Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance​

Become a development finance practitioner and help Africa grow where it matters

  • Blended Learning
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
Course Overview
Course starts February 2021
Application closes November 2020

USB’s internationally accredited Development Finance programmes are particularly suited to help you unlock the skills needed to develop Africa where it matters. It will help you to design and implement African-driven solutions, and show you how to shape the policies and programmes to make this happen. This PGDip focuses on critical skills that will enable you to work in development finance environments in both the public and private sectors.

Growth initiatives in this context can range from roads and energy plants to dams, schools, houses, hospitals, telecommunication infrastructure and small and medium-sized businesses.

Although the content of this programme is focused on Africa, the know-how and skills acquired can be applied in any developing country. Over the past five years, students from over 18 countries attended the programme.

Blended learning – study while you work
This one-year programme is presented in blended learning format. Block 1 at the start of the year consists of 1 week on campus for orientation and lectures, followed by a series of online classes. Block 2 consists of 2 weeks of on-campus classes.

The residential classes are presented at the USB campus in the Tyger Valley business district in northern Cape Town. The blended learning classes can be attended via any internet-linked device from anywhere in the world.  See how blended learning works at USB.

Application deadlines

  • South African applicants: 30 September
  • RPL applicants: 31 August
  • Applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 31 August
  • Applicants from the rest of the world: 31 August
Block 1
15 – 20 February
Every Tuesday and Thursday evening blended from 18:15-20:15
Block 2
11 – 16 October

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

Programme fees for 2020 Total Provisional Quote
Students from South Africa R111 740 Request Quote
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R116 010 Request Quote
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R120 780 Request Quote
Students from the rest of the world R173 060 Request Quote
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2020
Students from South Africa R12 600
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R58 005
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R60 390
Students from the rest of the world R86 530
Application fee for 2020
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R800



If you are a junior or mid-level manager who is interested in a career in development finance, this is the programme you should consider. Students who apply for this programme come from a variety of industries such as banking, financial services, NGOs or public institutions.

This one-year programme is presented in blended learning format. Block 1 at the start of the year consists of 1 week on campus for orientation and lectures, followed by a series of online classes. Block 2 consists of 2 weeks of on-campus classes

Core Modules

The six core modules are compulsory:

  • Financing for Development
  • Research Orientation
  • Small-Scale Enterprise Development and Finance
  • Financial Analysis and Project Appraisal
  • Risk Management in Development Finance Institutions
  • Financing Public Project


Students have to select two electives from the following options:

  • Leadership in Development Finance
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Agricultural Finance
  • Housing Policy and Finance

This programme provides skills to managers in the development finance environment to enable them implement and manage the design and financing of interventions that will help to grow South Africa as well as the greater Africa. The programme therefore equips lower level to mid-level managers with the know-how to:

  • Provide financial and operational input in terms of development finance issues
  • Identify development projects or policies
  • Contribute to the design and implementation of structured policies and interventions to finance development needs, especially in Africa.

The value of this programme also lies in the integration of theory and practice, and in global business knowledge with African contextualisation. Students are provided with comprehensive support throughout the programme.

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

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Finance, Accounting, Commerce or Management OR
  • Any other 3-year Bachelor’s degree with at least 2 years of relevant experience OR
  • Recognition of prior learning
  • International students require a SAQA evaluation certificate to evaluate your degree according to South African standards. In this regard please contact SAQA at

Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning

USB provides wider access to its programmes through its Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under ARPL.

In order to be admitted to a Postgraduate Diploma at USB, candidates should be in possession of a relevant degree or National Diploma at NQF level 7.

Candidates who wish to be admitted under the ARPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective students applying for a Postgraduate Diploma at USB have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 4 qualification.
  • Have at least TEN years of working experience after obtaining a school leaving certificate, of which at least FIVE years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information of activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide USB with at least two references (typically current or former line heads) who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional abilities. These references will be required to give a detailed personal reference about the candidate on forms provided by USB.
  • Next, USB’s Admissions Committee (head of the programme and another academic) will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate.
  • If the Committee is of the opinion that the candidate has the abilities to cope with the demands of the Postgraduate Diploma, he/she may be admitted.
  • A recommendation of admission is sent via USB’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences for notification.

Please note that ARPL candidates need to apply by 30 September each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.

Professor Michael Graham

Professor Michael Graham received his PhD from the University of Vaasa, Finland, and was an Associate Professor of Finance at Stockholm Business School in Sweden before being appointed as Professor in Finance at USB. His research interests are in corporate finance, corporate governance and financial markets.

  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?

If you are a junior or mid-level manager who is interested in a career in development finance, the financial services industry or public institutions, this is the programme you should consider.

  • The skills to develop Africa where it matters: The programme focuses on sustainable, African-driven solutions to help build the continent. You will therefore acquire the critical skills to implement development finance solutions.
  • The know-how to shape development projects and policies: With this knowledge you will be able to help implement such projects and policies.
  • The ability to provide development finance input in your work environment. This includes financial and operational input on development finance issues and an understanding of small-scale enterprise development and finance.

Testimonials from our alumni

‘This programme opened my eyes to our role as Africans in achieving development and access to finance and wealth creation for our generation and generations to come. Diverse experiences and expertise in class made learning more interesting and it created a lifelong network for me. This PGDip has changed my life. I now live with a vision for development.’

Mphumleli Dyushu, PGDip in Development Finance, Director: Planning and Reporting, Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform,

‘USB’s PGDip in Development Finance has made me realise the huge gap that African countries have with regard to financial stability and development. We as Africans need to identify innovative ways to finance and grow development. USB’s PGDip in Development Finance helps us with this.’

Chris Peters, PGDip in Development Finance, Post Investment Manager, Small Enterprise Finance Agency, East London,

‘As a young South African woman, I have a role in the development of this continent that I call home. This programme has allowed me to fulfil this role.’

Ritsep Mataboge, PGDip in Development Finance, Manager, Commercial Banking Rest of Africa, Standard Bank, Johannesburg ,


Not necessarily. You need a relevant Bachelor’s degree with 2+ years working experience in order to be considered.

Yes. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. 75% of the annual fee is payable by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due two weeks before commencement of the programme.

Stellenbosch University’s main campus will be in a position to provide you with more information:

The closing dates for each programme appear on the web page for that programme. In general, the closing dates for international applicants from non-SADC African countries and rest of world close approximately three months prior to the closing date for applicants from South Africa and (visa-exempt) SADC countries. 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 international students. RPL candidates (all programmes) need to apply by 30 October each year. Late applications after the closing dates will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Yes, there is a comfortable lodge on the campus (Bellvista Lodge –, which is ideal for short-term accommodation. However, this will probably be too expensive for longer stays. Once you have been admitted on the programme and your deposit has been paid, your course administrator will give you guidance on finding other accommodation options, such as a room or flat.

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