Master of Arts in Defence and Security Studies (MDSS)

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February 5, 2024
18 Months


Zimbabwe National Defence University   View map

The MDSS focuses on widening and developing students’ knowledge and analytical skills of defence and security issues as they interface at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels.  The programme equips students with theoretical underpinnings necessary for the formulation of strategic defence and security concepts as informed by the dynamics prevalent within the national, sub-regional, regional and international environments.

Entry Requirements.

To be eligible for admission to the MDSS, a candidate must have a first degree with at least a 2.1 or better in a Social Science and Humanities discipline related to Defence and Security Studies, International Studies, Political Science, Economics, Strategic Studies and Law or any relevant first degree recognised by the university in compliance with Section 4.0 of the ZNDU General Academic Regulations. For a lower second class, relevant experience of at least two (02) years will be considered.

NB Each application is assessed on an individual basis. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not necessarily ensure admission. Admission is based on the number of places available and awarded on merit.  The Department of Political Science reserves the right to interview candidates to assess their suitability for admission into this programme.

Programme Synopsis.

A synopsis of the programme outlook is as follows:

  • A full-time post-graduate degree programme delivered within three semesters (18 months).
  • Level 1 has two (2) semesters mostly committed to unbundling theoretical aspects and their application in real life situations (case studies). The core and optional courses are contained in the ZNDU Prospectus.
  • A student cannot be allowed to graduate without passing at least all core courses and a prescribed number of elective courses as defined in the programme regulations.
  • A student who fails a core course shall repeat that course.
  • A student who fails a required optional course may repeat that course or take an equivalent course specified in the regulations.
  • Repeat courses take priority over any other courses should there be a clash on the timetable.
  • The provision of supplementary examinations is not included on the programme regulations.

Level 2 has one (1) semester committed to the research project (Dissertation) where the student would be required to identify a research problem and carry out a research in the related discipline and be able to project practicable outcomes. The project/dissertation is worth 30 credits and is submitted for assessment before a date specified by the Departmental Board, failure of which would result in the student being penalised.

Career Opportunities

MDSS graduates can be employed in various sectors of diplomacy, defence, security, government, international organisations, the academia, journalism, finance, the armed forces or any other security related field.