MSc Development Finance

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:

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 School of Environment, Education and Development
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 three 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 course will explore 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 and tutorials

Assessment methods

End of term assessment
Need to answer two questions out of four - 2000 words each (100%)

Re-sit Assessment: Need to answer two questions out of four - 2000 words each (100%)

Recommended reading

David Hulme and Thankom Arun (2009), Microfinance - A Reader, Routledge.
Rhyne, E (2009) Microfinance for bankers and invetsors: Understanding the opportunities and challenges of the market at the bottom of the Pyramid. McGraw Hill.
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.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

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 (weeks 1-10)
Wednesday, 15:00-18:00

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