The Department of Development Studies offers cross disciplinary undergraduate and post graduate programs, which include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Development Studies. 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. The programs are thus informed by the necessity to fully understand the development challenges to which these endeavors must necessarily respond, and thus to identify informed solutions. The programs seek an appreciation 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 of Development and Development Finance, Human Rights, Social Justice and Development, Political Economy, Gender, Climate and Environmental Change, Policies, Constitutionalism, Development Programming, Agriculture and Development, Rural Development, Disaster Management, Famines and Food Security 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 and 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 contribute to human resources development through graduates, who are well trained to undertake development related consultancy work for governments, non-governmental and other development entities, and who can also offer innovative support services for community development.
- To conduct and facilitate ground breaking research and publications in the field of Development Studies as well as Monitoring and Evaluation.
- 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 Red Cross 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 can be engaged by central governments departments and ministries. They also can be employed in the Local Governance sector, as well as in local and international non-governmental organizations. Many more are establishing their own NGOs, while others become freelance consultants 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; the Bachelor of Arts in Development Planning and Management, Bachelor of Arts Honors in Development Practice are full-time degree programs whose period of completion is 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.
- The Visiting School, which is located at Zvishavane Campus offers part time undergraduate Honors Degree programs in Development Studies; Development Practice and Development Planning and Management. The scheme is designed for candidates who want to undertake undergraduate studies but cannot take full time classes due to employment commitments. These are given convenient time slots to meet their 36 hours contact requirements.
- In the Postgraduate arena, we offer Master’s Degree Programs and Postgraduate Degree programs. The Master of Arts in Development Studies is currently on both a part time and full time basis while the Master of Arts in Development Practice is part time. We offer the Master of Arts in Monitoring and Evaluation, Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies, Post graduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation and the Special Honors in Monitoring and Evaluation on a part time or Block Release basis to carter for employed candidates. The study period for all Master’s programs is 18 months while the Special Honors and Postgraduate Diploma must be completed at the end of 12 months from the date of registration.
To maintain progress in research, the Department has recruited seasoned senior and junior researchers, academics and careerists from relevant disciplines, industry and various 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 communities, NGOs, and other Civil Society, industry, as well as local and international academic and research institutions. This helps to guarantee that course and module combinations for its various Programs 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 programs 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; and Internally Displaced Populations.