The focus of this internationally accredited PhD Development Finance is 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.
Stellenbosch Business School 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.
PhD Development Finance
The dates below are the suggested dates for 2023 to serve as a guideline for you. The final dates will be available by 31 August 2022. (The Business School 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.)
YEAR 1 (2022):
- Block 1: 25 January – 6 February
- Block 2: 12 – 24 April
Full PhD registration awarded after completion of first year. This is followed by supervised research from Year 2 onwards.
What you need to apply
A well-recognised master’s degree in Development Finance, Economics, Finance or allied fields
- A strong quantitative background
- SHL selection test (see below).
Deadlines for applications and SHL selection tests
Your completed application, supporting documents and SHL test results must be submitted by the document deadline dates.
Course Structure and Content
Specialised research to support the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa – this is the focus of Stellenbosch Business School’s PhD Development Finance.
During the first year of this programme, you need to attend 2 blocks of 2 weeks each on the Business School’s 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.
These three core modules are compulsory in Year 1:
- Advanced Research Techniques
- Advanced Theory and Practice of Development Finance
- Global Development Finance
During the second and subsequent years, you will do supervised research, culminating in a PhD degree.
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
- Demonstrate originality of thought, a theoretical underpinning, relevance to the discipline and rigour in execution
- Create intellectual capital.
The focus of this internationally accredited PhD is research to support the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa. Advanced knowledge of development finance is typically required in senior positions in policymaking institutions, government, public and private corporations, financial institutions, and international organisations. This is the first PhD of its kind on the African continent.
Application fee and SHL tests for 2023
Tuition fees for 2023
- Fees and deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. South African students need to pay 75% of the annual fee 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. The deposit is deducted from the programme fee. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
- Deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
- Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
- Fees for second and subsequent years of enrolment: These fees will be adjusted to make provision for annual price increases.
- Assessment of international students’ applications: International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. The Business School’s International Affairs Office will first handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. Students need to complete the online application and upload all certificates with their application. The International Affairs Office will conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application. Should the International Affairs Office be unsure about the status, recognition or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA. The Business School will only assess your application once we have received your application fee and SHL fee.
- Travel and accommodation: Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.
What you need to apply
- An appropriate Honours degree (the first postgraduate degree after a Bachelor’s degree) or a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, economics, accounting or commerce; OR
- A 3-year Bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate diploma (120 SAQA credits) from a university or a university of technology in business, finance, economics, accounting or commerce; OR
- A postgraduate degree in any discipline and appropriate experience in the area of development economics and/or finance; AND
- A sound understanding of quantitative analysis – a good pass/grade for school-leaving mathematics is an advantage.
International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. The Business School’s International Affairs Office will first handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. Students need to complete the online application and upload all certificates with their application. The International Affairs Office will, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application. However, should the International Affairs Office be uncertain about the status, recognition or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA before we consider your application further.
All degrees undergo a formal vetting process to eliminate fraudulent applications.
You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of a verbal critical reasoning assessment, numerical critical reasoning assessment, inductive reasoning test, and Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) on behavioural preferences, which are used for selection and for the identification of your development areas.
- Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
- Preparation: No preparation is required. However, you are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format. See shl.com/shldirect/en-us/practice-tests/
- About the test: The SHL test is done online. (Random verification might be requested.) You will be provided with a link to the SHL test once you have paid your PhD Futures Studies application fee and SHL selection test fee, and after you have submitted your application form and have received your provisional student number. (You need to use this provisional student number when writing the SHL.)
- Cost: For fees, please see the fees tables above. See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as reference. The application fee and SHL selection test fee can be paid online, and they are non-refundable.
- Link to the SHL selection test: You do not have to arrange with the Business School to write the SHL test. You will receive a link to the test once the relevant payments have been received and you have submitted your application form. The Business School will receive your results directly from SHL and will upload it to your application form on your behalf.
- Additional information: shl.com/en/assessments/cognitive-ability/
- Important: The SHL selection test is valid for 18 months. If your SHL selection test results are older than this, you should ideally rewrite the test as people grow and develop and assessments need to take this into account. Stellenbosch Business School does not consider SHL tests from other institutions as you may have written a different type or level of test, or you may have been compared to a different comparison group. If you have completed the SHL with Stellenbosch Business School during the past 18 months, you do not have to rewrite the test.
If you need more information on programmes or need support with the application process, contact us here:
Programme enquiries and support with the applications process
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 918 4243
Email: [email protected]
Admission and registration enquiries
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 918 4114
Email: [email protected]
Mauritius Information Session
On Campus Information Session
Namibia Information Session
Frequently Asked Questions
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 Stellenbosch Business School must also be meaningful because we emphasise the creation of knowledge that is particularly relevant to African organisations. Reasons to embark on a PhD journey include the following:
- Becoming an expert in development finance and to acquire applicable expertise
- Contributing to a crucial understanding of development finance
- Gaining 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, Stellenbosch Business School 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 January 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.