MSc Development Finance / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI60362
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The global context of microfinance
The institutional Basis - Basic theory; how is it supposed to work, and how does it work?
Microfinance products - product diversification. The 'customer centred approach; competition and linkage with commercial banking
Microinsurance - Causes of failure in insurance markets; microfinance models and their history
Microfinance Regulation and Social Protection
Gender and microfinance - reasons for 'female bias' of microfinance
Microfinance and poverty
The macroeconomics of microfinance
Case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America
Future of microfinance


During the last four decades, a `microfinance industry' has developed that seeks to provide low-income people with micro-financial services while being financially self-sustaining. The literature on microfinance has been characterised by different trends during this period and this module aims to analyse these trends in detail, particularly in developing countries and to explore key contemporary issues in the sector. This is done by exploring the history, theoretical base, development and challenges in the sector.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course unit, students will be able to:
Critically demonstrate the awareness of current issues and debate in the field of microfinance
Analyse, and evaluate microfinance experiences and case studies and critically assess proposals for microfinance initiatives

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, discussion and independent learning

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 80%
Oral assessment/presentation 20%

Recommended reading

Specific readings are given at individual lectures. It is important that you read them before going to the classes.

General readings on microfinance

  • David Hulme and Thankom Arun (2009), Microfinance - A Reader, Routledge.
  • Beatriz Armendariz and Jonathan Morduch (2010), The Economics of Microfinance (second edition), MIT Press.
  • Ditcher Thomas and Malcolm Harper (2007) What’s wrong with Microfinance?, Practical Action Publishing.

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Yin-Fang Zhang Unit coordinator

Additional notes

 Programmes on which course unit is offered:
DF(core); DEP; PID

Semester 2
Tuesdays, 14:00-16:00

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