cosmopolitanism of Cardiff city, make Cardiff University a great place to learn especially as an international student.

All these, coupled with the long history of cosmopolitanism of Cardiff city, make Cardiff University a great place to learn especially as an international student.

Philip Ashon

Mary Atta Boateng

Course Title: MSc Radiography
Country: Ghana

Scholarship: International Scholarship Fund, Cardiff University

Why Cardiff?

Cardiff University is the best place you can think of studying at. The state of the art facilities, competent lectures and awesome environment make effective learning possible. Not forgetting the flexible course module combination which equips graduates with the expertise that make them fit easily into the job market after graduating. I am proud to be a student of this noble institution and urge you to choose no other institution than Cardiff University for quality education.

I won the full tuition fee scholarship for the 2013/2014 academic year. You can trust that scholarship from Cardiff University is real.

Student views

My favourite memory of Cardiff will be the rich blend of cultures, friendly citizens and historical landscapes.

Angela Carmen Appiah, MSc Advanced Practice

The cost of living is just right for your pocket; you can have an enjoyable time both socially and academically.

Kajal Shah, MPharm Pharmacy

Josh Fairweather
Cardiff Contact - Josh Fairweather

Hi, my name is Josh and I'm the country manager for Ghana.

I am very excited to be visiting Ghana over the next year, learning more about your country and meeting as many people as possible. If you have any questions about studying or living in Cardiff please do contact me, or visit me at one of the events I will be attending - details of which can be found on this page.

Week in the Life of...

Tullow Oil Scholarship winner, Philip Ashon, shares a week of his life in pictures. Read more...

Graduate Opportunities

Cardiff students have the opportunity to apply for graduate positions at international and national companies across Africa with GradlinkAfrica.

Useful links

News in Ghana

Cardiff University's Mike McGovern is a fourth year medical student who's been training midwives in Ghana using a training model developed here in Wales. One in eight women die in Africa because of complications during pregnancy. Mike hopes that with the help of realistic training scenarios, the childbirth process would be a more positive one in the future. Read more...



2013 International brochure

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