Master of Science in Land Resources Assessment For Development Planning



These regulations shall be read in conjunction with the faculty of Natural Resources and Agriculture Regulations and General Academic Regulations for Postgraduate Diplomas and Taught Masters hereinafter referred to as General Regulations . The MSC Degree in Land Resource Assessment for Development Planning in Dry Areas (LRADP) is a two year degree programme offered on a full time basis and structured to meet the needs of
Zimbabwe, the SADC region and beyond.


The Master of Science Degree in Land Resources Assessment for Development Planning in Dry Areas is for students with an undergraduate background in agriculture; natural resources management; environmental sciences or any related discipline. The programme aims to develop sound conceptual, technical, analytical and practical skill required for land resources assessment; land use planning and management and water resources management and development planning in dry areas.

Entry Requirements


To be enrolled into the programme, prospective students should be having a good Honours  degree in Agriculture; Natural Resources Management; Environmental Sciences or anyother related discipline’

Career Prospects


MSc graduates in Land Resources Assessment for Development Planning in Dry Areas have career opportunities in a wide array of areas that include the following university teaching, private sector, agricultural consultancy and research extension.



The Master of Science in Land Resources Assessment for Development Planning in Dry areas is a full time two year taught degree programme. All students shall undergo an intensive supervised field survey in a selected area at the end of the second semester of Level one (i.e. July, August)

.In semester 1 Level 2 all students will be expected to carry out a research project leading to the production of a dissertation or thesis under the
guidance of and appropriate supervisor selected by the Faculty.


The contributions of the modules, intensive survey and dissertation will be 45%, 15% and 10% respectively.

Details of the assessment will be as follows:
For each module, the final mark shall be determined by a combination of 40% continuous assessment and 60% formal examination.
The final mark of the intensive field survey shall be determined by 40% individual work and 60% teamwork.
The final mark for the dissertation shall be determined by 70% write up and 15% research proposal and 15% oral examination
For a student to qualify to write an examination, he/she should have continuous assessment marks:
Seminars and practicals are compulsory
To be awarded a degree, a student must pass all modules and publish one paper in recognized journals.
A student who fails to satisfy the examiners and obtains less than 50% but not less than 40% may, on the recommendations of the Board of Examiners and subject to approval by the University Senate, be permitted to sit for a supplementary examination(s) in the respective modules failed in the particular semester.


For the purposes of degree classification, the parts of the degree programme will be
weighted as follows:

Level 1 Semester 1
Level 1 Semester 2
Level 2 Semester 1
Field survey
Dissertation / Thesis
15 %
15 %
15 %
10 %
15 %
30 %



The following marking scheme shall apply for all modules:
Range of Marks Classifcation
80 – 100 % Distinction
70 – 79 % Merit
0 – 69% Pass
0 – 49 % Fail

MLWR 701 Soils and Soil Survey
Soil formation; Soils of tropical environments; soil classifcation; soil catena; Zimbabwe soil classifcation system; USDA soil taxonomy; FAO Soil classifcation; other international soil classifcation systems; Soil properties; morphological, physical, chemical and biological; clay mineralogy; Pedological description of soils; soil survey and soil maps; Methods of soil surveys; Planning soil surveys; types of soil surveys; scales; accuracy; cost and returns; Strengths and weaknesses of soil surveys; case study.

MLWR 702 Remote Sensing and GIS
Principles; defnitions and concepts; types of remote sensing imagery; Electromagnetic spectrum; Properties of Remote sensing imagery; Remote sensing systems; Interpretation of Remote sensing imagery; Vegetation and remote sensing; Energy interaction; digital image analysis; visual image analysis; Applications; GIS processes and application; GIS Database management; GIS GPS Application; GIS mapping; GIS and Remote sensing interactions.

MLWR 703 Environmental Water Quality
Principles and Procedures; Water law; Water flow and solutes; water ecosystems; water quality monitoring; bio monitoring; Water physico-chemistry; ecotoxicology; ecological indicators and indices; water resource protection.

MLWR 704 Climate Change and Variability
Principles; defnitions; concepts; climate change and variability both temporal and spatially; climate variability and changes in relation to natural resources and agro ecosystems management; vulnerability and adaptations to climate change and variability.

MLWR 705 Integrated Research Methodologies
Principles and procedures; concepts; Integrated research methodologies and techniques (both qualitative and quantitative) in natural resources assessment and management; Applied statistics in natural resources management. Biophysical resource and social survey methods; including
participatory appraisal methods; Communication of research fndings to influence policy.

MLWR 706 Land Evaluation
Planning environment; Principles and procedures; defnitions and concepts; purpose of land evaluation; Types of land evaluation; Systems of land evaluation and their applications; Requirements of major kinds of land use; Productive potential of land; Problems of Land evaluation systems; Case study.

MLWR 707 Irrigation Planning and Evaluation
Defnition and concepts; Irrigation project planning and public policy; Project appraisal; monitoring and evaluation; analytical techniques in project appraisal; Social cost beneft analysis; Environmental impact analysis; Human health and irrigation projects.

MLWR 708 Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)
Concepts of environmental assessment (EA) and environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Benefts of EA and EIA; Timing, Scope and compositions; Role of EIA in local development projects; Valuing environmental services and impacts; Principles and procedures in EIA; EIA in Zimbabwe; Socio economic Impact assessment; Ecological Impact Assessment; Impact monitoring and auditing; Impact mitigation and management; Case study

MLWR 709 Land and Agrarian Reform
Historical background; land husbandry and land tenure laws; land ownership and land productivity; land reform and land redistribution; trends in land reform; agrarian change; trends in tillage system; evolution of crop and livestock cultures; crop and livestock breeding institutions; land reform and rural development; technological challenges and advancements; local and regional constraints.

MLWR 710 Land Use Models and Development Planning
Agriculture policy in Zimbabwe; land use planning; principles and procedures; guidelines for land use planning; Land use planning in Zimbabwe; land use planning in the SADCC Region; Surveys and analyses; Participatory Planning processes; Planning for development; Project cycle and management; Farming systems approaches; Risk analysis in dry-land farming systems; Agroforestry, Concepts of community involvement and participation; Self-Help promotion; PRA, Conflict management; Village land use planning; national and Regional land use planning; Farm planning; Resettlement Planning; Case study.

MLWR 711 Water Resources Assessment and Modelling
Principles, concepts, methods, approaches and strategies; Sources of water, Rainfall intensity, ground water / surface runoff relationships; Rainfall / runoff relationships; Hydrograph analysis; Flood routing; Computer based simulation models; Model selection for water resources management; Model parameterization; Floods and flood management.

MLWR 712 Soil and Water Conservation
Principles, concepts, methods, approaches and strategies. State of soil and water conservation in the SADC. Erosion assessment experimentation and modelling; Field methods, Physical models, Empirical models Wind studies, Conservation schemes, Case study

MLWR713 Field Survey Synopses
Students will embark on a field visit trip and carry out a field survey on a selected theme of study. a survey report and presentation will be the mode of assessment for the module.

MLWR 800 Dissertation
Students are required to identify a research topic, develop a research proposal, design instruments for data collection and engage in research work, and write a dissertation under the guidance of SUPERVISORS. Both internal and external examiners will evaluate the dissertation.

MLWR 801 Seminars
It is compulsory for students to attend all seminars as required.