Students who successfully complete this program should be able to :

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of theories of communication and the media and how these impact on the production, distribution and reception of media products in concrete communities, national and international contexts with respect to basic appropriate research methodologies.
  • Identify appropriate social, cultural, political and economic theories that take cognisance of the concepts of democracy, development and social change and the role of the new information technologies in enabling the creation of democratic and equitable societies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of communication and media systems which may cause significant political, economic and social change through an examination of current events.
  • Understand communication and media skills within existing media organisations and judge and assess the impact of their theoretical and research skills in varied environments.
  • Conduct informed research guided by clearly articulated communication, media and development studies that promote community and national development.
  • Take cognisance of and respect people’s cultures and basic human rights in the context of media and development.


The program Media and Development Studies offers students an overview of media and development, and how media technologies affect societies and development. Tracing the evolution of the media from the tools of mass communication to key players in the new information society, this program will equip students with key communication concepts with which they can successfully critically evaluate media’s ability to create political, economic and social change. An analysis of fundamental communication theories that relate to media ownership and control, media and democracy, media and identity as well as media and governance will be done. Students will apply these theories to understand new media, including ownership and control and how these impact on the socio-economic development of communities. Emphasis will be on how media affects and manipulates people through the understanding of the relationship between media and culture development.

Graduates in the programme of Media and Development Studies have varied career opportunities which include the following: print and broadcasting media organisations, social research organisations, advertising agencies, non-governmental organisations, public relations/customer care departments in both private and public organisations, digital publishing organisations, media consultancy and opening up own media-related enterprises.

The duration of the programme is a minimum of four (4) academic years full-time conventional programme and three (3) years block release up to a maximum of eight (8) years.

To be admitted to the programme, a candidate must normally have:

  • At least five (5) O-Level passes at Grade C or better or their equivalent including English Language. In addition, a candidate must have at least two (2) A’ Level passes; or
  • Attained a satisfactory standard of performance on any entrance test which the University may devise for the purposes of entry.
  • Other qualifications acquired by a candidate that may be approved by the Senate.

Mature Entry

  • Candidates can be accepted for mature entry if they have five (5) O-levels including English Language and Mathematics and have worked for a Media organization for more than three years. The said candidates should be twenty-three (23) years of age or over.

Special Entry

  • Candidates can be accepted for special entry if they holders of other qualifications that may be admitted by the Senate, subject to the availability of places.
  • Candidates with Recognised Prior Learning (RLP) will be considered for admission on a case to case basis.

Exemption qualifications

  • Candidates who have been doing media and development work at a recognized institution and have acquired appropriate qualification to the satisfaction of the Department of Media and Development Studies can be exempted in such other courses deemed appropriate.

The curriculum for Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Media and Development Studies comprises at least forty (40) courses, including a work-related learning report, continuous assessment at work and a dissertation. Each course is worth ten (10) credits except work related learning and dissertation which are one hundred and twenty (120) and twenty-two (22) credits respectively.

The student is expected to accumulate a minimum of four hundred and ninety-two (492) credit points and maximum of five hundred and six (506) credits to be considered to have met the requirements of the Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Media and Development Studies.

Part 1                     = 120 credits

Part 2                     = 120 credits

Part 3                     = 120 credits

Part 4                     = 132 credits

Total                     = 492 credits    View Courses on Offer

HMDS 101:  Introduction to Media and Development Studies

The module introduces students to the disciplines of Media and Development Studies, addressing major themes that have shaped the discipline over time. The focus will be on assisting students to trace the history of media and the development of economies.

HMDS102: Theories of communication and the Media

The module will define communication and its parameters and models will be explored. Theories of communication and models will be critiqued. Normative theories of the media will be given. Media and mediation, concepts of mass and “community” and society power, integration and change will be studied.

HMDS103: Developmental Theories and Strategies

The module will equip students with a broad application of major theories of development which have shaped the discipline overtime. Classical theories and their contribution to growth and development of economies will be traced and explored.

HMDS104: Media Policy, Law and Ethics

Students will be introduced to laws and policies which govern the media in Zimbabwe. Legal and ethical considerations in media practices in relation to the social, economic and political interests of Zimbabwe will be analysed.

HRCU 103 Introduction to Communication skills

This introductory module aims to develop students’ communication skills for formal study and for career purposes.  It deals with listening, speaking, and writing and reading skills, presentation of ideas supported by appropriate software and visuals. It introduces students to skills in interpersonal and cross-cultural communication.

HRCU 104 Information Technology

This module seeks to introduce students to Information Technology (IT) and provide them with an opportunity to explore criteria for the appropriate use of information technology. The module further exposes students to hands-on IT skills for use in research.

HMDS105:  Comparative Media Trends in Africa and Beyond

The module offers a comparative study of media trends in Africa focusing on selected regions and beyond. Historical patterns of development and levels of media performance will be interrogated. Media role in pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial periods will be traced.

HMDS106: Constitutionalism in Africa

A global perspective of theories and practice of constitutionalism in different African countries will be explored. The module also seeks to make conceptual and normative inquiry into the linkages between constitutionalism, rule of law and democracy.

HMDS107: State and Politics in Developing Countries

 The module examines the state and politics in developing countries and also provides a general overview of the same. It examines the role of state and politics play in the development of communities.

HMDS108: Economics of Development

Dominant classical and neo-classical theories of economic development will be studied. Students will also be exposed to factors and processes that underpin growth and development.  Particular attention will be paid to the impact of international and domestic economic policies on growth, poverty and income distribution in developing countries, and seek to bring out the fundamental linkages between economic growth and human development.

HMDS109: Multilateral Institutions and Development

The module examines the role and activities of leading international institutions in the development of nations of the world.  Multilateral institutions are important components of global development and in this changing development landscape, middle-income countries are studied to see how they can benefit from these institutions and also how poor fragile countries can also get the same assistance.  Are these organisations equipped to address the changing development world?

HRCU 103 Christian Ethics and Disability studies

The course develops students’ basic Christian and ethical virtues and values. It further develops a culture of a spiritual being in students. The course also introduces the students to critical issues related to inclusivity and empowerment of persons with impairments.

HMDS 201: Communication, Culture and The Media

The module will look at communication as culture and possible communication patterns in pre and post-colonial Zimbabwe. The practice of communication and cultural policies as well as media products as cultural products will be analysed. Media products as expressions of lived experiences and consciousness will be studied. New information technologies and their link with culture will be explored.

HMDS 202: Conflict, Governance and Development

Students will be exposed to conflict transformation, reconstruction, mediation, rehabilitation, reconciliation and healing and people-centred participatory development.  Students will be exposed to challenges faced by states facing endemic political instability, violent civil conflict and how this has a net effect on the development trajectory of those states.

HMDS 203: NGOs and Civil Society in Africa

The module focuses on the role played by non-governmental organisations and civil society in African economies and the implications on issues of governance and development in African states.  Furthermore, an analysis of the role of civil society in building human capabilities under challenges they face in the environment they are operating in will be made.  Communities will be traced as central agents responsible for their own development.

HMDS204: Media and Gender Development in Africa

The module will seek to empower students with knowledge and skills that enable them to be gender sensitive in all spheres of life. Aspects such as redressing gender imbalances and empowerment strategies for creating a gender-responsive environment will be covered.

HMDS205: Social Media and Community Development

The module will look at the world of social media and its interrelationship to culture and community development. The impact and relevance of social media on different societies as technology moves people further into the information age will be studied. Emphasis will be on how media manipulates popular culture today through the understanding of the relationship between mass communication and culture.

HDMS 206: Film and Video Production

A practical course which is meant to expose students to the scriptwriting, shooting, directing and editing of video and films of different genres.

HMDS 207: Photo Journalism

This practical module will equip students with advanced photography skills for the different types of media that are accompanied by pictures.

HRCU201: Research Methods for Media and Development

Topics to be covered under this module will include communication research methods, the research process, research language and ethics of communication and development research. The relationship between theory and methodology will also be traced. Case studies of major communication and development researches will also be studied.

HMDS 208: Radio and Television Production

A practical module which emphasises basic news writing, production and presentation of different radio and television genres. The basic technical operations of the media will be performed.

HMDS 209: Media Ownership and Control

Critical theory, public, private and corporate ownership of media organisations and distribution networks will be looked at. Critical administration and communication research, as well as the critical theory in the African perspective and also in global context, will be analysed.

HMDS 210: Children and Development in Africa

The growth and development of the African child will be studied under the module.  The diverse advocacy interventions undertaken to promote their rights, including strategies taken to address the weaknesses in children and young people’s advocacy will be outlined.

HMDS211: Public Relations

The module seeks to trace the evolution of public relations (PR) and related disciplines such as marketing, advertising, journalism and propaganda. Students will be exposed to principles of public relations as they relate to public techniques, ethics, research and advocacy. Crisis management techniques will also be analysed.

HMDS 212: Agriculture and Development

The module locates the centrality of agriculture in promoting development. It will review questions surrounding the agrarian issue and other related agricultural issues that are critical in shaping development.

HMDS 213: Famines and Food Security

A variety of aspects of the problems of famines and food insecurity, both from the perspectives of affected people and agencies attempting to prevent, relieve or mitigate famine will be studied.

HMDS214: Introduction to Print and Electronic Media

The module is a practical and introductory course which is meant to equip students with the basic skills necessary for the production of news for both print and electronic media. Emphasis will be on the practical skills since this is a grounding course for students who will produce varied media products.

HMDS 401: New Media, Development and Democracy

The module will equip students with a broad application of major theories of development and their debates from the modernisation paradigm to the alternative paradigm. Democracy will be studied from the Athenian in Zimbabwe, Africa and beyond.

HMDS 402: Developing Economies

The module seeks to examine the performance of economies of developing countries.  The industrial base and the human development index relative to other countries will be looked at.  Typical characteristics of such economies will be analysed.

HMDS 403: Public Relations Management

The module is linked to both communication and development of institutions.  As such, the role of public relations and the important contribution in helping to form organisational ideas about what they are, what they should do and what the publics want and expect from them should be clearly shown.  Topics to be covered in this module will include communication management, crisis management, issues management, relationship management, relationship management, risk and strategic management.

HMDS 404: Media and Rural Development in Zimbabwe

The role of media in rural development will be traced with special emphasis on rural Zimbabwe. Students will be exposed to ways in which media can enhance or retard rural development.  Media role in promoting Zimbabwean public policies, technologies available and reaching out to people will be explored.

HMDS 405: Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation

The module provides a solid foundation in the concepts, tools and techniques of project management, monitoring and evaluation. Other critical aspects of the project cycle will be surveyed.

HMDS 406: Development of Radio and Television Journalism

A practical module which will equip students with practical skills in the production and presentation of different radio genres and also skills required for the technical operations of the medium.

HDMS 407: Advanced Photo Journalism

The module will expose students to practical skills necessary for the technical operations of photo journalism. Students will also be trained in specialised photo journalism, building on solid photographic skills to delve deeply into topics that intrigue and often trip-up beginning and intermediate photographers.

HMDS408:  International Relations

Students will explore relations between nations across the globe, in areas of trade and economic cooperation in general, scientific, technical and cultural exchange, diplomatic ties and military alliances. Emphasis will be on North-South relations.

HMDS409: Audience and Reception Studies

The module seeks to show the shifting area of research in terms of theories and concepts, methodologies and methods.  Students will be exposed to multifaceted experiences in context, including contexts of distribution and media flaws, genres and communicative form, and identities and everyday lives.

HMDS410: The Internet and Digital Publishing

Students will be exposed to principles of the internet and digital publishing while extracting research material and also publishing their own information. Other practical skills will include authoring own websites, design and layout of products and writing and editing for the internet.

HMDS 411: Community Media

The module seeks to place media in the realm of community structures in Zimbabwe, showing how media can be used as a tool for appreciation of culture and societal structures and how these can be used for socio-economic development in developing countries in general and Zimbabwe in particular.

HMDS412: Community Health

The module exposes students to health issues as an integral part of development, while demonstrating how an ill-health community will fail in terms of facilitating sustainable development. Epidemic and pandemics and their effect on human capital will also be explored.

HMDS413: Media and Social Cohesion

The module seeks to show the role of media in national cohesion.  Traditional mechanisms seem to have lost traction in modern civil society and the intuitive idea is that modern societies are generally declining in the level of social cohesion that they reflect.  So the module will bring out the role the mechanisms of social connection provided by the media can potentially influence the facts about social cohesion in a twenty-first century society.  How might the effects of the media be favourable or unfavourable for social cohesion?

HMDS420: Dissertation

Students will be expected to engage in an in-depth independent study of a researchable topic of own choice. An assigned supervisor will guide the study.


A candidate shall study six (6) compulsory courses as follows:

Introduction to Media and Development Studies HMDS101 11
Theories of Communication and the media HMDS102 11
Developmental Theories and Strategies HMDS103 11
Media Policy, Law and Ethics HMDS104 11
Introduction to Communication Skills HRCU103 11
Information Technology HRCU104 11



A candidate shall study six (6) compulsory courses as follows:

Comparative Media Trends in Africa and Beyond HMDS105 11
Constitutionalism in Africa HMDS106 11
State and Politics in Developing Countries HMDS107 11
Economics of Development HMDS108 11
Multilateral Institutions and Development HMDS109 11
Christian Ethics and Disability Studies HRCU 101 11



A candidate shall study five (5) compulsory courses and one (1) elective as follows:

Communication, Culture and the Media HMDS201 11
Conflict, Governance and Development HMDS202 11
NGOs and Civil Society in Africa HMDS203 11
Media and Gender Development in Africa HMDS204 11
Social Media and Community Development HMDS205 11
Elective   11
Film and Video Production HMDS206  
Photo Journalism HMDS207  



A candidate shall study five (5) compulsory courses and one (1) elective as follows:

Research Methods for Media and Development HRCU201 11
Radio and Television Production HMDS208 11
Media Ownership and Control HMDS209 11
Children and Development in Africa HMDS210 11
Public Relations HMDS211 11
Elective   11
Agriculture and Development HMDS212  
Famines and Food Security HMDS213  
Introduction to Print and Electronic Media HMDS214  



A candidate shall do an internship at organisations/institutions which offer media and development services and also prepare a portfolio of internship activities done.

Work Related Learning Action Research Report HMDS301 13
Work Related Learning Employer’s Assessment HMDS302 40
Work-Related Learning Academic Supervisor Assessment HMDS303 79



A candidate shall study five (5) compulsory courses and one (1) elective as follows:

New Media, Development and Democracy HMDS401 11
Developing Economies HMDS402 11
Public Relations Management HMDS403 11
Media and Rural Development in Zimbabwe HMDS404 11
Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation HMDS405 11
Elective   11
Development of Radio and Television Journalism HMDS406  
Advanced Photo Journalism HMDS407  



A candidate shall study four (4) compulsory courses and one (1) elective as follows:

International Relations HMDS408 11
Political Economy MDS409 11
Internet and Digital Publishing HMDS410 11
Dissertation HMDS420 22
Elective   11
Community Media HMDS411  
Community Health HMDS412  
Media and Social Cohesion HMDS413