MASTER OF SCIENCE IN LOCAL GOVERNANCE STUDIES (MLGS)

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 These regulations should be read in conjunction with the Faculty of Social
Sciences Regulations and General Academic Regulations for Post Graduate
Degrees for the Midlands State University, as amended, and herein referred to as
the Regulations.

2.0 OBJECTIVES

The Master of Science in Local Governance Studies Degree is a three semester stakeholderdriven programme that seeks to:
2.1 provide opportunities for graduates to understand and seek ways to resolve
contemporary challenges in local government administration and management;
2.2 equip graduates with skills to tackle challenges of service delivery and social
inequality as well as to effectively contribute to the social change dialogue;
2.3 produce graduates who are able to apply relevant theories in analysing
local governance problems and developing responses relevant for national
development;
2.4 cultivate and nurture in students a culture of transparency, accountability,
efficiency, effectiveness, and competence in public service delivery.

3 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

To qualify for entry into the programme:

3.1 A student should have a good Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Local
Governance Studies, Bachelor of Science in Politics and Public Management
(Honours) Degree or Bachelor of Science in Public Administration (Honours)
Degree.
3.2 A student must have passed any other related qualifcation accepted by the
Midlands State University as being equivalent to the foregoing.

10 CAREER PROSPECTS

10.1 Graduates for the Master of Science in Local Governance Studies can pursue
careers in the Civil Service, Public Sector institutions, Provincial and Metropolitan
Councils, Local Authorities, Universities and other colleges, as well as in Nongovernmental organisations.

 11. PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

Level 1 – Semester 1
Core Modules
Code Module Description CreditsCredits
MLGS 701
MLGS 702
MLGS 703
MLGS 704
Local Government Administration and Management
Local Government Financing
Local Government Human Capital Management
Inclusive Service Delivery
4
4
4
4
Level 1 – Semester 1 Elective Modules (Choose only one)
MLGS 705
MLGS 706
MLGS 707
Project Planning and Management
Environmental Policy and Management in Local Authorities
Public Sector Financial Management
4
4
4
Level 1- Semester 2: Core Modules
MLGS 708
MLGS 709
MLGS 710
MLGS 711
Policy Making and Governance
Intergovernmental Relations
Housing Policy and Estates Management
Research Methods
4
4
4
4
Level 1: Semester 2: Elective Modules (Choose only one)
MLGS 801
MLGS 802
MLGS 803
Civil Society and Governance
Disaster Planning and Management in Local Authorities
Gender and Development in Local Governance
4
4
4
Level 2: Semester 1: Core Modules
MLGS 804
MLGS805
MLGS 806
Leadership, Governance and Accountability
Strategic Planning and Management
Dissertation
4
4
8
12.0 MODULE SYNOPSES

 

MLGS 701 Local Government Administration and Management
The module examines the metamorphosing roles, structures, functions and legal framework of
local authorities. Theories and models of public administration and management will be discussed

in order to equip students with the skills needed to manage stakeholder expectations and to
appreciate the importance of institutional accountability to its stakeholders under a results based
management framework.

MLGS 702 Local Government Financing
The module analyses the drawbacks of overreliance by local authorities on tax revenues to
fnance service delivery and examines the potential for improved service delivery through nontax approaches such as public private partnerships, community share ownership schemes and
community development initiatives. The module also looks at the impact on service delivery of
fnancial planning, resource development analysis and fnancial performance monitoring with
emphasis on inclusive budgeting.

MLGS 703 Local Government Human Capital Management
The module examines the critical role of the human resource in local economic development. Topics
to be covered include the legal framework guiding human resource practice in the public sector
in general and local authorities in particular, talent management in local authorities, employee
resourcing, reward management, labour relations management, human resource development, staff
motivation and retention, equality of opportunities, conflict management, as well as discipline and
grievance handling procedures.

MLGS 704 Inclusive Service Delivery
The module is designed to inculcate in students advanced understanding of participatory service
delivery approaches and to provide them with effective tools and frameworks for performance
improvement. The module examines opportunities that exist for local authorities to engage
stakeholders in the delivery of public goods and services, where to look for opportunities, how
to leverage assets and resources already in-place, and identifying what skills and abilities are
required of them to be effective service delivery agents, and not to work as adversaries.

MLGS 705 Project Planning and Management
The module familiarises students with legislation pertaining to tenders and contracts and how these
are awarded for public sector and local government projects. The module further exposes students
to project management theories, and examines concepts such as project cycle, environmental
impact assessment, project costing, cost beneft analysis, sensitivity analysis, pricing and charging,
and team building and how they enhance effciency in service delivery.

MLGS 706 Environmental Policy and Management in Local Authorities
The module examines a range of policy tools used in sustainable environmental management
including regulatory tools, market based instruments, decentralised environmental management,
and co-management. Challenges of human adaptation to climate change, pollution, land use
patterns and the pressing need for sustainable future energy sources are highlighted.

MLGS 707 Public Sector Financial Management
The module explores the legal and administrative framework for the management of public
resources and the role of the Treasury in mobilizing resources to meet politically designed service
delivery objectives. The module further examines the importance of resource management,
procurement and tendering, fscal management, and auditing for corporate accountability for public
resources. The Public Finance Management System, leveraging of land and mineral resources,
debt sustainability analysis will also be examined.

MLGS 708 Policy Making and Governance
The module exposes students to key models and frameworks for public policy-making, and the
interrelationships between policy formulation, policy execution, policy evaluation and revision
and good governance. Emphasis will be placed on citizen participation in the policy problem
identifcation and defnition phase, through to the policy agenda setting phase, and how these
enhance stakeholder buy-in into the policy maintenance process.

MLGS 709 Intergovernmental Relations
The module exposes students to the legal framework that assigns roles and responsibilities to the
respective tiers of government. It examines how central government, provincial and metropolitan
councils and local authorities exercise cooperative governance in their effort to harmonise their
policies and programmes, in further efforts to enhance democracy and maintain national unity, as
each level exercises its constitutionally assigned service delivery mandate

MLGS 710 Housing Policy and Estates Management
The module examines best practices in housing provision and management in order to develop a
framework for sustainable housing provision in local authorities. Housing delivery models which
include central government provision and facilitation, public-private partnerships, cooperatives,
and issues of real estate management, fnancing and development, sustainable housing development
programming, sustainable housing design and management, and rural industrialisation will also be
analysed from viability and sustainability perspectives.

MLGS 711 Research Methods
The module will help students to develop advanced conceptualisation of development problems
and to assist them generate qualitative and quantitative solutions on the basis of empirical evidence.
The module will equip students with practical research skills and advanced methodological
expertise needed to come up with scientifc answers to developmental problems and to feed these
answers into the policy process so that they make a practical contribution to the development of
social science research in general and local economic development in particular.

MLGS 801 Civil Society and Governance
The module examines the role of civil society organisations in local economic development. The
module gives an analysis of civil society organisations as advocates of policy change to enhance
democratic participation of citizens, transparency of governance programmes and accountability
of state and business to the people. The module also examines civil society roles as providers of
resources to solve social development problems, and its efforts at promoting mutual trust between
government, citizens and business though enhanced information dissemination.

MLGS 802 Disaster Planning and Management in Local Authorities
This module seeks to examine the major types and causes of disasters in local authorities and to
identify appropriate responses to them. Students will be exposed to the theoretical frameworks
of disaster vulnerability assessment and disaster preparedness and management in order to equip
them with practical intervention capability required to plan for and manage both present and
future natural and man-made disasters and emergencies as a multi-stakeholder activity.
MLGS 803 Gender and Development in Local Governance
The module examines the concepts of Women in Development and Women and Development in
order to locate women in the centre of human development discourse. The module further seeks

to develop within students the capabilities of using gender analysis in the formulation and design
of gender sensitive policies and programmes; and to equip them with the skills, knowledge and
attitude necessary for mainstreaming gender in all local government programmes.

MLGS 804 Leadership, Governance and Accountability
The module examines leadership theories and models and reflects on how they impact on
organisational development. Students will be assisted to develop a leadership toolkit for managers
in local authorities and to determine how this toolkit impacts on organisational performance
and accountability. The salient differences between leadership and management, and how this
difference impact on organisational performance, will also be highlighted.

MLGS 805 Strategic Planning and Management
The module examines the concept of strategy and how this helps organisations to achieve their
goals. Students will be helped to craft vision statements, mission statements, goals, objectives
and values suitable for addressing local authorities’ challenges in Zimbabwe. The ultimate goal
of strategic planning and management module is to develop pro-active and visionary cadres who
anticipate, plan for and execute development while managing the negative impacts of change.

MLGS 806 Dissertation
During the third semester of the programme, each student will carry out a research project of at
least 20 000 words that addresses contemporary problems in the local government feld. Students
will work under supervision, to design, conduct and write their research thesis.