Duration- 18 months



1.1 The title of the programme is Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies.

1.2 These regulations shall be read in conjunction with the University’s General Academic Regulations for Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree programmes, hereinafter referred to as the General Regulations.


The Post-Graduate Diploma in Development Studies is a three semester block- release programme structured to meet the developmental needs of Zimbabwe, the region and beyond. It intends to equip students with both theoretical and practical skills that are relevant to development institutions and organizations.


3.1 The general objectives are that at the end of the programme students should be able to:

3.2 Demonstrate knowledge that links development theoriesand practice.

3.3 Analyse in a critical and informed way in understanding of developmental issues at national, regional and international levels.

3.4 Formulate and conduct researches that promote people- centered development at community, national and international level.

3.5 Develop skills that enable them to realize the changing demands coming from the dynamic global world.

3.6 Develop skills to develop and manage new projects through the participation of target population.

3.7 Interpret critically a mass of information from different sources on the problems of development.

Career Prospects


Diploma in Development Studies graduates have career opportunities in a wide array of institutions and organisations which include the following: Mainstream development organisations and agencies, Social research organizations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Self Employment such as Consultancy, International Governmental Organisations, Donor Agencies and Government Ministries and Departments.

Entry Requirements


5.1 Normal Entry

5.1.1 For normal entry a candidate should: – have satisfied the university’s General Academic Regulations and, have a pass in English Language and Geography at “O” level, and have a good first degree in Development related discipline.

5.2 Special Entry

5.2.1 Other degree holders shall be eligible for admission at the discretion of the Departmental Board


6.1 The Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies is a block release programme.

6.2 Normally, a student will be required to complete the programme in not less than one and half years from the date of first registration.

6.3 The programme offers pre-requisite, core/compulsory and elective optional modules.

6.4 Each module is worth four credits except the project which is worth eight (6) credits.



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 includes tests and assignments.

7.3 A student is normally required to attain 100% attendance of tutorials.


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

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

9. Marking Scheme and Diploma Classification

9.1 The following marking scheme shall apply for all modules:

Range of Marks Classification

80 – 100 % Distinction

70 – 79 % Merit

50 – 69 % Pass

0 – 49 % Fail


Programme Structure

Code Module Description Credits
Level 1 Semester 1
DDS601 Introduction to Development Studies 4
DDS602 Research Methods for Development 4
DDS603 Trends and Contemporary issues in World Development 4
DDS604 Gender and Development 4
DDS605 Disaster Management 4
DDS606 Managing Environmental Change 4
Level 1 Semester 2
Core Modules
DDS611 Rural Policies, Livelihoods and Development 4
DDS612 Non Governmental Organisations and Civil Society 4
DDS613 Financial Management for Development Practitioners 4
DDS614 Development Management Techniques 4
DDS615 Famines and Food Security 4
DDS616 Human Rights, Social justice and Development 4
Level 2 Semester 1
DDS610 Project 6



DDS601 Introduction to Development Studies

The module introduces students to the discipline of development studies, addressing major theories and themes that have shaped the discipline over time.

DDS602 Research Methods for Development

This module will introduce students to the logic and parameters of the research process, and the relevance of both qualitative and quantitative data and evidence

DDS603 Trends and Contemporary issues in World Development

The module provides critical insight in the tendencies, problems and challenges of development and an awareness of the importance of power relations and the conflicting character of the development process.

DDS604 Gender and Development

The module examines attempts to measure the gender dimension of development outcomes.

DDS605 Disaster Management

The module addresses basic questions such as “why are disasters a development issue?” The module reviews the institutional arrangements and financing mechanisms of disaster management systems, and identifies the role of national and local actors in the processes related to risk assessment, mitigation and financing.

DDS606 Managing Environmental Change

The module examines main approaches to environmental management that are regulatory and market-based.

DDS611 Rural Policies, Livelihoods and Development

The module surveys the theory and practice of rural livelihoods, policies and transformation.

DDS612 Non Governmental Organisations and Civil Society

This module examines the paradox at the centre of globalisation, particularly the main issues in the debate about the meaning, extent, and consequences of `globalisation’

DDS613 Financial Management for Development Practitioners

The module seeks to provide an understanding of the financial management role within the organisation.

DDS614 Development Management Techniques

This module covers the main elements of preparation management and evaluation of development projects, with examples taken from social, environmental and natural resource development areas.

DDS615 Famines and Food Security

This module offers the opportunity to examine and consider a variety of aspects of the problems of famine and food insecurity, both from the perspectives of affected people and agencies attempting to prevent, relieve or mitigate famine

DDS616 Human Rights, Social Justice and Development

The module helps to frame relevant problems that arise in particular economic, social, cultural or religious contexts, and leads into deeper analysis of such problems.

DDS610 Project

The project is 15000 to 20000 words and is based on a wide research in the area of study.