PhD in Development Finance​

Determine development strategies for Africa and South Africa with research on PhD level

  • Research
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
Course Overview
Course starts January 2021
Application closes 07 August 2020

The focus of USB’s internationally accredited PhD in Development Finance is doctoral research to support the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa. Doing research at PhD level will enable you to contribute to a crucial understanding of development finance. Advanced knowledge of development finance is typically required in senior positions in policy-making institutions, government, public and private corporations, financial institutions and international organisations. This is the first PhD of its kind on the African continent. 

USB emphasises the creation of knowledge that is particularly relevant to African organisations. This forms part of our social responsibility to strengthen our continent to the benefit of all those involved.

The first year of registration is taken up by course work while the second and subsequent years of registration are taken up by the research component, which culminates in a PhD thesis. This degree is therefore structured into a course-work component and supervised research.

Deadline for applications: 31 July each year.

YEAR 1 *(1st intake)
2 blocks
Block 1
25 January – 6 February
Block 2
12 – 24 April
Following years
Full PhD registration awarded after completion of first year

These are the provisional tuition fees for 2020. Programme fees for 2021 will be published once this information becomes available.

  • These are the 2020 provisional tuition fees.
Programme fees for 2020 Total
Students from South Africa R125 830
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R134 370
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R143 910
Students from the rest of the world R143 910
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2020
Students from South Africa R11 900
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R40 085
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R42 470
Students from the rest of the world R42 470
Application fee for 2020
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R800

Overview

Specialised research to support the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa – this is the focus of USB’s PhD in Development Finance.

During the first year of this programme, you need to attend 2 blocks of 2 weeks each on the USB campus. During this time, you will acquire advanced research techniques and a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of development finance, allowing you to finalise a comprehensive research proposal. During the second and subsequent years, you will do supervised research, culminating in a PhD degree.

Core Modules in Year 1

The three core modules are compulsory:

  • Advanced Research Techniques
  • Advanced Theory and Practice of Development Finance
  • Global Development Finance

This PhD is intended to develop knowledge and skills in the field of Development Finance. The programme has been designed to help you develop the skills required to carry out advanced research and to equip you with a sound understanding of the principles and theories of development finance. The programme consists of:

  • A core curriculum in Year 1: This structured coursework component is non-credit bearing but you are required to pass the requisite courses and submit a comprehensive proposal before proceeding with the dissertation. You need to do three core courses at PhD level.
  • A research thesis from Year 2 onwards: As a PhD student you will be expected to pursue supervised research, culminating in a doctoral dissertation. This dissertation must:
    • Represent an original and significant contribution to
      the enrichment and advancement of knowledge on Development
      Finance
    • Demonstrate originality of thought, a theoretical underpinning, relevance to the discipline and rigour in execution
    • Create intellectual capital.

To apply for the PhD in Development Finance you must meet the following requirements:

  • A good master’s degree in Development Finance, Economics, Finance or allied field
  • A strong quantitative background.
  • International students require a SAQA evaluation certificate to evaluate your degree according to South African standards. In this regard please contact SAQA at saqainfo@saqa.org.za
PROGRAMME COORDINATOR
Ashenafi Fanta

Dr. Fanta holds a doctoral degree in Social and Economic Sciences (Corporate Finance) from Johannes Kepler University of Linz in Austria and Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Dr Fanta is multilingual and fluent in English, Amharic and Wolaitigna.

  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?

If you work on a managerial level in a financial services environment, you should consider this qualification. This MPhil holds value for people like financial analysts and policy makers in the private or public sector who engage with macro, enterprise and sectoral finance and financial management issues with a focus on developing countries and emerging markets.

Graduates typically work in financial institutions such as central banks, commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, and development finance institutions such as the DBSA, industrial development corporations and the African Development Bank. They are often project managers or management-level financial analysts.

  • The skills to develop Africa where it matters. Acquire an astute understanding of development finance and its application in African countries and beyond. This will enable you to evaluate development finance projects in terms of feasibility and outcomes, and to manage the development finance resources available to poor countries.
  • Meaningful ways to contribute towards sustainable development. This programme focuses on the impact and effectiveness of the policy and project interventions that underpin sustainable development.
  • The ability to shape finance policies and programmes: Know how to articulate economic development needs and how to formulate, implement and evaluate development finance policies and programmes to address these needs.
  • The skills to design and implement African-driven solutions. Learn how to structure need-specific solutions for Africa and how to apply this knowledge in any developing country in the world.
  • A critical skill set in development finance: This includes economic development perspectives in Africa, project finance, microfinance, and governance and ethics.

Research skills: Learn how to use a structured method and rigorous process to answer a question or solve a real-life challenge relating to development finance. It will also give you the ability to make a value judgement on research presented at managerial level.

Testimonials from our alumni

“I researched available Masters programmes in Development Finance globally, and USB provided the best combination of applied knowledge and research. It is a privilege for me to learn with such a diverse group of people in this field.”

Dave Munro, Fund head, Vumela Enterprise Development Fund, Heidelberg, South Africa,

FAQs

A PhD enables you to solve a business problem in a structured way and to gain expertise – through in-depth research – in a particular field. PhD research undertaken at USB must also be meaningful because we emphasise the creation of knowledge that is particularly relevant to African organisations.

  • Become an expert in development finance and to acquire applicable expertise
  • Contribute to a crucial understanding of development finance
  • Gain advanced knowledge of development finance, which is typically required in senior positions in policy-making institutions, governments, public and private corporations, financial institutions and regional and international organisations.

Advanced knowledge of development finance is typically required in senior positions in policy-making institutions, governments, public and private corporations, financial institutions and regional and international organisations. It is also required for an academic or research-focused career.

The first year comprises of 2 blocks of 2 weeks each on campus. In view of the intensive nature of the programme, USB prefers participants to be fully resident for the first year of the programme to enable them to cope with the rigours of the coursework. The lectures are organised in two blocks of two weeks each and they will take place between March and June every year. Each course is covered in a block and consists of highly interactive lectures, seminars and case discussions. A student who fails to complete the course work and the research proposal after the first year may be asked to withdraw from the programme.

The supervised research that follows in Year 2 can be undertaken from anywhere in the world.

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