MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN MEDIA AND SOCIETY STUDIES (MMSS)

Overview

1. PREAMBLE

1.1 These Regulations shall be read in conjunction with the Faculty Regulations and the General Academic Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees hereinafter referred to as the General Regulations.

1.2 The MSc Degree in Media and Society Studies (MMSS) is one and half year degree programme offered on Block Release and structured to meet media and communication needs of Zimbabwe, the region and beyond. It intends to equip students with both academic and practical skills that enable them to enter the media industry as well as to do research and academic studies.

2. OBJECTIVES

2.1. The Master of Science Degree in Media and Society Studies is for students with an undergraduate background in Media and Society Studies, Media and Communication Studies, Journalism or any related disciplines. The programme is for students interested in careers in any of the many facets of media and communications.

2.2. The programme aims to develop the sound conceptual, technical, analytical and critical skills that are required to succeed in the field of Media and Communication.

3. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

To be enrolled into the programme, prospective students should be having a good Honours Degree in Media and Society Studies, Post Graduate Diploma in Media and Society Studies or a good Honours Degree in any related discipline such as Media Studies, Communication, Public Relations.

4. GENERAL PROVISIONS

4.1 The number of modules taken by any student from outside the department may be restricted.

4.2 The offering of elective modules depends on the availability of staff and/or teaching loads of available staff.

5. PROGRESSION

To progress to the next semester, a student is required to have passed at least all the core modules.

6. CREDITS

6.1 Students shall earn at least 48 credits to be allowed to graduate.

6.2 Marks for the three semesters of the programme have equal contribution to the overall and final degree classification.

6.3 To successfully complete the programme a student must at least pass all the core modules.

Assessment

7. ASSESSMENT

7.1 Examinations, which shall normally be written at the end of each semester, comprise three-hour papers for theoretical modules.

7.2 Continuous assessment that includes, among other things, tests, essays, fieldwork, laboratory work, writing stories and projects is compulsory.

7.3 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.

7.5 A student is normally required to attain at least of 100% attendance of tutorials and lectures.

8. DISSERTATION

8.1 A dissertation is a module with the weight of 8 credits.

8.2 Topics for the dissertation module shall be approved by thethird week of the second semester.

8.3 Research and supervision of the dissertation starts soon after the approved of the topic.

8.4 A dissertation on a topic approved by the department must be supervised and submitted three weeks before the start of written examinations for the third semester.

8.5 After a dissertation has been submitted and marked, a student shall be required to defend it before the departmental Board of Examiners.

8.6 The highest mark that may be awarded for a late dissertation is 50%.

8.7 A dissertation that attains a failure mark within supplementable range be submitted three months after the publication of results.

8.8 A dissertation shall be presented following strict rules and regulations of scholarly presentation and must approximate the highest possible academic standards.

8.9 A student shall submit two copies of the dissertation bound according to departmental specifications.

9. WEIGHTING

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 For a dissertation’s assessment, a viva contributes 25% while the marking of the submitted copy contributes 75% to the final mark of the module.

9.4 All practical modules have no written examination and shall be assessed by practical course work and products produced.

9.5 Marks for every semester have equal contribution to overall degree classification.

10. NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS

As provided in the general regulations.

11. MARKING SCHEME AND DEGREE CLASSIFICATION

 

Programme Structure

12. PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

Refer to Section 21 of the General Regulations.

Level 1 Semester 1

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
MMSS 701Theory & Methodology in Communication &Media Research4
MMSS 702Mass Media Audiences4
MMSS 703The Media, Governance and Development4

Elective Modules

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
MMSS704Political Communication and Political Marketing4
MMSS705Principles and Practices of Health Communication4
MMSS706Visual Anthropology4
MMSS707Media, Human Rights and Crisis and Management4
MMSS708Graphic Design and Electronic Publishing4

Level 1 Semester 2

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
MMSS 710Corporate Communications Management4
MMSS 711Media and Communications Regulation4
MMSS 712Critical Media Theory4

Elective Modules

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
MMSS 713Print Journalism and Newspaper Production4
MMSS 714TV Journalism and Production4
MMSS 715Radio Journalism and Production4
MMSS 716Documentary Studies and Production4
MMSS 717Film Studies and Production4

Level 2 Semester 2

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
MMSS 801Dissertation8
MMSS 802Critical Political Economy of the Media4

 

Elective Modules

CodeModule DescriptionCredits
MMSS 803Media Economics and Management4
MMSS804Sport, Recreation and the Media4
MMSS 805Integrated Marketing Communications Strategies4

 

13. MODULE SYNOPSES

MMSS 701THEORY AND METHODOLOGY IN COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA RESEARCH

Critical history of media and communication research methods. Research processes, language and ethics of media and communication research. Critical understanding of the relationship between theory and methodology. Case studies of communications researchers and leading schools/centres of communications and media research. Specific research approaches i.e. ethnography. From methodology results, conclusion to new theory.

MMSS 702 MASS MEDIA AUDIENCE

Theories on the power and nature of the media and processes of mass communication are studied together with theoretical approaches to the understanding of the nature of media audiences and their media consumption processes and habits. The module covers from the Mass Society theory and its magic bullet theory to the current cultural studies theory making references to theories and case studies from which the theories were developed. The nature different texts, different conceptualization of audience and processes of reception in different cultural and other contexts will be studied. David Morley’s “Nationwide” project will be studied in detail and small research projects carried out to tests its path-breaking findings on different areas of encoding and decoding of texts.

MMSS703 THE MEDIA, GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT

The module broadly explores major debates and theories of the media, governance and development paying particular attention to the dialectics of their relationships. Theories of democracy from the “Agora” to modern representative democracy, their publics and public spheres; other notions of good and bad governance; from the modernization paradigm to “Another” or the Alternative of development and democratization in Zimbabwe, Africa and beyond will be studied.

MMSS704 POLITICAL COMMUNICATION AND POLITICAL MARKETING

Some critical reflections on different dimensions of political communication and political marketing with emphasis on: Origins and growth; nature and uses in different parts of the world; different forms of practices in the age of mediation; relationship with the media as political actors; the media and rigging of public opinion; different characteristics of political media; dimensions of party political communication, political public relations, pressure group politics, political publicity techniques, democracy and the media, international political communication; political branding; techniques of attaining and retaining political loyalty. Practices in the mounting of political communication campaigns together with political jingles will also be studies.

MMSS705 PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF HEALTH COMMUNICATION

The module focuses on principles and practice of health communication as a form of planned communication and as practiced within the paradigm of social marketing. This includes thorough and critical exploration of: principles of persuasion and communication by objectives in different cultural contexts; concepts and principles of opinion building; Social Marketing/Health Communication Research Processes: Andreasen’s new paradigm of social marketing; Ethics issue; Social Marketing/Health Communication Assessment procedures, case studies.

MMSS706 VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY

A critical address of the paradigm shift toward reflexivity in classical anthropology and media studies, that departs from imperial/colonial media and anthropological representations of concepts of `Sameness’ and `Otherness’. Questions about the media representation, imagination/imaging/emerging of individual and group (indigenous/ethnic/tribal/sub-cultural/national) identities are critiqued using reflexive explanations. Ethnographic media products are used as socio-politico-economic and cultural construction that document patterns of culture, usually within discourses of `Sameness’ and `Othering’. The concepts of `sameness’, `Othering’ and `Becomimg’ are situated in the process of naming and identity formation. The epistemological foundamentals of anthropology, media, media studies and cultural studies are critically examined. Ethnographic visual representations and constructions of the `Same’, the `Other’ and `Becoming’ are assessed using the raw material of visual genres such as photography, sculpture, pottery, art and craft etc, that are implicated in the construction of `real’ or `imagined’ individual/group/community or national identities. Identity concepts of being and (be)coming and reflexivity are paramount especially within the contemporary environment of self-definition where essentialistic `roots’ are constantly `roots’ are conceptually challenged by `routes’.

MMSS 707 MEDIA, HUMAN RIGHTS AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT

The module locates the role of the media in communication human rights issues, as well as critiques the role the media play in the communication of socio-politico, cultural and humanitarian crises, especially within the African context. The media have been implicated in the creation/construction and /or fueling of crises. They have also been accused of setting the agenda for specific crises, and ignoring other affected areas for both business and political expediency, hence this module attempts to critique such speculations or realities using case studies. Principles and practices of crisis communication will also be taught making reference to how the media have /are aught to operate. Human rights theories from the West and originating from Africa will also be studied.

MMSS 708 GRAPHIC DESIGN AND ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING

This module is both practical and theoretical. Students are expected to grasp principles that explain the Internet and be able to navigate cyber space extracting research material and also publishing their own information. This includes partaking in the different discourses on the Internet and authoring own web sites among other forms of graphic designing and electronic publishing. Other practical skills include design and layout of products for cyber publishing, and writing and editing for the Internet.

MMSS 710 CORPORATE COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT

Origins and growth of corporate communications/public relations (CCPR) from being and occupation to becoming a profession, Relationships between CC/PR and marketing, advertising, journalism and propaganda, Planning and execution of programmes as forms of planned communication; Principles and practice of effective communication, CC/PR and public opinion, CC/PR ethics, Research in CC/PR, Publicity techniques, the unique place of CC/PR in management in different organizations, CC/PR and the mass media. Theory and practice of political CC/PR, advocacy and CC/PR, CC/PR and crisis management, CC/PR and corporate reputation. Place of CC/PR in Corporate Strategy, measurement of CC/PR programmes success.

MMSS711 MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS REGULATION

The module explores the nature of media and different forms of communication in the digital age with the following emphasis: why the need for media regulations, different models of media regulations existent in the world, the relationship between different models of media regulation and the ideal role of the media in a democracy, what informs the formulation and implementation of different media regulation models, advantages and disadvantages of different media regulation models; processes formulating media policies.

MMSS 712 CRITICAL MEDIA THEORY

The module is a systematic study of a wide array of Critical Media Theory aspects which include the following: Specificities and dimensions of Critical and Administrative Research in communication, the critical project and the enlightenment, Dialectic of the enlightenment and the Culture Industry, Cultural Studies in Britain: Williams and Hoggart, Critical Theory in a Global context, The African Perspective.

MMSS 713 PRINT JOURNALISM AND NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION

This is a practical module aimed at producing multi-skilled graduate versatile in the field of print journalism and newspaper production. Emphasis is on practical skills that include: basic news reporting, basic editing, news gathering and processing, managing sources and creating source bank, newsroom politics, freelancing commissioned work and personal interest products. Producing media products for public relations and to meet the institutional role of the media.

MMSS716 DOCUMENTARY STUDIES AND PRODUCTION

The module centers of the following theoretical and practical components of documentary; its birth and growth with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe; genres, local and international documentary industry, distribution and consumption patterns; challenges and prospects of documentary production in Zimbabwe and Africa; theories of documentary analysis with particular emphasis on context and texts, analysis of documentaries from different traditions, documentary production processes from documentary idea conception, scriptwriting, directing and shooting, and editing. Economics of documentary production industry is also studied.

MMSS 717 FILM STUDIES AND PRODUCTION

The module centres of the following theoretical and practical components of film, birth and growth of film and video with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe, film genres local and international film industry, its products, distribution and consumption patterns, challenges and prospects of film production in Zimbabwe and Africa; theories of film analysis with particular emphasis on context and texts; analysis of film texts from different traditions, film idea conception, scriptwriting, directing and shooting, and editing of different genres. Economics of film production industry is also studied.

MMSS801 DISSERTATION

MMSS 802 CRITICAL POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE MEDIA

The module critically explores key aspects of political economy of the media as an introduction to critical political economy of the media. The following will be taught: the relationship and inter-relationship between politics and the economy; relationship between media ownership and media performance and range of discourses and the audiences’ access to them, case studies to illustrate key tenets of critical political economy of the media as a living theory.

MMSS803 MEDIA ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT

The module conceptualizes most media as economic enterprises and their management as business organization. Among other issues the following concepts are taught: concept and role of the market and the market place; consumer choices and market responses, media goods/services with market value and sold on the market, media operations and role of advertising, different dimensions of media markets; intermedia competition, market structures and market power, media ownership, their funding patterns and implications on performances, monopoly and competition in the market; media labour and the market. Different management practices with regard to the above media involvements especially internally in the form of promulgating editorial policies and coordinating daily journalistic practices to meet declared public-good missions within macro-policy requirements and sustaining economic viability. Different roles of key managerial personnel will be studied with regard to gate-keeping, human resource management and practices that have implications on editorial and economic performance of the organization. References will be made to case studies.

MMSS 804 SPORT, RECREATION AND THE MEDIA

The module critically situates sports and recreation (leisure) as integral parts of the post-modern culture industries. Their institutional structures are historically located, and their economic, social, political and cultural significance in the contemporary global set-up is accentuated.

The media coverage/reportage of sport, recreation and leisure is critically explained in the context of discourses of self- actualization of sportsmen, `media star personalities’, sports supporters, leisure genre enthusiasts, group identity, nation-building and globalization. The social-political, economic, religion-spiritual and ritualistic elements of sports and recreation are investigation within the context of media as a mediator and marketer of popular attitudes.

MMSS 805 INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIES

Rooted in the theories and practices of marketing, the following aspects will be studies: what is integrated marketing communications [MC]; evolution of IMC: why IMC’s importance is growing; role of IMC in branching; dimensions and uses of different tools if IMC that include Advertising, direct marketing, e-marketing, sales promotion, publicity/public relations, sponsorship and personal selling. The thrust is studying the IMC’s planning, implementation, strategies and evaluation in line with corporate and objectives.