Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance​

Applications close 15 November

  • Modular
Course Overview
Course starts February 2020
Application closes November 2019

The PGDip in Development Finance is a modular programme that takes place over one year – in two blocks of two weeks each. It focuses on the growth of skills that will assist you in any development finance space. In particular, you will learn about interventions aimed at developing South Africa and other African countries.

Application closes

South African: 15 November  2019
ARPL: Applications closed
Students from SADC countries: Applications closed
Students from rest of world: Applications closed

2 blocks
Block 01
17 February - 29 February 2020
Block 02
13 - 25 July 2020
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.

  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements

  • These are the 2020 provisional tuition fees.
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.

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.

Class Profile 2018

Less than 2 years
3-6 years
7-11 years
Under 25 years
25-30 years
31-36 years
37 years & older
Black african
Agriculture & Forestry
Arts & Humanities
Natural & Physical Science
Health Sciences

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.

  • You will be able to become a development finance practitioner and develop Africa where it matters.
  • You will be able to implement the design and financing of growth initiatives ranging from roads and energy plants to houses and hospitals.
  • You will gain an understanding of the structure of African economies and how financial markets contribute to development.
  • You will acquire the skills to make a meaningful contribution to policy formulation and implementation in this field.
  • You will be able to work in financial institutions such as banks and development finance corporations, and in policy-making institutions, governments, public and private corporations, and also global organisations.

Testimonials from our alumni

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

‘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.’

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

‘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.’

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

‘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.’

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

Yes. For South African students, 75% of the annual fees are payable by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. (Foreign students, however, need to pay the full programme fee prior to or upon registration.)

The Main Campus in Stellenbosch 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 foreign 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 foreign students.

ARPL 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 MBA and your deposit has been paid, your course administrator will give you guidance on finding other accommodation options, such as a room or flat.