Spark meaningful change through development finance in Africa

The Master of Commerce degree in Development Finance at the UCT Graduate School of Business gives you the practical know-how to turn your ideas into long-term development solutions that improve lives, uplift communities and place Africa on the global stage.

You don’t need to be working in a development finance institution to benefit from this degree. Development finance skills are also widely used by people in other contexts including banking and financial services. 

Application & Course fees are provisional for 2022, and are subject to annual UCT council approval

uct gsb MCOM Overview

Learn more about the annual term dates for the UCT GSB MCom in Development Finance programme.

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The MCom in Development Finance at the UCT GSB is delivered over a two year period. Explore the programme format and delivery.

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Learn more about which attributes and qualifications are required for the UCT GSB MCom in Development Finance.

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A step-by-step guide on how to apply for the UCT GSB MCom in Development Finance programme.

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The MCom in Development Finance is broken down into four main blocks spreading over a two year cycle comprising nine courses, an elective and a research report.

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The UCT GSB is committed to broadening access to postgraduate education through funding and scholarship opportunities. Explore funding options available to MBA candidates.

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The UCT GSB MCom is the first to reflect development finance activities in the continent

Our MCom in Development Finance will give you the ability to conduct high-level research and engage in the policy decision-making process in development finance institutions, government, NGOs and the private sector.

As your financial skills grow, you will gain a solid understanding of application in the international development context and gain the expertise to start initial investments that can thrive in economically challenging markets and provide sustainable outcomes. 


As a professional discipline, Development Finance is widely practised today across a broad range of organisations and contexts. However, there is a shortage of development finance experts in Africa, where this kind of knowledge is needed most.

Development finance skills can be useful in providing optimum financial outcomes that enhance the design and implementation of reforms and capacity-building programmes adopted by development finance institutions, governments, the private sector and NGOs.

You don’t need to be working in a development finance institution to benefit from this degree. These skills are also widely used by people in other contexts, including banking and financial services.

Applicants to this programme are typically:

  • development finance practitioners
  • civil servants
  • staff of development finance institutions
  • staff of other financial institutions
  • entrepreneurs
  • staff of NGOs
  • employed in the private sector

Yes! Our MCom in Development Finance, presented through DEFIC, is a partnership programme between the GSB and the Africagrowth Institute (AGI), an independent organisation providing research and consulting on growth opportunities in Africa.

The GSB is one of a small number of universities world-wide offering this degree accredited by the Chartered Institute of Development Finance (CIDEF). CIDEF is a global professional membership and certification body for development finance specialists.

DEFIC is an active member of the CIDEF global development finance network with members from major institutions including the African Development Bank, Development Bank of South Africa, Afreximbank, AERC, Industrial Development Corporation, SADC-DFRC, KPMG and the South African National Treasury, to name just a few.

Click here for more information on DEFIC.

Yes! The MCom in Development Finance intake often includes up to 60% international students. This provides graduates with a professional network of practitioners in Africa and beyond.

Upon completion of the degree you will become a member of the Chartered Institute of Development Finance.

In addition, you when you graduate you will join the wider GSB alumni network – a dynamic forum that comprises more than 23 000 past GSB students in 68 countries worldwide. Many of the GSB’s alumni hold key positions in top companies or have started their own successful businesses. Alumni play a vital role in supporting and encouraging more recent graduates to follow in their footsteps and GSB students who find employment after graduation – particularly internationally – frequently do so through alumni contacts.

Faculty: Nicholas B



Director of the MCom in Development Finance at the UCT GSB

Professor Nicholas Biekpe is a Professor of Development Finance & Econometrics & Programme Director for the UCT GSB's Master of Commerce in Development Finance (MCom) and Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance degree programmes.




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Posted on 6 May 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office