|Degree Profile of
Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Studies
|Institution:||Midlands State University|
|Type of Degree:||Masters|
|Credit Load:||270 credits (minimum)|
|Level:||SADC-QF – Level 9|
|Accreditation Organisation(s):||Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education|
|Period of reference:||2018|
|Purpose of the Programme|
|To develop knowledge, skills and competences in the field of Communication relevant to various employment capabilities and careers in the world of work and society. To prepare students for further studies and lifelong learning in the field of communication.|
|Areas of Study:||Communication|
|Specialist Focus:||Communication theory, business communication, public relations, public communication, practical aspects of communication, discourse, communication technology|
|Orientation:||Research and innovation oriented. Teaching and learning are professionally oriented and focused on both theoretical and practical aspects.|
|Distinctive Features:||The programme builds on communication needs in Zimbabwe and abroad and focuses on knowledge development and application using a student-centred approach|
|Career Opportunities and Further Education|
|Employability:||Careers as Senior Public relations practitioners, Senior Researchers, Senior Consultants, Teachers and lecturers, Liaison officers, Marketing practitioners, Publishers, Editors, Advertisers and Translators|
|Further Studies:||Doctoral studies in Communication or related fields|
|Teaching and Learning Methods:||Lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work, research project, individual independent study|
|Assessment Methods:||Written and oral examinations, tests, seminar presentations, research project report, continuous assessments|
|Intended Learning Outcomes|
MASTER OF ARTS IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES (MASCS)
- These regulations shall be read in conjunction with the University’s General Academic Regulations for Postgraduate Diplomas and Taught Masters degree programmes, hereinafter referred to as the General Regulations.
- The MA Degree in Communication Studies (MASCS) is a three-semester degree programme, offered on Block Release, structured to meet the communication needs of Zimbabwe, the region and beyond. Its goal is to equip students with the skills needed to apply the insights of contemporary communication theories and practices to problems encountered in business environments.
- The MASCS degree programme can be done on a full-time or part-time basis to visiting students.
- To equip students with research, analytical and practical skills in the various fields of Communication, such as Public relations, professional business communication and language use in the workplace.
- To prepare students to solve problems related to communication in the current globalized world.
- To introduce students to the relationship between communication theory and communication practice.
- To provide an understanding of contemporary theoretical foundations and analytical issues in communication.
- To equip students with knowledge of the strategic role of communication in organisational activities.
- CAREER PROSPECTS
Students who graduate with the Master of Arts in Communication Studies have career opportunities as:
- Senior Public relations practitioners
- Senior Researchers
- Senior Consultants
- Teachers and lecturers
- Liaison officers
- Marketing practitioners
- ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
To be admitted into the programme an applicant must normally have a good Honours Degree in English and Communication Studies, Linguistics or related disciplines, or, in addition a Post Graduate Diploma in Communication or related disciplines.
- GENERAL PROVISIONS
5.1 The Master of Arts in Communication Studies Degree (MASCS) shall be conducted through taught modules. Continuous assessment and examinations shall be offered each semester.
5.2 Students shall also be required to write an examinable dissertation.
5.3 Normally, the programme is completed over a period of eighteen (18) months comprising of two semesters of taught modules and continuous assessment) spread over twelve (12) months and six (6) months dedicated to research work (dissertation).
6.1 Each student is required to earn at least two hundred and ten (210) credits in the taught component of the programme, and sixty (60) credits in the dissertation.
6.2 Students may select any combination of modules on offer to satisfy the requirements of the degree
6.3 To successfully complete the programme a student must pass all the core modules.
- ASSESSMENT OF TAUGHT MODULES
7.1 Overall assessment shall be based on continuous assessment and formal examination.
7.2 Continuous Assessment
7.2.1 Assignments related to the objectives of the programme shall be set. These may include essays, group presentations, tests and reports.
7.2.2 A candidate who fails to fulfil continuous assessment requirements may be barred from sitting the examination.
7.3.1 Examinations shall normally be written at the end of each semester.
7.3.2 Each module shall be examined by a paper which is at most three (3) hours long.
8.1 Refer to General Regulations for Masters programmes.
9.1 Examinations contribute 60% towards the final mark of a module
9.2 Continuous assessment contributes 40% towards the final mark of a module.
9.3 Normally, for a dissertation’s assessment, a viva contributes 25% while the written copy contributes 75% to the final mark.
- PROVISION FOR PROGRESSION
Students shall retain credits from modules passed. All module work must be completed before registering for the dissertation.
- PUBLICATIION OF RESULTS
Refer to Section 42 of the General Regulations.
- REMARKING OF EXAMINATIONS
12.1 No requests for remarks of examinations shall be entertained unless Senate directs such requests.
12.2 However, a student who has been given a withdraw decision may appeal against such a decision to the Registrar, in writing, within 21 days after publication of examination results
- DEGREE CLASSIFICATION
80% -100% Pass with Distinction
70%-79% Pass with Merit
- PROGRAMME STRUCTURE
Level 1 Semester 1
|MASCS 701||Strategic Communications: Theory and Practice||30|
|MASCS 702||Research for Strategic Communication||30|
|MASCS 703||Principles in Persuasion||30|
|MASCS 704||Professional Copy-Editing and Evaluation||30|
|MASCS 705||Communication Variation and Register||30|
|MASCS 706||Advanced Occupational Discourse||30|
|MASCS 707||Communication for Social Change||30|
|Level 1 Semester 2|
|MASCS 708||Online Communication Management||30|
|MASCS 709||Communication Models||30|
|MASCS 710||Communication within Organisations||30|
|MASCS 711||Performance Communication||30|
|MASCS 712||Global Communication and Culture||30|
|MASCS 713||Non-Profit Communication Strategy||30|
|Level 2 Semester 1|
- MODULE SYNOPSES
MASCS 701 Strategic Communications: Theory and Practice
This module emphasizes theoretical and practical aspects of communication between organisations and their major stakeholders including employees, customers, donors, investors government, NGOs and other associations.
MASCS 702 Research for Strategic Communication
The module covers the importance of researching a communication strategy. It focuses on the analytical skills, techniques and methodologies necessary to identify and gather useful data on social, economic, political, cultural and technological trends which affect communication strategy. Such information is important for making decisions that affects an organisation and its environment
MASCS 703 Principles in Persuasion
The module introduces students to strategies and processes of persuasion and social influence while underlining the theories and concepts which underpin such strategies. The goal is to create professional communicators who have the ability to influence people’s beliefs and attitudes regarding various topics through advertising, political campaigns and activism, among other endeavours, while remaining ethically grounded.
MASCS 704 Professional Copy-editing and Evaluation
This is a practical module meant to equip students with practical skills in editing and proof-reading, and the procedures required in publication of print and web material. Attention is expanded to include information on production, design, market research, commissioning, product development, project management, quality control and product promotion.
MASCS 705 Communication Variation and Register
The module explores the varieties of language associated with various groups in society. Drawing insights from linguistic and sociological theories, the module pays attention to the distribution of specific registers across sections of society. In this regard, the ways in which identity markers such as gender, ethnicity, race, class and geographical origin sculpt communication shall be carried out.
MASCS 706 Advanced Occupational Discourse
The module focuses on language development and use in occupational contexts. It examines how various professionals use technical language in communicating within particular discourse communities in order to get something done. Examples shall be drawn from several professions including law, medicine, politics and teachers.
MASCS 707 Communication for Social Change
The module looks at how communication techniques, principles and practices can be utilised to address real life challenges and to foster a culture of dialogue and change. It emphasise innovative communicative approaches to reach out to marginalised communities with a view of facilitating change.
MASCS 708 Online Communication Management
The module is intended to offer conceptual and operational tools for administering online communications in organisations. It takes cognisant of the evolution in communication processes in both small and big organisations. The goal is therefore to equip students with the skills of organising and directing effective online communication strategies and tactics across a range of settings such as advertising and marketing.
MASCS 709 Communication models
The module focuses on the various conceptual models used to explain the human communication process. It provides a historical and theoretical overview of the models that have been used to understand communication from classical times to the present. Models relevant to African and Zimbabwean contexts shall be emphasised.
MASCS 710 Communication within Organisations
The module addresses the various dimensions of communication among individuals within an organisation. Emphasis is on patterns, practices, processes and channels of communication among individuals of similar and different stations. Resultantly, questions of leadership, organisational culture and team dynamics become pertinent.
MASCS 711 Performance Communication
The module dwells on a number of verbal skills such as rhetoric, interviewing, story-telling, poster presentations and debating. It covers the conceptual and practical issues surrounding conversational practice and performance.
MASCS 712 Global Communication and Culture
The module emphasizes the role of new communication technologies in shaping a global culture. Students look closely at the emergence of network societies, the benefits of global communication networks and the risks they pose to individuals and communities.
MASCS 713 Non-Profit Communication Strategy
The module looks at communication efforts and programs designed to cater for non-profit organisations. It focuses on the various ways in which non-profit companies engage in strategic communications in order to raise funds, carry out service campaigns and appeal to stakeholders.
MASCS 801 Dissertation
This is a research module which culminates in the submission of findings to the Department for examining towards the end of the semester. The research shall be in an area of communication approved by the Department.