MSc Development Finance

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
International Finance for Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI72121
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course will cover topics such as:

- International Financial Flows in a Historical Perspective
- Sovereign Debt, Sovereign Debt Crises and Crisis Resolution
- Foreign Direct Investments, Outsourcing and Off-shoring
- Financial globalisation and its impact on growth and poverty
- Migration and remittances as a form of finance for development
- Foreign Aid


The aim of this course is to develop critical understanding of the characteristics of various forms of international financial flows (sovereign debt, portfolio investments, foreign aid and foreign direct investments and remittances) that are used to assist the economic growth and poverty alleviation of low-income countries. It looks at both conventional theories and empirical analyses, as well as historical trends and positions topical current issues (for example the global financial meltdown and sovereign debt crisis) in a solid theoretical and historical framework. It assists students in further developing their analytical, writing and presentation skills, as well as their ability to work in a group.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
(i) Understand the theoretical arguments for and against the different types of foreign capital inflows and financial globalisation
(ii) Evaluate the impact of international finance on the growth and broader development goals of less developed countries
(iii) Understand the anatomy and dynamics of financial and sovereign debt crises.
(iv) Assess the effectiveness of macroeconomic policy in a financially globalised world.

Intellectual skills
- Further develops students' ability to think critically and understand key contemporary financial economics issues

Practical skills
- Essay/report writing; understanding of the way economists think, data collection and processing/use of data to support points in essay writing

Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Academic writing, group projects, presentations

Teaching and learning methods

The learning process will include combination of lectures and seminars/tutorials, as well as group exercises and presentations. All relevant materials will be available on blackboard.

Visiting lectures by development practitioners, e.g. Lead Economist from the World Bank Samuel Maimbo; career session

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 70%
Project output (not diss/n) 30%

Recommended reading

Most of the reading list consists of academic articles, but here are some useful textbooks (or book chapters) on specific topics:

Caprio, G. , Atiyaz, Z. and Hansen, J. (1994). Financial Reform: Theory and Experience. Cambridge University.

Herman, B. Ocampo, J and Spiegel, S. (2010). Overcoming Developing Country Debt Crises. Oxford University Press.

Kose, A., Prasad, E. Rogoff, K and Wei, S. (2006).Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal, Handbook of Development Economics, 5.

Yeyati, E. and Sturezenegger, F. (2010). Monetary and Exchange Rate Policies, Handbook of Development Economics, 5.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Fielding Unit coordinator

Additional notes

While there are no preliminary requirements for attending this course, and tutorials will help students converge to a common level, some knowledge of Economics may be helpful. The course is best suited for students in the Development Economics, Development Finance and Political Economy programs, as well as for students from other programs who are eager to understand how Economists think and how Economics methodology is applied to understanding international finance for development.

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