Sign In

Programme overview

The USB's new Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance is a modular programme. This means you have to attend two blocks of classes on the USB campus over a period of one year. This allows you to study while you work. It also enables participants from elsewhere in South Africa or in other countries to attend.

Why this programme?

This programme provides high-quality skills to managers in the development finance environment to enable them implement and manage the design and financing of specific interventions aimed at growth in 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.


Upon completion of this programme, you should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Understand development finance, especially in Africa
  • Diagnose and analyse development finance policy issues, problems or projects
  • Contribute meaningfully to the design and formulation of development finance policies and programmes to address development needs within specific contexts
  • Implement development finance policies
  • Monitor and evaluate the feasibility and outcomes of development finance projects
  • Write an analytical research report on a topical development finance issue.

Who should enrol?

The programme is aimed at lower level to mid-level managers who typically work in the financial services industry, public institutions, banks, companies or corporates and who wish to prepare themselves for a career in development finance.

Those who want to further their careers may consider the USB's MPhil in Development Finance followed by the PhD in Development Finance. The Postgraduate Diploma also makes Development Finance accessible for those who do not qualify for an MPhil.

Admission requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree in any of the following: Economics, Finance, Accounting, Commerce or Management OR
  • Any other three-year Bachelor’s degree with at least two years of relevant experience OR
  • Recognition of prior learning in terms of which a limited number of candidates without the required degrees but with proven relevant experience in the field of development finance can be admitted on the basis of a portfolio of proven comparable competencies.

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:

  1. Have at least an NQF 4 qualification.
  2. 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.
  3. Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information of activities outside the work environment.
  4. 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.
  5. Next, USB's Admissions Committee (head of the programme and another academic) will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. 
  8. Note that ARPL candidates need to apply by 30 October each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.​