MPhil in Development Finance

University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB)

Program Description
EFMD Equis Accredited
AACSB Accredited

MPhil in Development Finance

University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB)

The MPhil in Development Finance (MDevF) covers all aspects of development finance, including a thorough understanding of the theories underpinning development finance practices. It also focuses on enterprise-level development finance and sustainable growth. This makes the MDevF a critical-skills degree for Africa.

It is aimed at people who are involved with finance and financial management issues in developing countries.

Learning philosophy

Implementing African-driven solutions is the new approach to the economic development of the African continent. With this qualification participants will be able to:

  • Use specialised knowledge to develop Africa where it matters
  • Contribute towards sustainable development
  • Implement Africa-driven solutions
  • Shape finance policies and programmes
  • Conduct in-depth research
  • Understand the key role of DFIs and financial institutions

Study while you work

The MDevF is a 2-year modular programme, which means that you have to attend 3 blocks of 2 weeks each on the USB campus in Bellville, Cape Town. Off-campus you have to complete a research assignment. This enables students from all over South Africa and other countries to attend – even when working full-time.

Structure and content


  • Attend 3 blocks spread over 2 years: The MDevF is presented as a modular programme over two years. Students attend three class contact sessions of a fortnight each over a period of two years and complete a research assignment.
  • Core subjects, electives and research assignment: Students need to do the six core modules, as well as two electives are chosen from a list of options. These electives provide areas of specialisation. Students also need to write a research assignment.
  • Course methodology: A mix of highly interactive lectures/course material, case studies and a workshop on financial risk and structure. Handbooks, guidelines, articles, journal materials and a matrix /checklists will serve as reference material for future project design and delivery.
  • Credits: 180 credits (120 credits for coursework and 60 credits for the research assignment)

Core modules

The core modules consist of:

  • Economic Development Perspectives in Africa
  • Issues in Banking and Finance
  • Microfinance
  • Project Finance
  • Governance and Ethics
  • Research Methods in Development Finance


  • Small-scale Enterprise Development
  • Development Project Management
  • African and Emerging Financial Markets
  • Environmental Finance
  • Business Forecasting and Econometric Analysis
  • Public Sector Finance
  • Infrastructural Finance
  • Corporate Finance
  • Leadership Development
  • Financial Sector Regulation and Development
  • Investment Promotion

Research assignment

The research assignment forms an integral part of this master’s programme and carries a total of 60 credits which represent one-third of the credit requirements of the programme. The research assignment is usually between 15 000 – 25 000 words on a topic of the student’s choice. Students are encouraged to base their research assignments on topics of direct professional interest to them.

Important dates

First intake:

  • 6 – 18 March 2017
  • 28 August – 9 September 2017

Second intake:

  • 27 March – 8 April 2017
  • 25 September – 7 October 2017

Deadline for applications

South African students: 30 November each year ARPL applicants: 30 October of each year Foreign students from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 30 October each year Foreign students from other African countries and rest of world: 30 September each year


Study permits for foreign students at USB: Study permits for foreign students at USB: Obtaining a study permit (study visa) from the South African authorities takes up to 12 weeks from the date of being offered a place on a programme at USB – hence the early application deadline for foreign students. Multiple entry visas: Students from non-SADC African countries and other countries with visa requirements who need to apply for study visas can obtain a letter from USB confirming the duration of registration at USB. This will help students to obtain multiple-entry study visas in case of modular studies. Timetable changes: Timetable changes: USB reserves the right to change dates of the lecture schedule or subjects per term table. Students will be informed of any changes in good time. Late applications: Late applications: USB will do everything possible to accommodate applications submitted after the closing date.

Cost & Fees

Application fee for all applicants: R630

NOTE: The full programme fees for 2017 for South African and other applicants will be made available later this year.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 26, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
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Feb. 2018
Mar. 2018
2 years
South Africa - Bellville
Start date: Feb. 2018
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South Africa - Cape Town
Start date: Mar. 2018
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Feb. 2018
South Africa - Bellville
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Mar. 2018
South Africa - Cape Town
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