PhD in Futures Studies

  • Research
Course Overview
Course starts Dependent on application
Application closes End of April and end of October annually

USB’s PhD in Futures Studies builds on its MPhil in Futures Studies. This programme allows you to become a specialist in this field by acquiring in-depth knowledge through supervised doctoral research. This is the only PhD of its kind in Africa. The minimum registration period is two years.

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

The PhD dissertation must represent an original and significant contribution to advance knowledge in futures studies. It must also demonstrate originality of thought, a theoretical underpinning, relevance to the discipline and rigour in execution. It must create intellectual capital.

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

  • These are the 2019 provisional tuition fees.
Programme tuition fees for 2018 2019 (1st year) 2020 (2nd year) Total
Students from South Africa R46 225 R46 225 R92 450
Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R50 290 R50 290 R100 580
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC countries) R54 815 R54 815 R109 630
​International students from the rest of the world R54 815 R54 815 R109 630
​​​​​​​Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2019​
​​​​Students from South Africa R10 100
​​​​Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R23 043
International students from the rest of Africa
(non-SADC countries)
R25 306
​International students from the rest of the world R25 306
​​​​​​​Application fee​ for 2019
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R710
Continuation fee
Continuation fee per annum from third year of registration onwards R5440


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Class Profile 2018

Under 25 years
31-36 years
37 years & older
Black african
Arts & Humanities
3-6 years
7-11 years

You will benefit from this doctoral degree if you want to do specialised research to support the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa. You will gain a crucial understanding of development finance to apply in senior positions in policy-making institutions, governments, public and private corporations, financial institutions and global organisations.

  • You will be able to become a development finance practitioner and develop Africa where it matters.
  • You will be able to implement the design and financing of growth initiatives ranging from roads and energy plants to houses and hospitals.
  • You will gain an understanding of the structure of African economies and how financial markets contribute to development.
  • You will acquire the skills to make a meaningful contribution to policy formulation and implementation in this field.
  • You will be able to work in financial institutions such as banks and development finance corporations, and in policy-making institutions, governments, public and private corporations, and also global organisations.

Testimonials from our alumni

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

‘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.’

Rianne van Vuuren , Advisor at Aquilo Forecasting ,

‘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.’

Related programmes

MPhil in Futures Studies

Future Studies

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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.

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.

Download our Futures Studies brochure