Bachelor of Science in Media and Society Studies Honours Degree

Overview

INTRODUCTION

1.1 These regulations shall be read in conjunction with the Faculty and General Regulations

1.2 The BSc Honours in Media and Society Studies (MSS) is a fouryear full-time degree programme structured to meet media and communication needs of Zimbabwe, the SADC 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 carry out research.

2. GENERAL AIMS

The general aims of the programme are to provide students with objectives:

2.1 Training in theories of communication and the media, the production, distribution and reception of media products in concrete communities, nation/social and international contexts with respect to basic appropriate research methodologies.

2.2 Appropriate social, cultural, political and economic theories that take cognizance of the concepts of democracy, development and social change and the role of new information technologies in enabling the creation of democratic and equitable societies.

2.3 A critical and informed understanding of communication and media systems at national, regional and international levels.

2.4 The ability to conduct research informed by clearly articulated communication and media theories that promote people-centred development of community, national and international levels while respecting the cultural integrity of peoples as well as their basic inalienable human rights.

2.5 The ability to learn communication and media skills within existing media organization and to judge and assess their theoretical and research skills in concrete industrial environments.

2.6 Skills that enable them to realize that communication and media are multidisciplinary fields whose operations are empowered by a diversity of social realities.

3. CAREER PROSPECTS

3.1 HMSS graduates have career opportunities in a wide range of industries which include the following:

· Mainstream and alternative (communication) print and broadcasting media organizations.

· Social research organizations.

· Advertising agencies

· Public Relations/Customer Care and Information and Publicity department in different public and private sector organizations,

· Non-Governmental Organizations,

· Teaching and lecturing

· Media Consultancy and entrepreneurship.

Entry Requirements

4. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

4.1 Normal Entry

For normal entry a candidate should:-

4.1.1 have satisfied the General Regulations,

4.1.2 have a pass in English Language and at least an “E”grade in Mathematics at “O” Level, and

4.1.3 have a good pass in Literature in English at “A” level. A pass in History at “A” Level is an added advantage.

4.2 SPECIAL ENTRY

4.2.1 Holders of a Diploma in Mass Communication, Public Relations or any other media discipline and have at least five years of hands-on experience may apply for admission.

4.2.2 A person who has successfully done part of communication, Media Studies, Public Relations or any other appropriate degree programme and subsequently passed some modules acceptable to the department and Senate, may also apply for special entry.

4.3 MATURE ENTRY

Refer to Section 3.3 of the General Regulations.

5. GENERAL PROVISIONS

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

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

5.3 During Work Related Learning, the department may transfer a student from one organization to the other.

5.4 The department may use its discretion to deploy students to specific organizations for Work Related Learning thereby over-riding students’ preference and personal arrangements.

 

Assessment

6. ASSESSMENT

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

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

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.

6.4 Failure to meet dead lines shall be taken to mean failure to carry out assigned work. Permission to extend the deadline must be sought at least seventy two (72) hours before the originally given date.

6.5 A student is normally required to attend all tutorials and lectures.

6.6 The assessment of Work Related Learning shall be in accordance with the General Regulations.

6.7 Examinations contribute 75% towards the final mark of a module.

6.8 Continuous assessment contributes 25% towards the final mark of a module.

6.9 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.

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

6.11 DISSERTATION

6.11.1 After a dissertation has been submitted and marked, a student shall be required to defend it before the Departmental Board of examiners.

6.11.2 The highest mark that may be awarded for a dissertation submitted after due date is 50%.

6.11.3 A dissertation that attains a failure mark within supplementable range may be resubmitted within three months after the publication of results and the highest mark attainable shall be 50%.

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

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

7. FAILURE TO SATISFY EXAMINERS

Refer to Section 9 of the General Regulations.

8. WORK RELATED LEARNING GENERAL GUIDELINES

Refer to Section 10 of the General Regulations.

9. PROVISION FOR PROGRESSION

Refer to Section 6 of the Faculty Regulations.

10. GRADING AND DEGREE CLASSIFICATION

Refer to Section 10 of the Faculty Regulations

11. DEGREE WEIGHTING

Refer to Section 11 of the Faculty Regulations.

Programme Structure

12. PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

Level 1 Semester 1

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS101Theories of Communication and the Media4
MSS102Media in Zimbabwe4
MSS103Media Law and Ethics4
MSS108Media Sociology4
MSS 110Principles of Economics and the Media4
HCS 115Introduction to Information Technology4
CS 101Communication Skills4

Level 1 Semester 2

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS105Comparative Media in Africa4
MSS109Global Media Structures4
MSS107Journalism and Desktop Publishing4
MSS 111Principles of Marketing and the Media4

Level 2 Semester 1

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS201Media Research Methods (MSS 101)4
MSS203Texts, Audiences and Reception (MSS101)4
MSS204Introduction to Critical Media Theory(MSS1014
GS201Introduction to Gender Studies4

Elective Modules

Prerequisites Credits

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS202Communication, Culture and the Media (MSS101)4
MSS205Understanding the Press (MSS102)4
MSS206Understanding Radio (MSS102)4
MSS207Television Studies (MSS101)4
MSS208Film and Video Studies (MSS101)4

Level 2 Semester 2

Prerequisites Credits

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS211Media Economics (MSS110 & MSS 111)4
MSS218Principles of Public Relations4
MSS219Principles of Advertising4

Elective Modules

Prerequisites Credits

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS209Media Analysis4
MSS213Introduction to Print Journalism (MSS103 & MSS107)4
MSS214Introduction to Radio Journalism (MSS103 & MSS107)4
MSS215Introduction to Television Journalism (MSS103 & MSS107)4
MSS216Introduction to Film and Video Production (MSS103 & MSS107)4

Level 3 Semester 1 and 2: Work Related Learning

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS301Work Related Learning Report15
MSS302Academic Supervisor’s Report15
MSS303Employer’s Assessment Report10

Level 4 Semester 1

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS401Theories of Development and Democracy (MSS204)4
MSS402The Media and Specific Communities (MSS204)4
MSS403Communication Policies and Media Management (MSS211)4
MSS417Principles and Practice of Social Marketing4

Elective Modules

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS405Advanced Print Journalism (MSS213)4
MSS406Advanced Radio Journalism (MSS214)4
MSS407Advanced Television Journalism (MSS215)4
MSS408Advanced Film and Video Production (MSS216)4
MSS409Advanced Photo-Journalism (MSS217)4

Level 4 Semester 2

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS410Political Communication (MSS212)4
MSS411Political Economy and the Media (MSS211)4
MSS412Dissertation (MSS201)8

Electives

Code ModuleDescription PrerequisitesCredits
MSS413Violence and the Media (MSS402)4
MSS414Media, Entertainment and Social Control4
MSS415Popular Culture and Alternative Forms of Communication4
MSS416The Internet and Practice of Cyber Publishing (MSS107)4

13. MODULE SYNOPSES

MSS101 THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION AND THE MEDIA

Defining Communication and its parameters, models of communication, normative theories of the media, signs and codes, categories of communication, theories and models of communication and mass communication and their critique, media and mediation, concepts of the “mass and “community”, mass communication and Society-power, integration and change, media culture.

MSS102 MEDIA IN ZIMBABWE

The history of print media and broadcasting in Zimbabwe, The Ministry of Information and the Mass Media Trust. Zimbabwe Community Newspaper, Zimpapers and the Private Press. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Radio and Television, Film in Zimbabwe, Music in Zimbabwe, Public Service broadcasting and the Media in Zimbabwe. Traditional and emerging ownership patterns and implications on the institutional role of the Media. Media training institutions. The legal, political, technological, economic and cultural context of the media in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe images on the Internet.

MSS103 MEDIA LAW AND ETHICS

Media laws in Zimbabwe, Legal requirements versus moral and ethical considerations media practices in Zimbabwe. Ethics regarding the use of sources, objectivity and fairness in reporting. Law and ethics in relation to economic and political interests in the Media. Comparative analysis of laws pertaining to the freedom of speech, privacy, confidentiality, libel, copyright and obscenity. Freedom of expression and the role and practice of censorship seen in an historical and comparative perspective in Zimbabwe. The operations of MISA, the Press Council and the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists.

MSS105 COMPARATIVE MEDIA IN AFRICA

This module offers comparative study of the media in Africa focusing on selected regions. The study comprises the history, patterns of development, and levels of performance of the media in the regions including print, broadcasting, film and the Internet. The role played by different media in the colonial and post colonial period, emerging ownership patterns and implications on the institutional role of the Media. Media Training institutions in the regions. It will interrogate the application of the various theories of the media especially as they relate to the African context.

MSS107 JOURNALISM AND DESKTOP PUBLISHING

This is a practical and introductory course aimed at equipping students with basic skills required in the production of news for print media, radio and television. As a grounding course there will be emphasis on the 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. The DTP component equips students with basic skills in creating of a camera-ready copy.

MSS108 MEDIA SOCIOLOGY

Sociological terms and concepts; stratification and class structure; social interaction and everyday life; conformity and deviance agencies of socialization; the nature and processes of social change; reasons for socializing; ideology of community; communication in society and various relationships between the media and society.

MSS109 GLOBAL MEDIA STRUCTURES

Conceptualising imperialism, international relations and international media structures; nature of international flow of information in a uni-polar world, the electro-magnetic spectrum and the politics of space allocation. Public, private, and corporate ownership of media organization and distribution networks, International news and news agencies, international advertising, International music, industry. Television, film and vide world flow and implications; international film industry and the Hollywood paradigm, African, Indian and South American video and film paradigms.

GS201 INTRODUCTION TO GENDER STUDIES

The module empowers the 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, Historical Development of Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Issues in Zimbabwe, Redressing Gender Imbalances, Empowerment and Strategies for creating a gender responsive environment. Every student has to pass the module in order to graduate.

MSS201 MEDIA RESEARCH METHODS

History of communication research methods, research process, research methods, research language and the ethics of communication research. The relationship between theory and methodology. From methodology, results conclusion to new theory. Case studies of major communication researches.

MSS202 COMMUNICATION, CULTURE AND THE MEDIA

This module places communication in the realm of culture and the following themes will be explored:- Communication as culture, possible communication patterns in pre-colonial Zimbabwe, orality versus literacy, defining culture, cultural policies and the practice of communication; media, culture and communication phenomenon in Zimbabwe; media products as cultural products ; the ideology of cultural production and products. Media products as expressions of lived experiences and/or national consciousness. Local cultures versus cultural imperialism. New information technologies and culture.

MSS203 TEXTS, AUDIENCES AND RECEPTION

The ritual of encoding and decoding texts, the history of reception and audience studies, theories of reception and the uses and influences of media texts text perception in different traditions, ethnography of audiences, case studies on reception and audience research: Morley’s “Nationwide” project.

MSS204 INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL MEDIA THEORY

Critical administration and Communication Research; The critical project and the enlightenment; Dialectic of the enlightenment an the Culture Industry; Cultural Studies in Britain: Williams and Hoggart; Critical Theory in a Global context; The African Perspective.

MSS205 UNDERSTANDING THE PRESS

The history of the press with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe. The course includes: types of publications dailies, weeklies, monthlies, tabloids, broadsheets, newspapers, magazines, journals and types of articles carried by the press including readership segmentation and patterns. The normative role of the press and role actually played by the press in specific settings in relationship to ownership patterns. Print media organizations, products and readership patterns. Print media and Internet technology.

MSS206 UNDERSTANDING RADIO

The history of radio with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe, genres of radio products, developments in radio in radio industry, different types of radio stations-community, national, regional and international radio stations, practice and prospects of radio use (in liberation struggles, other conflicts, and nation-building, with specific reference to the Voice of Zimbabwe and others in-Africa.

MSS207 TELEVISION STUDIES

The history of television with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe, genres of television products developments in television industry, different types stations including community, national, regional and international television stations, practice and prospects of television use in national and international conflicts, nation-building, development and democracy, with specific reference to Zimbabwe, Africa and developed countries. The nature and implications of television programming in Zimbabwe, Africa and developed countries.

MSS208 FILM AND VIDEO STUDIES

The history of film and video with video with reference to technological and social developments in the developed world, Africa and Zimbabwe, film and video genres, film and video industry, its products, distribution and consumption patterns; practice and prospects of film and video analysis with particular emphasis on and Africa. Theories of film and video analysis with particular emphasis on context and texts. Analysis of film and video texts from different traditions; the film and video industry in Zimbabwe and Africa and the politics of funding.

MSS209 MEDIA ANALYSIS

The module entails approaches to media and textual analysis. Media products to be analyzed include different types of newspapers, radio and television output. Film and the Internet. For film, special emphasis will be put on African film as constituting another paradigm different from that of the Hollywood. Media products will be discussed in relationship to institutional and organizational structures, marketing strategies and intended consumers.

MSS211 MEDIA ECONOMICS

Introduction to Media economics, media organizations as business organizations; the concept and role of the market and the market place. Consumer choices and market responses. The Media goods/services market (i) media content as an informational and entertainment product for sell- (ii) the advertisement market and the audience as a commodity. Geographic market for media products; intermedia and intermedia competition; strengths and limitations of different media for advertisement competition, market structures and market power; media ownership, their funding patterns implications on performance. Monopoly and competition in the market. Media labour and the market.

MSS213 INTRODUCTION TO PRINT JOURNALISM

This is a practical module meant to equip students with intermediate skills required in the production of news for print media. The practical skills include news reporting, editing, news gathering and processing, managing sources and creating source bank, newsroom politics, freelancing, daily reporting versus weekly, monthly and periodical, commissioned writing and personal interest writing, photography, politics of pictures and picture selection.

MSS214 INTRODUCTION TO RADIO JOURNALISM

This is a practical module emphasizing on basic writing, production, presenting different television genres and performing basic technical operations of the medium.

MSS215 INTRODUCTION TO TELEVISION JOURNALISM

This is a practical module emphasizing on basic writing, production, presenting different television genres and performing basic technical operations of the medium.

MSS216 INTRODUCTION TO FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION

This is a practical module emphasizing on basic scriptwriting, shooting, directing and editing of videos and films of different genres.

MSS217 INTRODUCTION TO PHOTO-JOURNALISM

This is a practical module emphasizing on basic dimensions and tactics of photos as an integral part of journalism. Also, the module impacts skills related to different types of photography for different types of journalism.

MSS218 PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

Definition of terms; the history and evolution of public relations. (PR); PR and related disciplines (marketing, advertising; journalism and propaganda); PR as planned communication; Principles; Principles of effective communication; Public opinion; PR ethics; Research in PR; Publicity techniques; the place of PR in management; PR and the mass media, Theory and practice of political PR; advocacy and PR, PR campaign criteria and approaches and crisis management.

MSS219 PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING

Definition of terms; Different types of advertising, advertising and the mass media; origins of consumer culture; advertising and the development of agencies; goods as satisfiers and goods as communicators and criticisms of advertising.

MSS401 THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT AND DEMOCRACY

The module equips students with a broad application of major theories of development and their debates from the modernization paradigm to “Another” or the Alternative paradigm. For democracy, the module covers from its Athenian in Zimbabwe, Africa and beyond will be studied.

MSS402 THE MEDIA AND SPECIFIC COMMUNITIES

Definition of terms; the role of the media in maintaining and/or fracturing the stability of modern societies through the examination of the coverage of specific social issues gender, race, class and ethnicity. Other categories will also be studied i.e. the media and children, “victims” opposition parties etc. Lessons from the legitimating role of the media through the presentation of stereotypes. Specific case studies will be drawn from Zimbabwe, Africa and the world.

MSS403 COMMUNICATION POLICIES AND MEDIA MANAGEMENT

Definitions of policy of public policy, the link between organizational mission statements, rational legislature and regulatory bodies and the articulation of media policy and management, the relationship between publicy policy formulation and communication and media policy formulation; media policy and media management practices; influence of different types of media ownership organizations and institutions.

MSS405 ADVANCED PRINT JOURNALISM

This is a practical module meant to equip students with advanced skills required in the production of news for print media. While further development practical skills imparted in Print Journalism (1) this course includes training students in specialized reporting i.e. political, economic, environmental, rural, court and health reporting.

MSS406 ADVANCED RADIO JOURNALISM

This is a practical module meant to equip students with advanced skills required in writing, production and presenting different radio genres and performing technical operations of the medium. While further developing practical skills imparted in Radio Journalism (1) this course included training students in specialized reporting i.e. political, economic, environmental, rural, court, and health.

MSS 407 ADVANCED TELEVISION JOURNALISM

This is a practical course meant to equip students with advanced skills required in writing, production and presenting different television genres and performing technical operations of the medium. While further developing skills imparted in Television Journalism (1) this course includes training students in specialized reporting i.e. political, economic, environmental, rural, court, and health.

MSS408 ADVANCED FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION

This is a practical course emphasizing an advanced scriptwriting, shooting, directing and editing of video and films of different genres.

MSS409 ADVANCED PHOTO-JOURNALISM

This is a practical course emphasizing on advanced photography as a genre of journalism and photography for different types of media that are accompanied by pictures.

MSS410 POLITICAL COMMUNICATION

The following aspects will be studied: Dimensions of political communication, the nature and uses of political communication. Origins of political marketing, an American case study. Politics in the age of mediation, the media as political actors, the media and rigging of public opinion, the political media, party political communication, political public relations, pressure group politics and publicity, politics, democracy and the media, international political communication.

MSS411 POLITICAL ECONOMY AND THE MEDIA

At a broader level the module shall provide students with a deep understanding of the relationship and inter-relationship between politics and the economy; an examination of the effect of political economy of the media utilizing an Historical and serial approach with the aim of providing of demonstrate link between the media and its political and economic environment. Major areas shall include: Defining political economy its aims; brief history of the field up to current status; political economy and the media; survey of selected media organizations since 1891 to present.

MSS413 VIOLENCE AND THE MEDIA

Defining violence, media and imagination, and imagining violence in the media; violence and representation of violence in the media; violence and children; violence in cartoons; violence and gender, race and stereotyping, the power of the media in fueling violence, criticism of media violence.

MSS414 MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND SOCIAL CONTROL

Media products, recorded music and the recording industry. The promotion of art/culture: recorded music and performing artists and sculpture. Art and mass production. Politics of selecting of media products for mass consumption. The operations of recording companies, music promotion, culture and influence; local versus foreign music; the law and Art. Music and the broadcasting industry.

MSS415 POPULAR CULTURE AND ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF COMMUNICATION

Forms of communication in everyday life outside the mainstream. Patterns of communication and between cultures and sub-cultures with particular emphasis on Africa music, slogans, epigrams (public transport vehicles, public rallies, community gathering, ceremonial rituals and so on (youth patterns, female and male social entertainment patterns) and the interface with mainstream national and international communication.

MSS416 THE INTERNET AND PRACTICE OF CYBER PUBLISHING

This is a practical module. 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. Other practical skills include design and layout of products for cyber publishing, and writing and editing for the Internet.

MSS417 PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF SOCIAL MARKETING

The course focuses on principles and practice of social marketing as a distinct form of planned communication; definition of terms; elements and products of social marketing; principles of persuasion and communication by objectives; the concept and principles of opinion building; Social Marketing Research processes; Andresen’s new paradigm of social marketing; Ethics issue; impact assessment; Evaluation of case studies in different media and critics of social marketing.