The Department of History is concerned with economic, social and political changes in world affairs in general and Africa in particular.


2.1. The Department aims to stimulate interest in and promote the study of history through an acquaintance with the variety of theoretical and applied approaches to aspects and periods of history and a familiarity with differing interpretations of particular historical problems. It provides a supportive environment towards promoting the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of cause and consequence, continuity and change in human activity in Zimbabwe and beyond. The programme offers students the opportunity to develop essential study skills as a sound base for further study and the pursuit of personal interest in selected themes in international affairs. It builds on the strengths of a range of disciplines and programmes available to students through the University’s concept of “Flexible Packaging”. Above all, it seeks to engage students intellectually and professionally in the critical analysis of international issues pertinent to the needs of the 21st Century.

Career Prospects


Graduates of History and International Studies will be able to pursue a variety of career options in administration, public leadership, research and consultancy, teaching and the international civil service with regional and international organizations such as Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and varied United Nations Organization (UNO) agencies.


Entry Requirements

4.1. Normal Entry

4.1.1. For entry into the Honours in History and International Studies, candidates must satisfy the normal entry requirements specified in the Faculty
Regulations and the General Regulations. In so doing, they must satisfy the following requirements: Must have obtained at least fve ‘O’ Level
passes or the equivalent, including English Language and History. Must have obtained a pass in History at ‘A’ Level and at least
ONE of the
following subjects or their equivalent: Economics, Geography, Political Economy, Law, Divinity, Sociology, Literature in English, Shona and Ndebele


5.1. The Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies Honours is a full-time degree programme. Normally, a student will be required to complete the programme in not less than four years from the date of first registration.
5.2. At the Third Level of the degree programme, Honours students go on Work Related Learning for 10-12 months.
5.3. The degree programme offers core/compulsory and elective/optional modules.
5.4. At least five of the modules registered per semester should be from within the programme.

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 programme of study, modules offered by other departments, in line with the concept of “Flexible Packaging”.
5.7. Each module is worth four credits except the dissertation which is worth eight (8) credits. To pass, a student is required to accumulate a minimum of 136 credits.




6.1.Overall assessment shall consist of continuous assessment and formal examinations. To be admitted for formal examinations, a student must have satisfied continuous assessment requirements for all approved modules of study. 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.

6.4.Each formal examination shall be held during an examination period at the end of a semester in which the module is completed. The final mark will be weighted as 25% for continuous assessment and 75% for examination.

All electives will be on offer in any given semester.


Module Synopses


HISH 111 Research Methods in History
The course is an introduction to research methods for students studying History. It is aimed at acquainting the student with some major aspects of the discipline and its practice.

HISH 112 Themes in African History
The module provides students with a general survey of social and economic aspects of African society from the origins of agriculture to the present. Themes covered include state formation; long distance trade; mercantile capital; slave trade; European imperialism, colonial administrative systems, colonial development policies and African reactions; the impact of Christianity and Western education; growth of African nationalism and the struggles for independence.

HISH 113 Imperialism and Development
The module examines the origins of imperialism and its impacts on development of societies across the world.

HISH 114 Economy and Society in zimbabwe to 1890
The module is a survey of Zimbabwe’s social and economic developments since the Early Iron Age, and then examines the origins and socio-economic structure of the early and later Shona states. It ends with a discussion of Nguni conquests of the 19th Century and the period of Treaties and Concessions with white settlers.

HISH 116 Introduction to Gender Studies
The module empowers students 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, Theories of Gender Inequalities, Redressing Gender Imbalances and strategies for creating a gender responsive environment.

HISH 117 Introduction to International Studies
The module provides a basis for students to deepen their understanding of an increasingly interdependent world and broaden their perspective on a variety of international topics. It introduces key concepts and approaches in international studies, examining important problems in
the contemporary world from the historical perspective and related social science disciplines.

HISH 121 Economy and Society in Zimbabwe Since 1890
The module covers the period from the establishment of colonial rule to the present. It discusses, among other issues, the establishment of the colonial settler economy, capitalist development; land apportionment and African dispossession; urbanization and the growth of the manufacturing sector, trade unions and the beginnings of nationalism; the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; UDI and sanctions as well as the War of Liberation. For a postcolonial period focus is on reconstruction and the socialist experiment, the land question and rural development, the role of transnational corporations and NGOs, as well as the genesis and impact of ESAP on the social and economic fabric of Zimbabwean society.

HISH 122 Europe 1789-1914
This module surveys the history of Europe from the French revolution of 1789 to the beginning of World War 1.

HISH 123 Southern Africa to the Minerals Revolution
The module addresses pre-colonial societies, as well as the various socio-economic relations between such groups as the KhoiKhoi, the Bantu, white settlers and the slaves at the Cape. The discussion also includes long distance trade in Southern Africa, mineral discoveries, colonial conquests and African responses as well as the beginnings of the industrialization of South Africa.

HISH 124 Gender Studies in Africa
The module introduces students to gender concepts, theories of feminism as well as various roles and status of women in African societies. Topics covered include aspects of pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial gender ideologies, female domesticity, women and wage labour, female struggles for space and resistance to colonial rule, achievements of independence, violence against women, the role of women’s organizations and female struggles for emancipation and empowerment.

HISH 126 History of International Law
The module exposes students to the dynamics of international law. The importance of international law lies in that it seeks to regulate relations between and among states. Issues of state sovereignty, diplomatic law and immunity will be examined since the task of international tribunals is to interpret wording used in international agreements.

HISH 127 Regional Co-operation in Africa
The module examines the growth and development of African efforts at regional co-operation in the form of groupings such as the AU, COMESA, SADC, ECOWAS, EAC and OPEC. It discusses the socio-economic and political impact of such integration on member countries and
third parties in general.

HISH 211 Southern Africa since the Mineral Revolution
The module discusses the period since the Minerals Revolution in Southern Africa, including the Rand Revolt; the establishment of South African industry including the South African military industrial complex; apartheid and South Africa’s relations with the BLS and other neighbouring countries; and the struggle for self-determination. The module also discusses social and economic development in the Southern African sub-region including such countries
as Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

HISH 212 Central Africa to Independence
The module surveys the development of Central African societies from Early Iron Age to Independence. Topics to be covered include economy and society in the early states of Central Africa and the beginning of the long-distance trade; relations between African societies and Portuguese and Dutch settlers on the West Coast; the Atlantic slave trade; colonial rule and the struggle for independence.

HISH 213 Western Europe since World War 1
The module discusses the economics of the First World War and the socio-economic upheavals of the inter-war period, such as inflation, the debt crisis, the great depression and the general conflagration of the Second World War. It also studies the rise of dictatorship in Europe under fascism and Nazism; economic acceleration and deceleration, in particular economic “miracles” and “full employment”, as well as the general economic decline since the late 1960s, epitomized by the oil crises of the 1970s.

HISH 214 West Africa to Independence
The period covered by this module stretches from the origins of agriculture in West Africa to the attainment of independence in the 20th century. Topics covered include state formation, the Islamisation of West Africa and Islamic Revolutions; the Trans-Saharan trade; slavery; the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and Abolition; colonial administrative practices and economies, the growth of African Nationalism and the struggle for national self-determination.

HISH 215 USA Since 1860
The module is a survey of socio-economic developments in the USA since the end of Civil War (1861-65). Special attention will be on the impact of the Civil war; the ordeal of Reconstruction’ America’s role in World War 1; the Inter-War years and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal recovery programme; foreign affairs; World War II and its aftermath; and the cold war era.

HISH 216 Historiography and Historical Methods
The module introduces students to philosophical ideas and theories which found expression in history. This is a survey of the critical method of studying and understanding history from Renaissance and Enlightenment historiography to the specific interpretative strategies for the study of historical texts. The precursors of modern critical methods/theories such as Kant, Hegel, St Augustine and Descartes will form the background material. Overally, the module aims at developing the techniques of formal appreciation and criticism of historical works.

HISH 219 International Organisations since 1919
Defining International Organisations; the League of Nations, the United Nations Organization; the European Economic Community/ European Union; the Organization of American States, the Organization of African Union/ the African Union; the Arab League; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; the Warsaw Pact; the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Non-Aligned Movement and the future of international organizations.

HISH 220 zimbabwe and the International Community since the Cold War
The module surveys Zimbabwe’s international relations, identifying key theoretical foundations, key actors, and the overall making of foreign policy.

HISH 221 Demography, Land and Agrarian Studies in Africa
The module examines pre-colonial and colonial agricultural systems as well as colonial land policies. It compares white settler agriculture with peasant demographic and land policies and famine in Africa. It ends with a comparative assessment of agricultural performance of the postcolonial state in Africa.

HISH 222 Labour and Capital in Africa
The module discusses relations between the state, labour and capital in Africa during and after the colonial period, in both the private and public sectors of the economy. Major focus is on mining, agriculture and manufacturing. The module also examines relations between management and labour in NGOs and civic groups.

HISH 223 Latin America and the Caribbean
The module covers a wide range of topics that include pre-conquest Latin American societies such as the Inca Empire of Peru and the Aztecs of Mexico as well as pre-capitalist economies. It also examines the process and impact of European conquest and the beginnings of colonial
rule and underdevelopment. The module further addresses the performance of economies in the 21st Century.

HISH 224 North Africa and the Middle East
The module surveys developments in the area stretching from Morocco in the West to Iran in the East and from Turkey in the North to Yemen in the South. It follows a broadly chronological and thematic approach of the period from the advent of Islam to independence. Emphasis will be placed on the social and economic impact of the relations between Israel and her Arab neighbours.

HISH 225 East Africa to Independence
The module begins with a discussion of the peopling of East Africa by the Khoisan, Cushitic, Semitic and Bantu populations, the rise of agriculture and pastoralism, trade with the Swahili and the maritime culture of the Indian Ocean. It also discusses the establishment of colonial rule and subsequent colonial socio-economic structure. It ends with a discussion of the struggle for independence.

HISH 226 The Military and Governance in Africa
The module attempts to analyze the role of the military in governance in Africa. The military has been a significant player in post-colonial African politics and governance and its role deserves thorough analysis.

HISH 227 Growth and Development of South-east Asian Economies
Topics covered by this module include the Japanese overseas expansionism in the late 19th and the 20th centuries. Issues relating to the founding, management and development of colonial territories acquired by Japan between the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5 and the end of the Second World War, the impact of the war, as well as regional integration are considered.

HISH 231 China since the Communist Revolution
The module grapples with the political, economic and social developments that obtained in China in the aftermath of the Communist Revolution. Issues relating to China’s relations with the Soviet Bloc, the Western World and Africa will also be analysed.

HISH 411 Race, Class and Ethnicity in Africa
The module examines the complexities of modern debates on race, class and ethnicity, and their critique. It starts with definitions of these concepts and their contribution to social, economic and even political “crises” in Africa.

HISH 413 Dynamics of Nationalism
The module traces the rise of nationalism in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. It examines various struggles towards national self-determination, the challenges of nation building, and the crisis of the nation-state in the 21st Century.

HISH 414 Developments in Eastern Europe since 1917
This module traces the foundations of the modernization of Russia that facilitated its hegemony over the subcontinent. It also focuses on socialist experiments in the Soviet Union and East Central Europe, investigating the performance of economies of Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia,
Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania and East Germany before and after the Gorbachev era and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union.

HISH 415 Indigenous knowledge Systems in Africa
The module considers Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in African Development. It examines the interaction of African IKS with the European systems and the resulting effect on both cultures. The module also examines the re-emergence of IKS in independent Africa, and the different theories of development.

HISH 416 African International Relations
The module addresses relations between Africa and other nations across the globe in areas of trade and economic co-operation in general, scientifc, technical and cultural exchange, diplomatic ties and military alliances. Emphasis is on North-South relations.

HISH 417 Peacekeeping and Peace-building in Independent Africa
Origins and causes of conflict in independent Africa; political, cultural, economic, environmental and ethnic conflict in Africa; theoretical approaches to peacekeeping and peace-building; national and international actors in peacekeeping and peace-building (UNO, the ICC, AU, ECOMOG, eminent persons, etc), truth commissions, commissions of inquiry; Case Studies including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote D’vore, Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan.

HISH 421 Religion and Society in Africa
This module focuses on the crucial role played by religion in the development of African societies and institutions. Topics to be covered include Islamic, Christian and African Traditional religions, and how these influenced the development of African societies overtime.

HISH 422 Africa in the 21st Century
The module examines the dynamics of African politics and economies since attainment of independence, focusing specifically on development strategies, economic and political crises and possible solutions to the various problems encountered by the post-colonial African State.

HISH 423 World Affairs since 1945
The module surveys the global transformation that has occurred since 1945. Examines the importance of the Cold War in influencing the process by which these nation-states sought to create new ideals and new institutions to ensure order and justice within their boundaries, and find places within the international community. It will also survey new nation-states in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, with the ethnic conflicts, local wars and terrorist movements that dominated the end of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

HISH 424 African Diaspora and International Migrations
The module covers the status of slaves in various societies around the world, the causes, nature, volume and economics of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. It also discusses the emerging patterns of international voluntary migrations and refugee flows, post World War II emigration from Europe, Asia and the Caribbean to North America and Western Europe and their consequences; causes and consequences of refugee flows specifically within Africa, refugee livelihoods, national and international laws and policies in international migrations and refugees.

HISH 425 Dissertation
This is a paper of between 15 000-20 000 words, based on wide research with the assistance of a supervisor.