MSc Development Finance / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

"I decided to study the MSc of Development Finance at the University of Manchester, one of the highest-ranking centres located in an exciting place to live and study.

"Studying at this University, the home of the Nobel Prize winner, Sir Arthur Lewis, and becoming a member of the Global Development Institute (GDI) among the top 10 places for development studies was more than enough reasons for me to choose The University of Manchester to study this course.¿

Shahryar Mahmoodzadeh / MSc Development Finance

MSc Development Finance will provide you with a thorough understanding of specific aspects of development finance, recognising that finance-related issues are increasingly important in development.

It will equip you with the necessary skills to make a meaningful contribution to policy formulation and implementation, by focusing on financial development policy and financial management, with specific reference to low- and middle-income countries.

You will apply different approaches to the collection, analysis and presentation of data, as well as in critically evaluating specific issues of development, and gathering, organising and using evidence and information from a wide variety of sources.

The course provides skills in identifying, investigating and justifying possible solutions to problems arising out of the theory and practice of economic development.

These also include competency in developing a reasoned argument, critically considering data sources and defending different approaches.

By the end of the course, you should have obtained a detailed knowledge of the key issues and debates in various aspects of economic development, familiarity with theoretical approaches concerning development problems and an appreciation of the diversity of development policies.


On completion of the course, you will have acquired the following skills and capabilities:

  • an ability to critically analyse the techniques and procedures for financial sector development, management and accounting;  
  • an ability to apply these techniques and procedures in a professionally competent manner; 
  • the ability to undertake independent research, and to present research findings in a form that can be disseminated effectively to users.

Special features

  • We're Europe's largest dedicated development research and teaching institute and have been at the forefront of development studies for over 60 years
  • We're ranked second in the UK and 7th in the world for development studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022).
  • We bring cutting-edge insights from our research into all our postgraduate teaching. Our courses bring different development perspectives and voices to Manchester, from activists from the Global South to the leaders of multinational companies. 
  • We are home to the internationally recognised Effective States and Inclusive Development and FutureDAMS research centres. 
  • Students are part of our vibrant research community this includes our public lecture series which brings world experts, former heads of state, and leading development thinkers, to discuss current issues in development. 
  • We have numerous scholarship opportunities for outstanding applicants.

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the course over 24 months. There are no evening or weekend course units available; you should, therefore, discuss course requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer. Timetabling information is usually available from late August. You can discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

The taught element of the course, carrying 120 credits overall, is continuously assessed by a variety of methods (eg, project-based reports, essays), involving largely individual submissions, but also elements of group work.

You must also complete a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice approved by the Programme Directors.

You are encouraged to base your dissertation on topics of direct professional concern.   

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Skills for Economic Development 1 (Quantitative Methods) MGDI60301 15 Mandatory
Microfinance MGDI60362 15 Mandatory
Economic Development MGDI60711 15 Mandatory
International Finance for Development MGDI72121 15 Mandatory
Contemporary Issues in Development Finance MGDI72162 15 Mandatory
Econometric Methods for Development MGDI60031 15 Optional
Public Sector Reform and Management MGDI60081 15 Optional
Work and Employment in the Global Economy MGDI60131 15 Optional
Behavioural Experiments, Quantitative Field Research and Development Policy MGDI60191 15 Optional
Gender Inequality: Theory and Evidence MGDI60202 15 Optional
Globalisation, Trade and Development MGDI60271 15 Optional
Trade Theory and Development MGDI60291 15 Optional
Research Skills for Economic Development 2 (Applied Quantitative Skills) MGDI60302 15 Optional
Financing Social Protection MGDI60372 15 Optional
Commodity Dependence and Economic Development MGDI60441 15 Optional
Economic Analysis of Social Norms and Development MGDI60462 15 Optional
Development Macroeconomics MGDI60581 15 Optional
Political Economics for Development MGDI60611 15 Optional
Digital Finance for Development MGDI60621 15 Optional
ICTs & Socio-Economic Development MGDI60701 15 Optional
Economic Analysis of the Public Sector MGDI61091 15 Optional
Anti-Poverty Transfers MGDI61512 15 Optional
Financing Projects MGDI61961 15 Optional
Risk Management MGDI71432 15 Optional
Economics of Governance and Development MGDI72152 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 25 course units

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Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

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