Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Knowledge of economics
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Neha Hui


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Learn how policy makers design institutions to ensure financial institutions. Through very practical examples of developing countries you will examine how microfinance institutions mitigate the risks associated with lending to rural and urban poor and whether these institutions are successful in aiding disadvantaged communities, especially poor women.

The aims of this module are to critically review the rationale and experience of microfinance services for the rural and urban poor, examine the major players in the financial markets, and identify the financial service needs of poor households, and of micro-entrepreneurs (agricultural and non-agricultural). The module assesses proposals for the reform of financial markets and the development of sustainable financial institutions and programmes that may effectively reach the rural and urban poor, and poor women. We also discuss whether microfinance has been successful as a tool to aid the disadvantaged, by studying its proposed impacts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module, students should:
•have an understanding of the range of financial service providers and their relative strengths and weaknesses;
•be able to discuss the debate concerning the appropriate level of interest rates microfinance providers should set;
•be able to explain the range of impacts microfinance is said to have;
•be able to critically evaluate evidence concerning whether these impacts occur in practice.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
•Financial inclusion and exclusion
•Financial institutions and agents in the informal (e.g.moneylenders, traders), semi-formal (e.g.MFIs, Cooperatives, Credit Unions) and formal (banks) financial markets,
•Financial products and services for microfinance
•Design features of microfinance institutions, individual versus group lending
•Regulation and replication of microfinance institutions
•Evaluation and future issues for microfinance.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and group discussions/presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Class test administered by School 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:
There is no final examination.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
An essay of approximately 2,500 words (70%) and a written test (30%).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Submission of a new assignment.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 27 July 2020


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