Diploma/Certificate in Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts Ahmedabad University

The Diploma or Certificate in Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts is a unique and exciting opportunity for students from diverse academic backgrounds to benefit from the rigour and intellectual depth of courses offered across the humanities and social sciences at Ahmedabad University. An exposure to the liberal arts is critical to succeeding in today's competitive professional arenas, and the programme trains students in key skills such as critical reasoning and analysis, advanced writing, and articulation. It is notable that many of the founders or builders of the most successful new technology companies in the world today studied subjects such as philosophy, history and literature while they were at university.

The programme contains two new courses (Critical Thinking and Academic Writing- 1 and 2) that teach students to critically read texts as well as to produce well-organised writing on broad academic themes.

Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts

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Why should you join a specialisation programme?

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely to be very challenging for graduating students to enter the job market or begin further studies outside Ahmedabad (or their hometown if they are from elsewhere). While you are waiting for the external situation to improve and stabilise, you may wish to do a one-semester or a one-year part-time programme that would help you to spend your time constructively, while adding to your employability skills.

  • These one-year specialisation programmes help you to earn credentials in a new area, while increasing your employability by helping you to develop key skills.
  • They also give you the opportunity to explore your intellectual interests beyond the degree you have completed.
  • For students looking for careers in law, journalism, the development sector or the civil services, the Diploma Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts offers an excellent bridge programme that will equip you with the necessary reading, writing and analytical rigour needed in these fields.
  • If you have just completed a three-year undergraduate programme, it gives you a fourth year at university, which makes you eligible to apply to a range of postgraduate programmes abroad.

Programme Outcomes

Students taking the Critical Thinking and Academic Writing courses will learn crucial skills pertaining to reading and writing, analysing complex texts, developing arguments and making effective presentations. Over the course of the program students will learn to:

  • read texts closely and critically analyse their form and content;
  • distinguish between genres of writing, such as argumentative essays, position papers and opinion pieces;
  • write cogent and effective essays, arguments, commentaries and precis;
  • reference appropriately the texts they produce;
  • distinguish and evaluate different sources of information; and
  • make forceful and effective presentations accessible to a range of audiences.

Course Structure

Programme duration

Diploma in Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts 30 credits over 2 semesters, full-time
Certificate in Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts 15 credits over 2 semesters, part-time

Over the course of two semesters, students will choose from the wide range of courses on offer across the humanities and social sciences majors- History, Philosophy, History and Languages, and Social and Political Sciences. The structure of the Diploma and Certificate programmes will be as follows:

  • All students will complete 5 specified core courses. These are:  Introduction to Humanistic Inquiry (PHL101); Research Methods in Social and Political Sciences (SPS 201); What is History (210); Critical Thinking and Academic Writing – 1 (TBA); Critical Thinking and Academic Writing – 2 (TBA).
  • Students enrolled for the Diploma Programme will, in addition, take 4 elective courses. Electives will be chosen from among the wide range of courses on offer across the humanities and social science majors.
  • Students enrolled for the Diploma Programme will also undertake 1 guided research project or write a report, review, or critical essay on a topic of their choice.

PLEASE NOTE: Ahmedabad University runs some bi-semester courses, which are spread across both semesters, so the Diploma and the Certificate Programs can only be completed over two semesters.

Students are requested to be mindful while opting for the electives to ensure that there are no scheduling conflicts.

Sample course Structure (Diploma)
Semester 1
Course 1 (Core)
Introduction to Humanistic
Inquiry
Course 2 (Core)
Research Methods
In the social sciences
Core Course 3 (Core)
What is History
Course 4 (Core)
Critical Thinking
Academic Writing 1
Course 5 (Elective)
Ecology and Society
Bi-semester Monsoon Monsoon Monsoon Monsoon
Semester 2
Course 6 (Core)
Critical Thinking
Academic Writing 2
Course 7 (Elective)
On Fake News
And Populism
Course 8 (Elective)
South Asians in the
World
Course 9 (Elective)
Political Philosophy
Course 10
Project
Winter Winter Winter Winter


Sample course Structure (Certificate)
Semester 1
Course 1 (Core)
Introduction to Humanistic Inquiry
Course 2 (Core)
Research Methods In the social sciences
Core Course 3 (Core)
What is History
Course 4 (Core)
Critical Thinking and Academic Writing 1
Bi-semester Monsoon Monsoon Monsoon
Semester 2
Course 5 (Core)
Critical Thinking and Academic Writing 2
Winter

For more information on the Diploma and Certificate Programmes in Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts, please write to maya.ratnam@ahduni.edu.in.



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