PhD in Futures Studies

Become a specialist in strategic foresight through doctoral research

  • Research
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
Course Overview
Course starts Dependent on application
Application closes End of April and end of October annually

USB’s internationally accredited PhD in Futures Studies will enable you to become a specialist in the field of strategic foresight. This expertise – typically in fields such as the new world of business, social capital, security, sustainability, technology and innovation, and decision-making – will enable you to work in government, public and private corporations, financial institutions, and academic institutions. This is the only PhD degree of its kind in Africa.

  • Duration: Minimum 2 years
  • Format: Supervised research

 

  • These are the provisional tuition fees for 2020. Programme fees for 2021 will be published once this information becomes available.
 Programme tuition fees for 2020 2020 (1st year) 2021 (2nd year) Total
Students from South Africa R49 125 R49 925 R99 850
Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R54 195 R54 195 R108 390
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC countries) R58 965 R58 965 R117 930
​International students from the rest of the world R58 965 R58 965 R117  930
​​​​​​​Deposit payable on acceptance of admission​ for 2020
​​​​Students from South Africa R11 900
​​​​Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R27 098
International students from the rest of Africa
(non-SADC countries)
R29 483
​International students from the rest of the world R29 483
​​​​​​​Application fee​ for 2020
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R800

Overview

The programme consists of supervised research in Futures Studies, culminating in a doctoral dissertation. The minimum registration period is two years.

USB’s PhD in Futures Studies is internationally accredited by EQUIS of the European Foundation for Management Development. In addition, USB is a member of the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA). As a PhD student from an EDAMBA member institution, you will benefit in the following ways:

  • Eligibility for grants, awards and opportunities
  • Attendance of the annual EDAMBA Research Summer Academy
  • Participation in the Doctoral Thesis Competition. Winning entries are published in the EDAMBA Journal.

This degree allows you to become an expert in Futures Studies. Your dissertation must therefore:

  • Represent an original and significant contribution to the enrichment and advancement of knowledge in your chosen field of research
  • Demonstrate originality of thought, a theoretical underpinning, relevance to the discipline and rigour in execution
  • Create intellectual capital, which is the cornerstone of the knowledge society of the 21st century.

USB’s MPhil in Futures Studies which includes a substantial written thesis.

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

PROGRAMME HEAD
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.

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  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?

This PhD is aimed at professional futurists, decision makers and strategic planners who would like to distinguish themselves through in-depth research aimed at helping people to bring about a more desirable future – a future that supports the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa.

This will prepare you for senior-level positions in government, public and private corporations, policy-making institutions, financial institutions, and sub-regional, regional and international organisations. It could also enable candidates to become lecturers at academic institutions.

  1. Expertise in strategic foresight and long-range decision-making: This expertise – typically in fields such as the new world of business, social capital, security, sustainability, technology and innovation, and decision-making – will enable you to work in government, public and private corporations, financial institutions, and academic institutions.
  2. The ability to help contain risks and sense opportunities: The input of futurists in organisations can lead to better decision-making and better outcomes because their knowledge of how different futures can play out helps to mitigate risks and to leverage opportunities. This can be translated into a significant competitive advantage.
  3. The ability to deal with rapid and complex changes: The ability to make strategic long-term decisions will help you to deal with rapid and complex changes both locally and internationally. It will also equip you with techniques and methods to react meaningfully to the growing complexity in the organisational environment and world affairs, especially from an African perspective.
  4. Authority as a futurist: The depth brought about by doctoral studies will strengthen your authority as a professional futurist. It will also strengthen your consultation and facilitation capabilities, as well as your stakeholder analysis, environmental scanning, systems simulation and strategic planning skills.

Testimonials from our alumni

‘The PhD study enhanced my career as analyst and consultant tremendously. Previously, I tended to have a narrow approach as an analyst of global geo-strategic dynamics. The PhD (Futures Studies) changed all that and ingrained a holistic approach based on open-mindedness to see things more clearly from multiple perspectives.’

Jan Naude, Futurist, Institute for Futures Research at the University of Stellenbosch,

‘The road of exploring the philosophy and methodologies of Futures Studies was indeed bumpy but also extremely rewarding. Although many academic disciplines do pursue elements of forward-looking perspectives, only Future Studies provides a multi-, trans- and inter-disciplinary approach.’

Rianne van Vuuren , Advisor at Aquilo Forecasting ,

FAQs

A PhD in Futures Studies will enable you to become a specialist in the field of strategic foresight. This expertise – typically in fields such as the new world of business, social capital, security, sustainability, technology and innovation, and decision-making – will enable you to work in government, policy-making institutions, public and private corporations, financial institutions, and academic institutions.

The input of futurists in organisations can lead to better decision-making and better outcomes because their knowledge of how different futures can play out helps to mitigate risks and to leverage opportunities. The ability to make strategic long-term decisions will help to deal with rapid and complex changes, locally and internationally. This can be translated into a significant competitive advantage.

Lastly, the depth brought about by doctoral studies will strengthen your authority as a professional futurist. It will enhance your stakeholder analysis, environmental scanning, systems simulation and strategic planning skills. It will also benefit you in consultation and facilitation roles.

A minimum registration period of two years is required.

Academic assistance is offered via a web-based learning environment, various software and database resources, syndicate groups (dedicated study groups), informal learning groups and tutorials for certain modules.

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