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Master of Arts in Kiswahili

Philosophy of the Programme
To provide quality training and education in Kiswahili linguistic and literary skills.
Rationale of the Programme
The study of Kiswahili Literature and Linguistics intends to widen learners’ knowledge and research skills in the fast changing linguistic and literary issues that present themselves daily in the modern world. Kiswahili student population has steadily grown, indicating a need for a broadened field of study. A correspondingly increasing number of students would desire to major in Kiswahili but so far the field of study has been too limited to accommodate this wish.  The broad curriculum will create room for this provision, as well as engender a greater facility for linguistic and literary knowledge. Kiswahili is playing an ever increasing role in the information-communication industry, as well as other domains of economy.  An expanded curriculum will revitalize Kiswahili to foster critical thinking. This vitality will, in turn, engender capacity to provide goods and services to a more diversified clientele. The curriculum is expanded, elaborate and innovative. An expanded curriculum is founded on six key considerations, regarding the status of Kiswahili nationally and internationally.

  1. Educational requirements as a course and market needs in other sectors of the economy.
  2. Status in the Kenyan constitution as the first official language.
  3. Status in the university calendar.
  4. Status in the East African Community as the language of the federation and a major lingua franca in East and Central Africa.
  5. Status in the African Union, as a key African language of communication.
  6. Status of Kiswahili globally, as a language of academia and academic discourse.

As a constitutionally recognized national language and the first official language of the Republic of Kenya, Kiswahili needs to be greatly empowered for the realization of the millennium development goals and vision 2030.  This empowerment amounts to an enhanced capacity for both individual and social development, and embracement of cultural plurality. Since Kiswahili programmes in Kenyan universities are more or less uniform, the innovatively broadened curriculum will give Mount Kenya University a definite advantage. This advantage will, in turn, result in greater potential for marketing Mount Kenya University Kiswahili programmes within the East and Central African Region and beyond. Currently Kiswahili language is enjoying the prestige of functioning as an African Union (AU) conference language and; therefore, needs to compete favorably with other AU languages like Arabic and Hausa. As a lingua franca Kiswahili is fast becoming a global subject, taught in hundreds of universities across the globe and being broadcasted in major international radio stations across the globe.  In this regard, therefore, it is imperative for an international language to have a curriculum that will enhance dynamic communicative vitality.  

Goals of the Programme

  1. To equip the student with knowledge of Kiswahili linguistics and literary skills.
  2. To enable the student carry-out independent research in various aspects of Kiswahili studies.
  3. To enable the student function in the public and private sector as efficient and resourceful service providers.
  4. To produce practical language oriented professionals who can translate, edit and analyze Kiswahili literary works.

Expected Learning Outcomes of the Programme
By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  1. Read and comprehend Kiswahili texts.
  2. Speak Kiswahili competently adhering to grammatical forms and structures of Kiswahili language.
  3. Translate and interpret Kiswahili texts.
  4. Analyse and appreciate Kiswahili texts.
  5. Write creatively and interpret creative works
  6. To do linguistic analysis of Kiswahili language and texts
  7. To do evaluation of Kiswahili literary texts
  8. Carry out independent research
  9. To do academic writing with a purpose of publishing and contributing to the discourse of Kiswahili knowledge.

Mode of Delivery of the Programme
The mode of delivery shall be school-based sessions, regular, evening and weekend.

This programme targets Kiswahili teachers and scholars with a bachelor degree with one of the subjects being Kiswahili and with an interest in furthering their knowledge in Kiswahili at Master’s level.

Programme Duration
The programme of studies leading to the Master of Arts (Kiswahili) degree programme of Mount Kenya University will be undertaken in at least four semesters.
Pattern of Study
The Master of Arts (Kiswahili) shall be taken in two different ways:

  1. For those taking a thesis, there shall be two (2) semesters course work, after which the development of research work shall commence. A Thesis is equivalent to 8 taught units
  2. For those  taking  a  project, there  shall  be  three (3) semesters’  course  work,  after  which  the  development  of  research  work  shall  commence. A Project is equivalent to 4 taught units

Admission Requirements for the Programme
The programme will be guided by the regulations stipulated in the following sections:
a)    Registration
A candidate, who qualifies to enter the programme as specified in the entry requirements above, can register with the university to undertake the Master of Arts in Kiswahili Programme. Registration is done by completing the relevant necessary university forms and payment of fees as detailed in the university fees structure as per the registration regulations provided in the Students Information Handbook.
b)     Credit Transfer
Credit transfers are possible for students who have completed their first year of study. The applicant must have attained an average pass mark of 60% in all the first year units to be considered for credit transfer from an institution recognized by the Senate. The minimum grade required for credit transfer is B.  

c) Procedure for Credit Transfer
The following conditions should be met in seeking credit transfer for a particular subject:

  1. The applicant shall pay a non-refundable credit transfer fee as determined by the School Board and approved by the Senate.
  2. A formal application on a prescribed form should be lodged with the Dean of School.
  3. The application should include justification and documentary support for the credit transfer to be considered.
  4. The School Board may require the applicant to sit an exemption examination.
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