MPhil in Futures Studies

  • Blended
Course Overview
Course starts 7 February 2019
Application closes Application closing dates vary

The MPhil in Futures Studies is a 2-year programme that will grow your knowledge and understanding of futures concepts and tools so that you are able to perform your duties as a professional futurist responsible for strategising and planning. You will acquire the skills to understand local and global issues, and also understand their impact on your and your clients’ strategies.

Application closes

South African students: 15 November 2018
ARPL applicants: 31 October 2018
Students from SADC countries: 31 October 2018
Students from rest of world: 31 October 2018


7 February – 26 September 2019 (Thursday evenings)
Complete 5 core modules on-campus or via online classes
Complete the research assignment
Professor André Roux

Professor André Roux is the programme head of USB’s Futures Studies programmes. His areas of expertise are Management Economics and Futures Studies. He holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University. He lectures on Economics and Futures Thinking at USB, in other African countries and in Europe. In 2016 and 2017, he won the Best Lecturer Award in Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
  • Fees


The MPhil in Futures Studies builds on the concepts introduced in the Postgraduate Diploma. The content of the programme is aligned with the professional and intellectual skills required of futurists. You will, among others, acquire consultation and facilitation capabilities, and learn how to manage projects and do stakeholder analysis, environmental scanning, scenario planning and strategic planning.

Core Modules

This programme consists of 5 modules:

  • Scanning the Environment
  • Demography
  • Technology Futures
  • Applied Futures Studies
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Futures Studies Methods

Research assignment

You need to complete a research assignment during the second year of enrolment which counts for 80 of your total course credits. This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a field of your choice.

USB’s internationally accredited MPhil in Futures Studies builds on the School’s Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies to deepen your understanding of futures concepts and futures tools. It is aimed at anyone who wants to bring about a more desirable future by equipping decision makers and strategic planners with the essential skills to make strategic long-term decisions. This will allow them to deal with rapid and complex changes both locally and internationally.

Complete and pass USB’s Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies with an average of at least 65%.

International students require a SAQA evaluation certificate to evaluate your degree according to South African standards. In this regard please contact SAQA at

Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning

USB provides wider access to its programmes through its Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council for Higher Education, USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under ARPL. ARPL candidates need to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective ARPL candidates applying for a Master’s at USB have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 6 qualification.
  • Have at least SIX years of working experience after obtaining the above-mentioned qualification, of which at least THREE years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information on activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide USB with at least two references (typically current or former line heads) who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional abilities. These references will be required to give a detailed personal reference about the candidate on forms provided by USB.
  • Next, USB’s Admissions Committee (head of the programme and another academic) will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate.
  • If the Committee is of the opinion that the candidate has the ability to cope with the demands of the programme, he/she may be admitted.
  • A recommendation of admission is sent via USB’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences for notification.

  • 2019 programme tuition fees will be updated in September 2018.


Programme fees for 2018 Total2018 (1st year of registration)2019 (2nd year of registration)Total
Students from South AfricaR80 410R64 275R144685
Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R84 105R67 970R152075
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC)R88 220R72 085R160305
International students from the rest of the worldR109 910R93 775R203685
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2019
Students from South AfricaR11 555
Students from SADC countriesR42 469
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC)R44 731
International students from the rest of the worldR56 661
Application fee for 2019
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students)R710


Download our MPhil in Futures Studies brochure

Class Profile 2018

Less than 2 years
3-6 years
25-30 years
31-36 years
37 years and older
Arts & Humanities
Natural & Physical Science
Information Technology
Black African

Futures Studies will typically benefit strategic planners, decision makers, managing directors, CEOs and others involved in long-term planning. These programmes will prepare you for senior-level positions in public and private corporations, in government, financial institutions and global institutions.

  • You will significantly enhance your decision-making and strategy-setting skills because you will have an understanding of the forces and trends that shape the future.
  • You will enhance your understanding of the complexity of global change, including its rapid pace and impact on Africa, and also on your or your clients’ organisations.
  • You will acquire the professional and intellectual skills needed to become a professional futurist.
  • You will be able to build a career path leading to senior management positions in a range of private and public sector institutions.

Testimonials from our alumni

Liz Hillock, Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies 2014, has subsequently completed her MPhil in Futures Studies,

‘I found the PGDip in Futures Studies incredibly rewarding. Although it is part of the Business School, the course itself is interdisciplinary. It not only helped me in aspects of my job but, more importantly, it has enabled me to see the world at large with fresh eyes.’

Isaac Nkama, Director at Facilitation Africa, PGD and MPhil in Futures Studies,

‘In a rapidly changing world, the ability to interpret and influence your environment can make the difference between securing your relevance in tomorrow’s world – or an irreversible error for your organisation’s future. This multidisciplinary programme is for those who recognise that the globalised and highly dynamic world is no longer business as usual, and who want to stay ahead by strategically shaping today’s developments for tomorrow’s success.’

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If you play a role in the direction of a business, the decisions you make must be aligned with where the business world is going. Futures Studies will enhance your understanding of possible changes in the long-term future and equip you with the correct methods to respond accordingly.

This programme is conducted over a two year period.

No, one would need to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies first.

The closing dates for each programme appear on the web page for that programme. In general, the closing dates for foreign applicants from non-SADC African countries and rest of world close approximately three months prior to the closing date for applicants from South Africa and (visa-exempt) SADC countries.

Obtaining a study permit (study visa) from the South African authorities takes up to 12 weeks from the date of being offered a place on a programme at USB – hence the early application deadline for foreign students.

ARPL candidates (all programmes) need to apply by 30 October each year. Late applications after the closing dates will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

The course content is presented through a series of lectures and workshops, delivered in blended learning format. With blended learning you can choose between on-campus classes and online classes. This makes the programme convenient and accessible for busy business people and executives. It also means you can study while you work. Students have to be thoroughly prepared for blended learning lectures so as to extract optimal benefit from contact sessions.

For the course-based part of the programme, you can choose between attending weekly classes (4-hour classes) on campus or, alternatively, downstreaming the classes by logging in and participating online using your own computer or device.

Download our Futures Studies brochure