The department of development studies at Midlands State University offers highly cross disciplinary programmes covering, undergraduate and post graduate programmes with the highest being the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) level. The multi-disciplinary programmes are driven by the present day need to ensure sustainable practical development that places communities (people) at the core of development endeavors in all their diversity and complexity. The programmes are thus informed by the necessity of fully understanding the development challenges to which these endeavors must necessarily respond, and thus of identifying sustainable solutions to shape these responses. In the quest for sustainable solutions to development challenges, the programmes seeks an understanding of the changing social, economic, political, cultural as well as natural environmental dynamics within which these communities exist. The modules or courses that we offer in the department include economics and business finance, human rights, international relations, political economy, gender, climate and environmental change, politics and constitutionalism, development programming, agriculture and development, rural development, disaster management, famines and food security, human rights, social justice and development among others. In this era where underdevelopment, the global quest for sustainable development, disasters related to extreme weather conditions and political schisms have seriously affected development in Africa and the whole world, new insights, and strategies based on cutting edge research are highly necessary. The Department of Development Studies therefore, aims to produce graduates who are capable of undertaking such researches as well as to support staff members to engage in innovative research so as to find new approaches to address these development issues sustainably.
To be a visionary and praxis driven department that serves as a model to be imitated in the field of development studies nationally, regionally ad globally, due to its practice driven pedagogical approaches, cutting edge research as well as its production of broad minded, analytical and highly innovative graduates who can sustainably confront the development challenges facing underdeveloped communities and nations.
- To provide leadership for Governmental and Non-governmental development institutions.
- To provide the human resources through graduates, who are well trained to undertake development related consultancy work for governments, non-governmental and other development entities, as well as to offer innovative support services for community development.
- To facilitate and conduct ground breaking research and publications in the field of Development Studies
- To promote collaboration in research and development work between the Department, Development oriented Government departments and Non-Governmental organizations. Under this objective, we are working on an MOU with the Plan International, and have approached National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (NANGO), The Zimbabwe Redcross Society and Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust.
- To launch development initiatives and organizations that address the diverse and complex development challenges of the Third World and the rest of the Global community of nations.
Since development is at the core of every human endeavor, Development Studies graduates stand to find employment in the various social, political, and economic sectors of the nation, region and the world. They stand to be engaged by central governments departments and Ministries, for instance, the Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Women Affairs Gender, Medium and Small Scale Enterprises, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare among many others. They also can be employed in the Local Governance sector, as well as in local and international non-governmental organizations. Many more establish their own NGOs, while others become freelance consultancy and vibrant entrepreneurs. This is because development studies is a multidisciplinary field which cuts across social, economic and political issues. The list of employment prospects is really endless.
- Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Development Studies is a full-time degree programme whose period of completion is, normally, four years starting from the date of registration. Three years are for in-class learning while one year, the third year, is for industrial learning or Work Related Learning, whereby our students get attached to relevant development corporations and organizations. Students also get exposed to standard research praxis and must produce a comprehensive dissertation by the second semester of the 4th year.
- Our Masters Degree Programme is currently on a part time basis and must be completed at the end of 18 months from the date of registration, with the submission of a dissertation.
- The Visiting School: The Department also offers a part time undergraduate Honors Degree in Development Studies and the Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies under the Visiting School system. The scheme allows candidates who want to undertake undergraduate studies and thus cannot attend with regular students. These are given convenient time slots to meet their 36 hours contact requirements. For the Post Graduate Diploma Programme, this carters for graduates from other fields who are interested in diverting towards a career in development work.
To maintain progression in research the Department has recruited seasoned senior and junior researchers, academics and careerists from relevant disciplines, industry and walks of life. In addition, our hardworking staff continues to research and publish in internationally reputable journals, edited books and commissioned reports. Some of them have single authored books, and participate in international research projects, conferences and consultancies. However to maintain its relevance to the local community and the international community the Department remains in continuous consultations with the local rural and urban community, NGOs, Civil Society industry, other local and international academic and research institutions to guarantee that course and module combinations for its Development Studies Degree Program and Awards are relevant locally and internationally.
Currently, through the work of its senior researchers, the Department has administered Calls for Abstracts and book chapters which appear on the University website in relationship to various program thematic areas namely: Research Methods, Disaster Management; Human Rights; Climate Change; Green Economy; Climate Change Economy and Agriculture; Peace; Food Security; Migration; Project Management; Gender Equality; Inclusivity; Forestry and Conservation; Local marginalized Communities; Internally Displaced Populations.