1.1 These regulations shall be read in conjunction with the University’s General Academic Regulations for Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree programmes, hereinafter referred to as the General Regulations.

1.2 The guiding philosophy of the Department of African Languages and Culture at Midlands State University is that African Languages are a rich storehouse of the African people’s social consciousness and their practical cum- cultural appreciation of the world. The major objective of the department is to bring to the limelight the potential contribution of African Languages, African Culture, Worldview, Values and Philosophy of life to the development of the African society and the world at large.


The Department ;of African Languages and Culture, in line with the motto of the Midlands State University “Our hands, Our minds, Our destiny” seeks to produce a graduate who will be able to:

2.1 fuse together theoretical concepts and practical applications,

2.2 recognize the dignity of labour by utilizing the hands-on-approach in solving the pressing challenges in society,

2.3 be an entrepreneur and an employer rather than an employee,

2.4 value indigenous African languages and the cultural values they carry, and

2.5 define not only his/her destiny but also that of others by cherishing the African value systems, which will free the African society from the tentacles of neo-colonialism.


Career Prospects


3.1 Students who graduate with a degree in African Languages and Culture are likely to work as: editors in publishing and media organisations, language planners and policy makers, translators, research personnel in government and non-government organisations, teachers and lecturers, cultural officers, court interpreters, broadcasters for radio and television, producers, directors, actors and scriptwriters in theatre and film industries.


Entry Requirements


4.1 Normal Entry

4.1.1 To qualify for normal entry a candidate must have obtained at least 5 `O’ Level passes or the equivalent, including English Language and an African Language. The candidate must have obtained a pass at `A’ Level in an African Language and at least any one relevant Humanities subject.

4.2 Special Entry

Refer to Section 3.2 of the General Regulations.

4.3 Mature Entry

Refer to Section 3.2 of the General Regulations.


5.1 Each examination paper shall be three hours long.

5.2 A candidate is required to undertake a minimum of five (5) modules per Semester unless one is carrying over or retaking certain modules from one academic level or semester respectively.




6.1 Normally, evaluation shall be based on continuous assessment as well as examinations. Continuous assessment shall contribute 25% and examinations shall contribute 75% of the overall assessment. A student who fails to submit two thirds of the continuous assessment shall not be permitted to write the examination.


Refer to Section 10 of the General Regulations.


Refer to Section 9 of the General Regulations.


Refer to Section 9 of the Facultyof Arts Regulations.


Refer to Section 11 of the Faculty of Arts Regulations.


Refer to Section 6 of Faculty of Arts Regulations.


Programme Structure


NB: The electives may be chosen from within the department or from other departments.

Level 1 Semester 1
HAFL 101 Introduction to African Languages and Literature 4
HAFL 102 Phonetics and Phonology 4
HAFL 103 Speech styles and their Social Context 4
HCS 115 Introduction to InformationTechnology 4
CS 101 Communication Skills 4
Level 1 Semester 2
HAFL104 Trends in Contemporary African Poetry 4
HAFL105 Morphology and Syntax 4
HAFL106 Developments in Orthography 4
HAFL108 Introduction to Name Studies 4
CS102 Extended Communication Skills 4
Level 2 Semester 1
HAFL 201 Language, Culture and Development 4
HAFL 202 Theories of Literature and Criticism 4
HAFL 206 Drama for Development 4
HAFL 207 Children’s Literature 4
GS 201 Introduction to Gender Studies 4
Level 2 Semester 2
HAFL 203 Research Methods in Languages, Literature and Culture 4
HAFL 204 Translation and Interpretation Studies 4
HAFL 205 African Traditional Literature and Philosophy 4
HAFL209 Psycholinguistics 4
HAFL 212 HIV/AIDS and Culture in Zimbabwe 4
Level 3 Semester 1 and 2
HAFL 301 Work Related Learning Report 15
HAFL 302 Academic Supervisor’s Report 15
HAFL 303 Employer’s Assessment Report 10
Level 4 Semester 1 (3 Core Modules +2 Electives)
HAFL 401 Dialectology 4
HAFL 402 Developments in Lexicography 4
HAFL 407 African Cultural Heritage and Tourism 4
HAFL 408 Culture and Counseling Studies 4
HAFL 409 Heritage and Cultural Management Studies 4
Level 4 Semester 2 (Add at least 2 electives)
HAFL 403 Dissertation 8
HAFL 404 Trends in Contemporary African Novel 4
HAFL 406 Culture and Sustainable Development 4
HAFL 107 Introduction to Computers 4
HAFL 208 Creative Writing 4
HAFL 210 Language Policy and Planning 4
HAFL 211 Theoretical Foundations of Heritage and Culture Studies 4
HAFL 405 Trends in Contemporary African Drama 4
HAFL410 Oral Media and Communication in Africa 4


NB Not all electives will be on offer in any given year. Electives on offer will depend on availability of teaching staff.


HAFL 101 Introduction to African Languages Literature

This module introduces the students to the study of aspects of various forms of Literature in African Languages and their sub-divisions. Special emphasis will be placed on historical development of genres and appreciation of their strengths and limitations. Focus will be on narrative fiction, poetry and drama.

HAFL 102 Phonetics and Phonology

The module introduces and further gives an in-depth study of a number of concepts that the students will need for describing speech sounds and for analyzing various speech sounds. The module analyses speech sounds in terms of their places and manners of articulation: permissible and non-permissible sequences etc.

HAFL 103 Speech Styles and their Social Context

The module focuses on the sociolinguistics of language which is a crucial areas of study of speech styles and their social contexts. It is geared towards demonstrating that effective communication can only be realized by recognizing the importance of both social linguistic variables in any given event.

HCS115 Introduction to Information Technology

Refer to the Department of Computer Science

CS101 Basic Communication Skills

The module is aimed at assisting students to achieve full academic potential through equipping them with the necessary communication skills essential for their degree studies.

HAFL 104 Trends in Contemporary African Poetry

The module uses selected anthologies to make an in depth study of oral and written poetry as a type of creative art. The study will entail an examination of the various interpretations of poetry, its style and function. The module also seeks to discuss and critically evaluate African poetry in the context of pre-colonial, and post-colonial era.

HAFL 105 Morphology and Syntax

The module on morphology and syntax deals with the study of language from the level of a morpheme up to the sentence. The morphology part of the module focuses on phrases and clauses. Syntax is at a much higher level in that it deals mainly with the stringing together or concatenation of words, phrases and clauses.

HAFL 106 Developments in Orthography

The module is essentially a historical review of the writing systems in African Languages. The work of early missionaries in compiling orthographies for Bantu Languages is reviewed. The module also seeks to explore and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of current orthographies for Bantu languages.

CS102 Extended Communication Skills

The module is aimed at creating in students an awareness of skills of thinking personal organization and language use necessary for academic success as well as expose students to business writing skills that make professional communication endurable and enjoyable

HAFL107 Introduction to Computers

This module is provided for all those who are not familiar with computers. It is an introductory module which aims to equip students with basic computer skills. Students will be taught the basics of working with a computer as well as the use of common software packages. At the end of the module, students should be able to use the internet and process language documents using the computer.

HAFL 108 Introduction to Name Studies

The module introduces name studies within the field of linguistics. It seeks too show the numerous research possibilities in the study of names. It leads students through the history of name studies and current trends. It also seeks to expose the students to functions and significance of names in different cultural and social contexts.

HAFL 201 Language, Culture and Development

This module seeks to evoke scholarly debate on the role of local languages and culture in addressing developmental issues in the country. As a core it will also introduce students to some aspects of traditional African philosophy, word view and how these can be incorporated into the mainstream of cultural development.

HAFL 202 Theories of Literature and Criticism

The module introduces the students to the study of critical appreciations of literature as a creative reproduction of reality. Focus is on the study of works of art and that of testing and assessing the strengths and limitations of each critical theory in addressing the historical, social, political and ideological dimensions of art itself.

HAFL 203 Research Methods in Languages, Literature and Culture

This module introduces the student to the essentials of research in African Languages and Culture. The module seeks to prepare students for the Honours dissertation and the Work Related Learning Report.

GS201 Introduction to Gender Studies

Refer to the Department of Gender Studies.

HAFL 204 Translation and Interpretation Studies

Generally, translation is the interpretation of information from one language (SL) to another (TL). This module seeks to explore the theories of translation, the limitations and the application of these theories of translation to African languages. One of the major questions to be addressed by this module is “do we translate word units or the sense contained in a complete sentence?” This module seeks to examine the gains and losses encountered in the process of translation.

HAFL 205 African Traditional Literature and Philosophy

This is a study of African oral culture, through an examination of the people’s oral art forms. Major thrust of the module is on tales, rituals, cults, proverbs, riddles, praises, traditional dances, songs, myths, legends, registers, beliefs etc.

HAFL 206 Drama for Development

The module is primarily a theoretical study of drama and its role in national development. Focus will be on literary drama, television, radio and stage drama as modes of articulating developmental issues.

HAFL 207 Children’s Literature

This module introduces the students to the skills of writing children’s literature. It also provides the student with an opportunity to use his/her imagination in creating art for children as opposed to adult literature.

HAFL 208 Creative Writing

The module offers the students an opportunity to use their imaginations and observation of their surrounding in creating work of art, eg short stories, poems plays etc.

HAFL 209 Psycholinguistics

Different issues pertaining to the study of the relationship between language and the mind are dealt with in this module. Some of the aspects to be covered include: the nature and function of languages, language acquisition theories and theories of comprehension. The application of these theories to specific African languages will also be explored.

HAFL 210 Language Policy and Planning

This module introduces students to language policy formulation and implementation in Zimbabwe. It also defines scopes of language planning and models of planning languages.

HAFL 211 Theoretical Foundations of Cultural and Heritage Studies

This is an introductory module to the broader discipline of heritage and culture studies. The module is historical in its approach in that it seeks to trace the development of heritage and culture as a discipline. Some of the issues covered in this module include cultural-anthropologies, cultural relativists, neo-liberals and modernists. The controversies surrounding the discipline of heritage and culture, the gaps in existing literature on the subject as well as challenges for heritage and culture are also covered in this module. Overall, the module seeks to empower the students with a solid conceptual approach to the study of African heritage and culture.

HAFL 212 HIV/AIDS and Culture in Zimbabwe

The module examines the consequences of HIV/AIDS on the traditional support network of young and older persons in Zimbabwe. It will critically analyze the cultural and social-economic factors associated with high risky sexual behavior in our country. Also a cultural approach to information, education and communication programmes on sexual behavioral change will be sought so that students prepare themselves for a better tomorrow.

HAFL 401 Dialectology

The module seeks to provide the student with some knowledge of African dialects and how the different dialects are related to each other. The module is comparative in nature as it seeks to highlight the cognate equivalent of linguistics elements from related dialects.

HAFL 402 Developments in Lexicography

The module covers such aspects as the guiding principles in making dictionary entries, the different approaches to headword selection, defining formats and lemmatization. It is in this module that considerations on what to define in a dictionary are explored, that is, do we define the word (signifier) or the concepts being in a referred to (the signified)?. Students will also have the opportunity to review dictionaries complied for different African languages with the view of establishing the guiding principles behind the compilations.

HAFL 403 Dissertations

The dissertation will be expected to be between 9 000 and 10 000 words, or 45 to 50 pages of font 12 with double line spacing and it should be in the area of African Languages and Culture.

HAFL 404 Trends in Contemporary African Novel

The module examines theories of the novel as a literary genre in its historical context. Students are expected to identify sensibilities and literary productions of each author in the context of development in African Languages literature as it relates to political and socio-economic of cultural values.

HAFL 405 Trends in Contemporary African Drama

This module uses selected texts to make an in-depth study of drama as creative art. It is demanding in terms of the theories of drama, comparative analysis and texts analysis.

HAFL 406 Culture and Sustainable Development

The module is a study of culture which should be perceived not only as development of the arts related activities or as protection and socialization of the cultural heritage, but as everything associated with humanity and human development.

HAFL 407 African Cultural Heritage and Tourism

This module seeks to explore the role of African Cultural heritage in tourism development. Thus, such issues as the commoditization of heritage and culture and their implications for sustainable development are covered in this module. Overally, the module seeks to critically look at the role and place of African cultural heritage in the ongoing academic discourses on sustainable tourism development.

HAFL 408 Culture and Counselling Studies

This module examines theories of counseling and qualities of counselors. Counseling ethics and approaches used to counsel youths and adults are also discussed.

HAFL 409 Heritage and Cultural Management Studies

This module focuses on the entire spectrum of environment functions and its influence on the existence and development of cultural-heritage resources in the environment. The essence of this module is to ensure the utilization of cultural-heritage resources in the environment.

HAFL 410 Oral Media and Communication in Africa

The module is a study of oral media in Africa. Emphasis will be placed on the traditional forms of communication and how they have contributed to the development of new methods of communication. In a nutshell, the module aims to conscientise the students that media did not come with the print and electronic but was a phenomenon which already existed in Africa.