This course forms part of a series of social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) short courses within the University of Witwatersrand's Masters of Public Health programme, which have been developed by the Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication and the University of Witwatersrand, School of Public Health.

The course aims to provide the participants with a general insight into the key theories and methodologies within media and communication studies. Participants will be introduced to relevant communication theory and media approaches as a vehicle or channel for social and behaviour change communication addressing health and development issues, such as HIV/AIDS. The place, form, and context of the media landscape in selected countries in the African region will be explored, with particular emphasis on the implications of those issues for health and development communication practice.

This course seeks to:

  • Introduce participants to communication theory and introduce media as a vehicle or channel for social and behaviour change communication addressing health issues such as HIV/AIDS and family planning;
  • Introduce participants to the rise and growth of communication for development, both as a science and a communicative practice;
  • Outline the current debates, critiques of science and practice, and emphasise some of the new directions that have emerged, focusing on core concepts of participation, voice, diversity and empowerment; and
  • Explore the large field of audience studies.

The short courses are supported by Communication for Change (C-Change), a USAID-funded health and development communication project, and UK Department for International Development (DFID).