Agricultural Information and Communication Management Programme at postgraduate level was strongly supported by the findings of a training needs assessment undertaken by Regional Agricultural Information Network (RAIN) in 2005. The National stakeholders workshop on the AICM postgraduate programmes (MSc and PGD) adopted the following findings by RAIN/ASARECA and the Regional Taskforce:
It was established that agricultural professionals of all cadres in the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) region with Agricultural Information and Communication Management (AICM) skills are few or lacking. More specifically, agricultural researchers, educators and technologists in National Agricultural Research Systems, universities and extension services lack skills that can make them self-sufficient in meeting basic information needs to generate and disseminate technology.
Agricultural research results are not effectively transmitted to the international research community. As a result, African concerns do not drive the international research agenda. The rate of scientific journals published in Africa, therefore, is quite low and insignificant in the world research arena. There is also a scarcity of trained professional scientific editors capable of assisting scientists in the region to get their research findings published in international peer refereed journals.
Existing university programmes do not have adequate Information and Communication Technology/ Information and Communication Management (ICT/ICM) content, explaining the low ICT/ICM competency among graduates.
There is a growing recognition that ICM is an emerging profession in development.
The programme targets graduates from a variety of backgrounds and specialization including agricultural and related sciences, the biological sciences, information and communication science, information technology and social sciences. AICM also provides for admission of mid career candidates with relevant experience in their relevant areas of specialization.
The aim of AICM program is to enhance the competency of professionals in the agricultural field and other development workers in managing and communicating agricultural information for accelerated development and poverty reduction, and to strengthen the capacity of universities to provide high
The MSc in AICM shall be offered under two modules; full-time, part-time and Open and Distance Learning (ODL) for students who cannot attend regular university programme. The MSc Programme consists of two options with a total of 20 course units. For the thesis option, there are 10 core, 2 electives and 8 course units equivalent of thesis. For the research dissertation, there are 10 core, 2 electives, 4 specialization and 4 course units equivalent of dissertation. Each course unit is equivalent to 45 hours and the semester is 15 weeks.
The MSc full-time and part-time programme
The programme will take a minimum duration of four semesters and a maximum duration of 12 semesters. A student is required to do a minimum of 2 course units and a maximum of 5 course units per semester. The programme includes two sets of remedial coursework because of the wide background of candidates: one for non-ICT and the other for non-agriculture candidates.
- There are five options of specialization for the non-thesis (research dissertation) option students, namely, Agricultural Knowledge Management, Agricultural Communication Management, Records and Archives Management, Web Resources Management, and Scholarly Publishing.
- Thesis or non-thesis (research dissertation) options will be offered. Students who lack agricultural or ICT background shall be required to take remedial courses. The minimum number of remedial courses to be taken by each student is 2 and the maximum is 4 courses.
- Students are expected to enroll for remedial courses before the main units in the MSc in AICM programme. They can also enroll for the remedial courses concurrently with the MSc course units depending on regulations and practices of the university.
The first year is devoted to course work. The second year is devoted to both coursework and thesis or research dissertation.
The MSc through ODL
The course structure and requirement for MSc through ODL remain the same as under full-time/part-time. However, the mode of delivery is as follows:
- Use of various media and largely home based
- Other modes of delivery:-
a) Written self instructional study modules issued at the registration time
- Study books
- Relevant literature
- Interactive devices and self tests
- Booklet and/ or pamphlets
b) Face to face introductory Tutorial
c) Mediated technical learning materials
- Audio cassettes
- E-learning materials
- Video clips
d) Limited face to face sessions to provide overview of the course at commencement of semester, mid semester and revision period before examinations.
e) Support study centres at the University of Nairobi
- Access to information through computers at School of Computing and Informatics, Agricultural Economics, Computer Laboratory, Biometry Laboratory at CAVS and other centres such as the Library
- Access to information through school of Journalism
- Use of libraries at the University of Nairobi and agricultural research institutions.
f) Orientation (immediately after registration):
- Orientation in ODL delivery
- Study, reading and computer skills
- Time management and techniques in handling assignments
- Mentorship, Wo-mentoring, guidance and counseling
- Emphasis is on satellite centres that serve as a link between the university and the student in the following manner:
- Collecting reading materials
- Collecting results and programmes
- Examination information
- Posting timetable
- Holding meetings
The common regulations for the Masters degrees in all faculties of the University of Nairobi shall apply. The following shall be eligible for admission into the Master of Science in AICM programme:
Holders of at least upper second class honours degree or equivalent in any discipline from a university recognized by senate.
Holders of at least lower second class honours degree or equivalent in any discipline from a university recognized by senate with at least two years relevant experience.
Holders of pass degree and Postgraduate diploma or equivalent in any discipline from a university recognized by senate.
Holders of pass degree with five years relevant experience.
Fees and Funding
6.0 EXAMINATION REGULATIONS
6.1. Written examinations
6.1.1 Each course shall be examined by a written paper lasting three hours at the end of each semester in which the course is given.
6.1.2 The coursework assessment shall account for 30% and written examinations for 70% of the final mark.
6.1.3 The pass mark for each course shall be 50 %.
6.1.4 The grading of the courses shall be as follows:
A = 70% and above;
B = 60 – 69%;
C = 50 -59%;
D = 0 – 49% (fail)
6.1.5 A candidate who fails in any paper may, on the recommendation of the Board of
Examiners and approval by the Senate be allowed to take up to two supplementaries in
failed papers after paying the appropriate fees.
6.1.6 A candidate who fails in the second supplementary or fails to complete the programme in the prescribed maximum duration of 8 semesters shall, on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners and approval by the Senate, be discontinued.
6.1.7 The mark for a supplementary paper shall be recorded as 50% in the candidate’s
6.2. Thesis examination
6.2.1 Each student shall present a seminar on the thesis research proposal.
6.2.2 Each candidate shall submit for examination a thesis, with the approval of the academic supervisors, at the end of the final semester. The thesis shall be examined in accordance with the common regulations of the University of Nairobi.
6.2.3 A candidate who fails in the thesis examination may on the recommendation of the Faculty Board of examiners be allowed to resubmit the thesis within six months up to a maximum of two times.
6.2.4 A candidate who fails after the second resubmission or fails to complete the course in the prescribed period shall, on the recommendation of the Faculty Board and approval by Senate, be discontinued.
7.0 AWARD OF DEGREE
Candidates who satisfy the examiners in all written and thesis examinations shall be awarded a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Information and Communication Management.