Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication (BA (MC))
The programme prepares students to work in Mass Communication and other related media fields. All students joining the Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication programme do eight (8) 100 series core courses and one (1) elective course when they are in the first level. These are foundational courses. One of the courses is practical (OMC 124 Practicum) on News Writing or Broadcasting. Four courses at this level are taught by other departments, these include OCP 100 Introduction to Microcomputer Studies and Information Technology; OFC 017 Communication Skills; OPR 121 Critical Thinking and Argumentation; and ODS 101A Concepts and Theories of Social Development.
Among core courses five have one unit each and three have two units each while the two electives have one unit each. In their second year they do nine (9) courses one of these is practical (OMC 220 Practicum). Three of these courses have one unit each and six have two units each. These 200 series courses prepare them for specialization. In their third level they do six courses whereby one of these is a practical course (OMC 320 Practicum) on News Writing or Broadcasting and there is also dissertation (OMC 325 Dissertation). Four courses at this level have two units each, one has one unit and the dissertation has five units. Therefore, the programme has a total of 24 courses where 22 are core and two are electives. All the courses, except those taught by other departments, are Mass Communication oriented. For the student to obtain a degree of the Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication has to pass all the courses covered in three levels and at least must attain a total of 36 OUT units which are equivalent to 360 TCU credits.
Number of Units-Minimum 36, Maximum 44
Mode of Deliverence:
For the student to be admitted into the Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication must fulfil general University Entry requirements plus the Faculty requirements. The general University Entry Requirements for the various categories are:
a) Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (C.S.E.E.) or East African Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) or equivalent, with passes in FIVE approved subjects, obtained prior to the sitting of the Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (A.C.S.E.E.) or equivalent. And
b) One of the following combinations of passes in Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (A.C.S.E.E.) or equivalent;
(i) Two principal Level passes (in appropriate subjects) or
(ii) An appropriate equivalent Diploma/Certificate approved by the Senate of The Open University of Tanzania.
(iii) Any Two or more Principal Level Passes plus ‘O’ Level credit passes in History, Kiswahili and English. A Pass on the subjects at O-level but a good principal at A-level may be considered or an appropriate equivalent Diploma/Certificate in Journalism with Credit or Higher Grades.
Candidates who have satisfied Examiners in the Mature Age Entry Examinations set by recognised university will be considered for admission. Written evidence of a satisfactory pass will be essential.
Candidates who do not qualify under options I and II may register for Foundation Courses (OFC) offered by The Open University of Tanzania. Those who pass examinations set at the end of the course will be eligible for registration for the Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree programme.
Candidates with awards from other Institutions of Higher Learning will be considered on their own merits. These include a degree or an advanced Diploma in relevant field. More information on the admission criteria can be from the Open University of Tanzania, Prospectus 2015/2016 (http://www.out.ac.tz)
Table 1: Number of Courses and Units to be covered by Mass Communication Students
Number of Courses
Number of Units
Equivalent to TCU Credits
Payments are done per unit where as one unit costs 60,000. In addition to tuition fee, students will be required to pay other charges like examination fees, essential reference books, stationaries and other related costs for attending practical sessions.
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The outcomes of the programme are responsive to the needs, characteristics and realities of mass media stakeholders. It is responsive to present communication and media industry environment in Tanzania and elsewhere. Specifically, it is expected students to be acquainted to with the major concepts, models and theories of journalism, mass communication, public relations, advertising, management, research and gender issues. This will create awareness of the basic principles of journalism and mass communication as well as show the interrelatedness and the interdependency with other relevant disciplines such as public relations and advertising. The programme also provides knowledge of media laws, media ethics, communication processes and principal features of communication and media systems which reflects today’s age of fast changing technology and competitive economies. Attainment of such knowledge is expected to produce skilled professionals that suit the labour market demands which need people who are competent in areas of research, media management, media laws and Public Relations.
The distribution of marks for each course is 30% for Mained Timed Test (MTT) and 70% for Annual Examination (AE). At the end of each academic year, a student failing a course or more than one course is allowed to take a supplementary examination in the failed subject(s). If the student fails again after doing supplementary examinations is given a chance to repeat the course. A pass in supplementary and repeat examination is recorded as ‘C’ whatever the marks scored by the candidate.