IDM045-Principles of Communication Design for Development

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Sarah Cardey


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Learn how to apply key principles of development communication in practice and how to identify and address key factors that influence the design of communication interventions, through a group design project and interaction with experienced professionals.

The aim of the module is for students to understand how the design of communication interventions is influenced by the needs and situation of the intended users as well as by the technical capabilities and limitations of communication channels.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Critically assess the processes used in designing print, radio, web-based and ICT material in development contexts

  • Apply the concept of usability to the design of communication media in development

  • Articulate a general model for the design of communication materials and explain how this can be applied to different media and contexts

  • Present a reasoned case for the selection and use of communication media and activities appropriate to a given audience, context and objectives

  • Specify a design process for a given communication intervention.

Additional outcomes:

Students will enhance their skills in preparing and giving oral presentations. The module will also strengthen their teamwork and their ability to reflect critically on their own learning.

Outline content:

  • Understanding the "audience" for communication media

  • Use and usability of communication media

  • Design of communication strategies, media and activities: a generic model

  • Principles of print media design

  • Designing radio and television for development

  • Designing material for the WWW

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching and learning methods will include lectures, reading assignments, formative tasks, group discussions and presentations, review of case studies, and a project to design complementary print and radio materials for a communication intervention. Discussion and feedback will take place through e-mail, as well as during class sessions. Visiting lecturers will contribute to the module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 50
Oral assessment and presentation 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
The Module will be assessed by coursework based on a group project:
1) a group presentation of proposals and designs for radio and print media to support a communication campaign (50%)
2) an individual report, comprising a critical appraisal of the process and the outputs of the group project (50%) (mandatory word limit: 2000)

Formative assessment methods:

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:
Design of a communication strategy for a development intervention, chosen from a list of three topics and to include a critical commentary on the strategy.

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: 28 July 2020


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