Link to programme information on department website:

Establish yourself as an expert in development finance

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.

You will also benefit from the Business School’s membership of two international doctoral associations – EDAMBA and the GRLI's Global Doctoral Alliance. This provides you with a worldwide network for the exchange of information and discussion of ideas, and the opportunity to apply for grants and attend summer schools abroad.

During Year 1 as a registered PhD student, you need to do a course-work component requiring you to be on campus for two blocks of two weeks each. From Year 2 onwards, you will be doing supervised research culminating in a PhD thesis. This degree is therefore structured into a course-work component and supervised research.

Eligibility criteria:

As a result of the multi-disciplinary nature of the programme, admission requirements include:

A relevant master's degree in Development Finance, Economics, Finance or an allied field, with an average grade of at least 65%.

The major part of the master's degree (weight within degree) must consist of a written thesis with an average grade of at least 65%.

A strong quantitative background

SHL selection test

Important Dates [for application in 2024]:

Applications open: 1 April

Applications close: 31 August

Programme start date: 22 January

Application process:

Two options are available to apply for admission to one of the faculty’s doctoral programmes:

  1. Option 1:Click on the APPLY NOW button and complete the online application form by completing each of the required sections. The Business School will upload the SHL selection test results on your behalf.

    You also need to upload the following supporting documentation:

    • Certified copy of ID or passport
    • Certified copies of academic records/transcripts
    • Certified copies of degree certificates
    • Curriculum vitae (CV)
    • List of publications
    • Dissertation pre-proposal
    • Consent form to verify your qualifications (please download, complete and upload the form in order for Managed Integrity Evaluation (Pty) Ltd to verify your qualification documents)
    • SHL and Application fee

    Please note that candidates that have applied formally on SUNstudent can also apply for institutional or statutory funding to qualifying options listed on the SU Postgraduate Office’s website.

  2. Option 2: Candidates can apply for a full-time doctoral scholarship from the Graduate School of Economic and Management (GEM). Successful GEM applicants are automatically granted provisional admission to the relevant PhD programme and an application on SUNstudent is therefore not required to be considered for one of the GEM scholarships. However, please note that only 2-3 of these awards are made per year.
Research themes:

Represent an original and significant contribution to the enrichment and advancement of knowledge on Development Finance.

Demonstrate originality of thought, a theoretical underpinning, relevance to the discipline and rigour in execution.

Create intellectual capital.

Any other information?

Course work followed by independent research

Year 1: You will follow a discipline-based core curriculum. This course-work component is non-credit bearing but you are required to pass the 3 core courses and submit a comprehensive proposal before proceeding with your thesis. Students who are not graduates of our MPhil Development Finance may be advised by their supervisors to do 3 electives from this MPhil based on their areas of interest.

Year 2: As a PhD student you will be expected to pursue supervised research, culminating in a doctoral thesis. ​​​​