Bachelor of Arts In Film And Theatre Arts Studies (HFTA)



1.1   These regulations should 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 Department of Film and Theatre Arts is concerned with Film and the performing arts with special reference to Film and Theatre in  Zimbabwe and Africa in particular and the world in general. It has the capacity, not only to develop student and staff productions to the best of international standards, but to create productions, performances and exhibitions that bring a wider range of intellectual, cultural and historical interests onto the proscenium, holding them up to both a local and a world audience


Acting, directing, scenic designing, lighting and stage management, as well as being producers, editors of dramatic performances, media Industry, human resources departments, public relations, NGOs, civic society etc. In addition, graduates can also become teachers and lecturers in educational institutions.


3.1 To provide a supportive environment for both theoretical and applied approaches and for open, critical debate on the role of film and performing arts worldwide. ( i.e. To provide a teaching, rehearsal and performance space for realizing the union of theory and practice).

3.2 To engage students in the creative and critical practices of performance and screen studies in a comprehensive and broadly-based manner within a collaborative and rigorous learning environment.

3.3 To equip graduates personally and educationally for a variety of careers and their further development by realizing their creative potential and developing their critical faculties and transferable skills.

3.4 To foster creativity and research skills that will deepen and extend knowledge of performance and screen studies in theory and in practice both within and beyond the curriculum.

3.5 To develop and advance theoretical, critical and creative aspects of performance and screen studies.

Entry Requirements

4 .1 Normal Entry

4.1.1 For normal entry into the Department of Film and Theatre Arts (HFTA), candidates must satisfy the normal entry requirements specified in the Faculty Regulations and the General Regulations.  In so doing must satisfy the following requirements:

4.1.2 Must have obtained at least five ‘O’ Level passes or the equivalent, including English language. Must have obtained a pass in any two ‘A’ Level subjects.

4.1.3 In addition to the above, the Department may have auditions in order to test a student’s engagement with film and/ or theatre. Evidence of a real commitment to film and/ or acting and a long-standing interest in theatre and knowledge of a range of theatrical forms and genres will be an added advantage.

4.2 Special Entry

Refer to Section 3.2 of the General Academic Regulations

4.3 Mature Entry

Refer to Section 3.3 of the General Academic Regulations.
oung artists,


5.1 Bachelor of Arts Honours in Film and Theatre Arts is a full-time degree program.
Normally, a student will be required to complete the programme in not less that four years from the date of first registration.

5.2 At the Third Level of the degree program, Honours students go on Work
Related Learning for 10-12 months

5.3 The degree program offers pre-requisite, core/compulsory and elective/optional modules.

5.4 At least four of the modules registered for the semester should be from within the department.

5.5 Normally, where a prerequisite module is involved, a candidate will be required to pass it before taking higher modules.

5.6 Students can include in their program of study modules offered by other departments in line with the concept of “Flexible Packaging”.

5.7 Each module is worth four credits except for the Dissertation which is worth eight (8) credits and to graduate one needs to attain a minimum of 180 credits.

5.8 Work Related Learning shall be examined in three modules with a total of 40 credits.



6.1 Overall assessment shall consist of continuous assessment and formal

6.2 To be admitted for formal examinations, a student must have satisfied continuous assessment requirements for all approved modules of study. Continuous assessment includes written assignments and/or tests, seminar presentations and theatre practicals.

6.3 All practical modules shall be assessed by practical coursework and products produced during the semester. Such practical modules may demand 100% attendance and submission of assigned work, performances or productions.

6.4 In the case of a dissertation, the Departmental Board of Examiners shall determine a mark for each student based on the presentation to a panel of the Departmental Board of Examiners and improvements done to the final version of such dissertation, submitted at a date determined by the Departmental Board.

6.5 Each formal examination shall be held during an examination period at the end of a semester in which the module is completed.

6.6 The final mark will be weighted as 25% for continuous assessment and 75% for examination.

6.7 All practical modules have no written examination and shall be assessed by  practical coursework and products or productions produced.


Refer to Section 10 of the General Academic Regulations.


Refer to Section 9 of the General Academic Regulations.


Refer to Section 10 of the Faculty of Arts Regulations.


Refer To Section 11 of the Faculty of Arts Regulations.


Refer to Sections 6 of the Faculty of Arts Regulations.

Programme Structure


Level 1 Semester 1

Code Module Description       Credits
HFTA 101Theory and Trends in African theatre 4
HFTA 102Theories and Trends in African Cinema 4
HFTA 103Film Development in Zimbabwe 4
HFTA 104Genres of Film and Theatre 4
CS 101Basic Communication Skills 4
HCS 115Introduction to Information Technology 4

Level 1 Semester  2

HFTA 105Theory of Acting4
HFTA 106Community Theatre in Zimbabwe4
HFTA 107Production Practicum (Play Making)4
HFTA 108Film and Theatre as Multimedia Communication4
HFTA 109Theories and Trends in Western Theatre4
CS 102Extended Communication Skills4

Level 2 Semester  1

HFTA 201Script Writing4
HFTA 202Principles of Film Directing4
HFTA 203Drama for Development4
HFTA 204Film and Literary Studies4
HFTA 205Film, Theatre and Advertising4
GS 201Introduction to Gender Studies4

Level 2  Semester  2

HFTA 206Research Methods in Film and Theatre4
HFTA 207Comparative Theatre Studies in Africa4
HFTA 208Film, Theatre and Ideology4
HFTA 209Comparative Film Studies4
HFTA 210Radio Drama4
HFTA 211Film Directing (Practical)4

Level 3 Semester 1 and 2: Work Related Learning

HFTA 301Work Related Learning Report15
HFTA 302Academic Supervisor’s Report15
HFTA 303Employer’s Assessment Report10

Level 4 Semester 1

HFTA 401Film, Theatre and HIV/AIDS4
HFTA 402Choreography and Dance Production4
HFTA 403Stagecraft4
HFTA 404Managing Institutions of Film and Theatre4
HFTA 405Film and Video Production4
HFTA 406Development of Film in Africa4

Level 4 Semester 2

HFTA 407Film, Theatre and Globalisation4
HFTA 408Practical criticism of film text4
HFTA 409Gender Issues in Theatre and Film4
HFTA 412Dissertation8


HFTA 110Children’s Drama and Animation4
HFTA 111Television Drama4
HFTA 212Theatre for Development4
HFTA 213Film, Theatre and Society4
HFTA 410Practical Criticism of Drama4
HFTA 411Theatre in Education4

NB: Not all electives listed above will be on offer in a given year. Electives on offer will depend on availability of teaching staff.


HFTA 101 Theory and Trends in African Theatre.

This module deals with various theories about the nature, origins and functions of theatre in African society.  It also looks at trends in African theatre, focusing on African childhood play, music, dance, ritual and African comedies of the colonial and post-colonial eras.

HFTA 102 Theories and Trends in African Cinema

This module familiarizes students to theories and development of cinema in Africa. Students will study how oral narratives, Marxist theories, realism and audience –reception theories have informed an understanding of African cinema. The students will trace the history of cinema in Africa with specific reference to west, north, east and southern Africa. They critique the factors that have inhibited some developmental projects in specific African countries.

HFTA 103 Film Development in Zimbabwe

The module provides an overview of the history of film in Zimbabwe from the early twentieth century to present day. This overview places emphasis on the socio- political contexts, which influenced the evolution of each stage of Zimbabwean film. The relationship between film production and context is examined.

HFTA 104 Genres of Film and Theatre

The module gives an overview of forms of film. These include black film aesthetics, the feature film, documentary, comedy and action film among others. An appreciation of the roles or functions of these genres, as well as understanding the techniques employed, provides the student with a wide variety of options of film production. Genres of theatre will also be examined as above, for example, Theatre for development, Children’s Theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, among others.

CS101 Basic Communication Skills               
Refer to Faculty of Arts Regulations.

HCS 115 Introduction to Information Technology
Refer to Faculty of Science and Technology Regulations

HFTA 105 Theory of Acting
This course will examine the development of physical, emotional and imaginative awareness as it applies to acting. The methods of creating character, text analysis, and performance techniques will be emphasized. Students will also be introduced to different styles of acting and improvisation. Material may focus on classic or contemporary drama or original creations which include scene and monologue study and presentation.

HFTA 106 Community Theatre in Zimbabwe
This module acquaints students with the emergence of community theatre groups in Zimbabwe.  Students will be expected to familiarize themselves with colonial cultural institutions like NTO, Reps Theatre etc and the role they played in the life of the nation.  A comparative analysis of the colonial cultural institutions and the community theatre groups emerging in the post- colonial era will be done.  Students are also expected to acquaint themselves with the work of Zimbabwe Association of Community Theatre (ZACT) and to compare the work of community theatre in Zimbabwe with the work of other international organizations with similar goals and functions.  Relationship with government and NGOs, challenges and achievements, sustainability and strategies for the future, are aspects to be considered as well.
HFTA 107 Production Practicum ( Play Making)

This is a practical module which offers practical skills and experience to actor training and emphasizes the creation and production of new theatre and embraces a multicultural and multi-disciplined methodology. Students will take classes and workshops in voice, movement, dance, acting (including script-based work, storytelling and devised work), improvisation and devising skills. They will explore the expressive potential of the voice and body through observation of the natural world, space, poetry, paintings and people. The semester culminates in a major performance project.
HFTA 108 Film and Theatre as Multimedia Communication 
This module introduces students to theories of intertexuality. These theories explain how film and theatre combine different modes of expression as multimedia communication. The module will also introduce to students, theories of hypertextuality.
HFTA 109 Theories and Trends in Western Theatre
Students will explore theories and trends that underpin various modes of acting in increasingly evolved performance contexts particularly in Western theatre. They will work on acting projects in a diverse range of styles including clown, realism, mask and tragedy. As they progress through the course, the collaborative working structures will become more complex and they will work creatively with theatre practitioners from other disciplines.

HFTA 110 Children’s Drama and Animation
This module introduces to students characteristics of children’s drama. The module discusses the role of folktales in children’s drama. Students are also introduced to the theories of animation and will be expected to analyze the ideological underpinnings of selected animated products and suggest factors that inhibit the growth of the animation film industry in Zimbabwe.
HFTA  111 Television Drama
The module introduces to students the technical aspects of television drama including staging, arrangement of props, mis-en-scene etc. Students will be introduced to intertextual theories that explain how theatrical performance and visual aspects of television magnify cultural meanings in intertext. The module will introduce to students the fundamental differences between radio and television drama.

CS102 Extended Communication Skills
Refer to Faculty of Arts Regulations.

HFTA 201 Script Writing      
The module teaches students script writing of dramatic texts and/ or ideas of performance. Focus may be placed on the conventions required for the theatrical performance of dramatic texts and/or the explorations of putting performance theory into practice and historical context. In consultation with the instructor, the student will develop a study and work plan appropriate to their interests.

HFTA 202 Principles of Film Directing
The module introduces to students the principles of film directing. It outlines and discusses the responsibilities of a director during preparation and shooting stages. Students will familiarize themselves with principles such as directing, budgeting, managing cast and channels of communication between director and producer.

HFTA 203 Drama for Development 
The module examines the role of theatre in maintaining and fostering development in society through theatrical performances. The study focuses on the Zimbabwean society especially the community in which the students are based. The performances are based on the issues that are geared on developing the society in terms of awareness. An examined performance done through the collaboration of students and the community in which they live is done every semester.

HFTA 204 Film and Literary Studies
The module explores the interface of film and written literary forms such as literary drama, the novel and poetry. Areas of emphasis include the adaptation of literary productions to film and theoretical productions.

HFTA 205 Film, Theatre and Advertising
The module interrogates the role of film and theatre in advertising. Focus will be on film and theatre in relation to the history of advertising as an ideology, advertising as a cultural industry and marketing function. Forms of advertising in cultural and critical theory as well as ethical concerns in advertising will be examined.
GS 201 Introduction to Gender Studies

This module empowers the student with knowledge and skills that enable them to be gender sensitive in the university, workplace and in all their social interactions. Topics covered include: Understanding Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender issues in Zimbabwe, Redressing Gender Imbalances, Empowerment and Strategies fort creating a gender responsive environment. Every student has to pass this module in order to graduate.

HFTA 206 Research Methods in Film and Theatre
This module introduces students to research methods useful in the studying of film and theatre Arts. It is aimed at acquainting students with some major research methodological aspects of the discipline and its practice. These researching skills will assist students’ preparation for their dissertations and life after college as researchers.

 HFTA 207 Comparative Theatre Studies
The module traces the history and development of theatre activities in different regions. It focuses on the pre-colonial theatre to contemporary theatre assessing the similarities, differences and influences that different regions had to the present day. Students are expected to analyze the different levels of development and the possible causes in the disparities.

HFTA 208 Film, Theatre and Ideology
This module enables students to familiarize themselves with theories of ideology. A critical analysis of the dominant theories that perceive film and theatre as ideological state apparatuses (Althusser) will be studied. The module will introduce to students, Gramsci’s theory of hegemony to explain the contradictory ways in which state ideology can respond to film and theatrical messages. This Neo-Marxist approach unlocks the key to the understanding of the theories of Audience-reception and the multiple ways in which audiences respond to the dominant ideology.

HFTA 209 Comparative Film Studies 
The module traces the history and development of film in different regions. It focuses on film during the colonial era to contemporary film: assessing the similarities, differences and influences that different regions had to the present day. Students are expected to analyze the different levels of development and the possible causes in the disparities.  

HFTA 210 Radio Drama
The module introduces to students principles of radio drama. It establishes similarities and differences between radio and television drama. Students will be expected to make a critical evaluation of radio drama using theories of inter-textuality and critical criticism. The module will also provide factors that make radio drama less popular than television drama in addition to outlining and critiquing the role of language in radio drama.
HFTA 211 Film Directing (Practical)
The module is a practical course and introduces to students the principles of film directing. It outlines and discusses the responsibilities of a director during preparation and shooting stages and students will familiarize themselves with principles such as directing, budgeting, managing cast and the relationship between the director, producer and other crew members and cast.

HFTA 212 Theatre for Development
The module examines the role of theatre in maintaining and fostering development in society through theatrical performances. It focuses on the trends in theatre for development locally and internationally.

HFTA 213 Film, Theatre and Society
The module examines the roles of film and theatre as agents of socialization and cultural tools. The symbolic relationship between culture, politics and economics is also integrated. Emphasis is on the role of film and theatre as popular culture. Attention is given to identifying components of popular culture, principles and characteristics of popular culture, theories and perspectives of popular culture as well as advertising as popular culture.

HFTA 301:  Work Related Learning Report                                              
HFTA 302:  Academic Supervisor’s Report                                                
HFTA 303:  Employer’s Assessment Report
HFTA 401 Film, Theatre and HIV/AIDS   
The module sensitizes students to the dangers of HIV/AIDS through performances. It explores the role of film and theatre in curbing the spread of HIV and AIDS and how the adaptation of classical themes in modern film and theatre could be done. The influence of African expressionism through theatre in response to the deadly pandemic and the philosophical and technological innovations of modern film and theatrical forms will closely examined.

HFTA 402  Choreography and Dance Production            
This is a practical module that explores dance aesthetics from different historical periods to contemporary times. It explores the fundamental concerns of the performer’s art: relaxation, concentration, movement, voice production, space and expression. It is designed to provide a detailed overview of all aspects of dance movements, encompassing lighting, sound, set, props, and costume procedures. The semester culminates in at least two different dance productions.

HFTA 403  Stagecraft
The module explores fundamentals and techniques used in theatre/performance and performance spaces. Students will be introduced to basic stagecraft i.e lighting, models of performance spaces and stage anatomy. Material may focus on classic or contemporary drama or original creations.

HFTA 404 Managing Institutions of Film and Theatre     
The thrust of this module is to prepare students to be entrepreneurs in film and theatre industry. They will be equipped with skills on how to develop and run theatre and film production companies. Aspects such as concept design, constitution formulation, management theories, recruitment and selection, motivation theories, advertising and marketing will be examined.

HFTA 405 Film and Video Production       
This is a practical module that helps students with hands on approach in film and video production. Students will be expected to come up with their own low budget production(s) by the end of the semester.                       

HFTA 406 Development of Film in Africa
The module provides an overview of the history of film in Africa from the early twentieth century to present day. This overview places emphasis on the socio- political contexts, which influenced the evolution of each stage of the African film. The relationship between film production and context is carefully examined.
HFTA 407 Film, Theatre and Globalisation                                               
The module introduces students to intercultural studies and should cover the concept of globalization and convergence of culture.  It should link film and theatre studies to the concept of globalization and discuss the pros and cons of the impact of globalization on local film and theatrical productions. Students should be encouraged to suggest ways in which positive attributes of globalization can be harnessed to improve local film and theatrical productions.

HFTA 408 Practical Criticism of Film Text            
This module introduces to students theories of form and content.  Students will use the theories of form and content to evaluate and assess the cultural significance of a film text.  They will be introduced to critical studies theories that explain the commercialization and commodification of culture through film. Students are expected to carry out a practical criticism of a film text applying relent theories to assess the validity of a film text.

 HFTA 409 Gender Issues in Theatre and Film
This is an identity based module, which focuses on the influence and role of masculinities and feminities in theatre and film productions. Emphasis is on gendered portrayals of selected themes. It also focuses on the impact of societal stereotypes and assumptions of gender roles in script development as well as the impact of theatre and film in either reinforcing or subverting the above stereotypes.

HFTA 410 Practical Criticism of Drama                                        
This module prepares students for script criticism through using unseen drama texts to master critical appreciation. Critical appreciation focuses on theme identification and critiquing thereof, identifying dramatic and language techniques and examining their effects.

HFTA 411 Theatre in Education
This module looks at theatre in the field of education. It examines a whole range of theatrical performances there are in Africa that engage young Africans. It will deal with children’s theatre in education written by adults for them to perform. Complementary to this is the amount of theatrical performances by students in high schools, colleges and universities. This module also requires students to acquaint themselves with the activities in the education system such as drama festivals and the use of drama across the curriculum in the classroom.         

HFTA 412 Dissertation
This is a project of between 15 000 -20 000 words, based on wide research with the assistance of a supervisor. The research should give evidence of independent enquiry and familiarity with the literature of film and Theatre Arts. Its weight is equivalent to that of two core modules. The dissertation should be presented to a panel of the Departmental Board, which determines its score.