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The Department was formerly known as the Department of Art Education. It was transferred from Achimota College to form the nucleus of the Kumasi College of Technology in 1952.
Beginning as the foundation of the College of Art, University of Science and Technology, it was established to offer training in education for Artists who wanted to enter the teaching and other allied professions.
In 1968, the Department began offering a Postgraduate Diploma in Art Education Programme. to graduates of the then College of Art (now Faculty of Art) to enable them teach Textiles, Painting, Graphic Design, Ceramics, Sculpture and Metals in Secondary Schools and Teacher Training Colleges. But now, it runs the M.A, MPhil and PhD degree programmes.
Following the adoption of the Collegiate System of Administration and subsequent restructuring of KNUST into Colleges in 2004, the African Art Section of the Department of Design and General Art Studies was merged with the Department of Art Education. Hence the new name, Department of General Art Studies.