IDM090-Concepts and Practices of Communications

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Students must attend lectures for IDM086 and IDM045 but cannot select these modules as credited options
Modules excluded: IDM066 Communication and Innovation in Development IDM086 Communication and Innovation in Development
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Sarah Cardey


Type of module:

Summary module description:
IDM090 is a core module, available only to students on the MSc Communication for Innovation and Development. Students will participate in IDM086 and IDM045, but will follow a different assessment pathway as outlined below.

The module explores current ideas about the role of communication in technological and behaviour change in the context of social and economic development.

The aim of this module is to develop a critical understanding of how social and technological change in development contexts is influenced by communication processes, and how to design interventions to address those contexts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:
Describe different theoretical approaches to the links between communication and development
•Identify different traditions in the theory and practice of using communication for social and behavioural change and apply these to an analysis of specific cases in the fields of health and social development
•Describe current trends in communication infrastructure and access and critically assess the potential implications for social and economic development.
•Engage in debates about the changing role of communication within development processes, including ongoing the implications of the changing nature of information and communication technologies
•Describe development communication initiatives in practice, including an understanding of the practice of development communication at UK and more global levels
•Critically assess the processes used in designing print, radio, video, television and www material in development contexts
•Describe, and apply to a particular context, a framework for the planning of a communication strategy
•Articulate a general model for the design of communication materials and explain how this can be applied to a specific medium and context
•Present a reasoned case for the selection and use of communication media appropriate to a given audience, context and objectives
•Specify a design process for a given communication intervention

Additional outcomes:
Participants will have enhanced their skills in accessing relevant information and resources on the Internet and the academic literature, and in participating in online discussions, and in creating materials to explore communication ideas for a non-academic audience.

Outline content:
•Concepts of “innovation”, “ communication” and “behaviour change” in the context of development
•Theories of communication and development
•Changing policy context and actors in communication
•Evaluating communication for development
•Power, access and equity
•Gender and equity issues in communication and innovation
•Social and digital media
•Supporting innovation: developments in extension and advisory services in developed and developing countries.
•ICTs, technology and the changing technology/communication interface
•A strategic approach to planning and designing communication for development
•Television and video formats for development contexts
•Print formats: turning content ideas into designs
•Developing a communication strategy
•Designing radio programmes for development contexts
•Mobile phones
•Principles of web site and page design for development contexts
•Changing face of media in Africa
•Health communication
•The role of the media in development
•Community communication and community-based media
•Entertainment Education (Edutainment)
•Research in media and communication
•Climate change and communication
•Innovation systems and communication
•Planning behaviour change and social change communication interventions

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, group and individual projects, selected readings, case studies, seminars and practicals. Students will be expected to consult materials on the Internet (World Wide Web) and relevant academic journals: references to key websites and journal papers will be given. The module is supported by a "Blackboard" course in which all module participants will be enrolled and will be expected to participate. Discussion and feedback will take place through Blackboard and e-mail as well as during class sessions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 26 16
Seminars 2 16
Practicals classes and workshops 24
External visits 5
Guided independent study 74 137
Total hours by term 102.00 198.00
Total hours for module 300.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Report 30
Class test administered by School 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
1. Research paper on theories of communication (30%)
2. Communication strategy and communication outputs (30%) comprising:
a) Group design project
b) Individual critical appraisal
3. Take-home exam (40%)

Formative assessment methods:
Students are required to submit a one-paragraph description of the proposed research topic in preparation for the "research paper on theories of communication". There is no assessment of the proposed research topic, but there will be a penalty of 15% of the overall grade if the proposal is not submitted on time.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
By coursework: an analysis of a communication intervention, provided by the module convenor, to include a 2500 word theoretical analysis of the intervention, and a 2000 word analysis of the communication outputs from the intervention.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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