Postgraduate Diploma Futures Studies

Acquire the strategic foresight to help create a better future

  • Course
  • FEES & TIMETABLES
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
  • Focus Areas
  • Apply
Course Overview
Modular
Course starts February 2023
Fees R 94 000 (2022)
Blended
Course starts January 2023
Fees R 94 000 (2022)
Applications Open – enrol now

Our internationally accredited PGDip Futures Studies will help you understand the forces and trends that shape the future, and the nature of global change. This will enable you to manage long-term organisational strategies aimed at designing the ideal future. The programme will also equip you with high-level competencies to react meaningfully to growing complexity in the organisational environment while taking Africa and South Africa’s developmental challenges into account. This will allow you to mitigate risks and leverage opportunities.

A transformative learning experience awaits you – particularly if you see your future self as a strategist, long-range decision maker, manager or leader. It is the only programme of its kind presented in Africa, and one of only a few in the world.

What is Futures Studies? Futures Studies is not about predicting the future, but rather about understanding how various futures will unfold. It analyses the interaction between a wide range of variables or forces, and distils from these forces those issues that will affect the future of a country, government, entity or individual. It studies the world of economics, politics, technology, demography, social values and other subject fields, both locally and globally. It equips decision makers with ways to deal with change and to make the right decisions to survive but preferably thrive in a changing world. Futures Studies is about acquiring strategic foresight to make long-range decisions in order to leverage competitive risk mitigation and opportunity sensing.

  • Duration: 1 year or 2 years
  • Choose between 2 formats – both allowing you to study while you work: Blended Learning (combination of online and on campus classes) and Modular (blocks of on-campus classes spread over time). Find more information about Blended Learning’s combination of technology with a strong human touch here.
  • Choose from 2 streams: General, and Managing New Technology
  • How to apply: Click here to see the 8 steps of the application process.
  • Deadlines for applications and SHL selection tests: 15 November for students from South Africa, visa-exempt SADC countries, and the rest of the world; 31 October for RPL applicants

The fees below are for 2022. The fees for 2023 will be posted once these become available.

Programme tuition fees for 2022

Students from South Africa 2022 2023 Total Provisional Quote
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 1 year) R94 000 R 94 000 Download
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 2 years) R47 000 R47 000 R 94 000 Download
Students from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 1 year) R98 665 R98 665 Download
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 2 years) R51 665 R51 665 R 103 330 Download
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC)
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 1 year) R103 880 R103 880 Download
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 2 years) R56 880 R56 880 R 113 760 Download
Students from the rest of world
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 1 year) R133 905 R133 905 Download
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 2 years) R86 905 R86 905 R 173 810 Download
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2022 (Included in tuition fees)
Students from South Africa R14 100
Students from SADC countries R49 333
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R51 940
International students from the rest of the world R66 953
Application fee and SHL tests for 2022
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R850
SHL selection test fee R750

Important:

  • Payment of full programme fees for South African students: Students on the 1-year PGDip can pay the full programme fees upon registration, or they can pay 75% of the annual fees by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. Students on the 2-year PGDip can spread their payment over 2 years.
  • Payment of full programme fees for international students: International admitted students on the 1-year PGDip pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due 2 weeks before commencement of the programme.
  • Deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
  • Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Additional fees for international students: International students pay an International Registration Fee (IRF) per academic year. Students from countries other than those in the Southern African Development Community also pay an International Tuition Fee (ITF) (i.e. students from SADC countries are exempt from the ITF).
  • SHL selection test fees: See Admission requirements for details about this selection test.
  • Study materials: Study fees include tuition, assessment and e-textbooks.
  • Travel and accommodation: Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.
  • Fee changes: Stellenbosch Business School reserves the right to change the fees at any time.

 

FINANCING

Capitec’s credit for education solution

Capitec offers credit for education at a discounted rate from 7% which allows prospective students, or their parents or guardians, to apply for a loan of up to R250 000 and pay it back over 84 months. To apply, the applicant must be permanently employed, 18 years or older, and have a valid South African ID document. A provisional quote or admission letter from Stellenbosch Business School is needed to process the credit application. You can only apply for Capitec’s credit solution through the Business School’s website. Go to the academic programme in which you are interested (see the FEES tab) and apply via the link supplied. Or go to https://www.usb.ac.za/academic-programmes/capitec-credit-for-education/.

Initiation, service fees and T&Cs apply. Capitec Bank is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 46669) and registered credit provider (NCRCP13).

 

TIMETABLES

The timetables below are for 2022. The timetables for 2023 will be posted once the dates become available.

Timetable for Modular format

YEAR 1 (2022):

Block 1: 28 February – 4 March (orientation on the Monday)

Block 2: 23 – 27 May

Block 3: 15 – 19 August

Block 4: 31 October – 4 November

 

Timetable for Blended Learning format

YEAR 1 (2022):

Orientation: 17 January

Weekly classes thereafter: 18 January – 05 December (Tuesday evenings from 16:00-20:15)

Overview

The modules of the PGDip Future Studies are split into a foundation phase (covering skills, frameworks, and tools you can apply in any field of work) and a specialisation phase (programme-specific modules).

You need to do 4 of the following 5 foundation phase modules:

  • Term 1: Understanding the World (compulsory)
  • Term 2: Responsible Leadership (compulsory)
  • Term 3: Thinking Frameworks (compulsory)
  • Term 4: Organisational Behaviour OR Managing Risk and Uncertainty

Next, you need to do the four specialisation phase modules:

  • Term 1: Principles of Futures Studies
  • Term 2: Applied Philosophy
  • Term 3: Measuring and Making the Future
  • Term 4: Futures Studies in Practice

Choose between two formats

Blended Learning classes Modular classes
Late-afternoon classes once every week for those doing their PGDip over 1 year, or once every fortnight for those doing their PGDip over 2 years. The blended learning classes are presented online (and also on campus depending on Covid restrictions).

 

The specialisation modules and core modules alternate weekly. This means one week of specialisation modules is followed by one week of core modules. The specialisation modules are presented on Wednesday afternoons from 16:00 till 20:15 (with 15-minute break from 18:00 to 18:15), while the core modules are presented on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 16:00 till 20:15 (with 15-minute break from 18:00 to 18:15).

 

The online classes are presented synchronously with the on-campus classes.

Four full blocks of classes spread over the year if you are doing the one-year PGDip (i.e. morning and afternoon classes from Monday to Friday), or four blocks of either morning or afternoon classes per year if you are doing the two-year PGDip (i.e. morning or afternoon classes from Monday to Friday).
Advantages Advantages
Flexibility: Study while you work with the flexibility of digital class attendance, which means minimum time away from work. Attending regular weekly or fortnightly classes can be likened to running a marathon.

 

Less travel: The blended learning delivery option opens up access to students from elsewhere in South Africa, from other African countries and even further afield. This can also lower the opportunity cost to obtain this qualification as you can attend all classes online.

Flexibility: Study while you work, with in-class experience and focused studies. Think of the modular blocks as sprints.

 

An immersive experience: Being on campus for a week at a time allows you to focus on your studies without interruption from work. Working with your classmates in a face-to-face environment adds another dimension to collaborative (peer-to-peer) learning and network building.

Choose between two duration options

1-year PGDip 2-year PGDip
Number of modules: 8 Number of modules: 8
Delivery mode for all modules (foundation and specialisation):

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session per week for 40 weeks + 4 weeks of assessments
  • Modular format: 4 full modular blocks spread over the year (i.e. mornings and afternoons)
Delivery of foundation modules in Year 1:

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session every second week
  • Modular format: 4 block weeks per year with classes either in the morning or the afternoon

 

Delivery of specialisation modules in Year 2:

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session every second week
  • Modular format: 4 block weeks per year with classes either in the morning or the afternoon

Notes:

  • Each modular block runs from Monday to Friday, except the first modular block which runs from Monday to Saturday.
  • South African students who select the 2-year option will be able to pay their fees over 2 years.

The PGDip Futures Studies is designed to expose you to:

  • The nature of global change, its rapid pace, and its ever-increasing complexity
  • An understanding of the forces and trends that shape the future, allowing you to leverage opportunities and mitigate risk in good time
  • The management of organisational strategies so as to create a desired future.

In addition to learning about the tools required to measure the future, you will encounter ways and means of designing a more desired future. Indeed, this is the spirit that drives Futures Studies – we can, if we so wish, conspire to co-create the future we want. This qualification is therefore aimed at those people who wish to enhance their understanding of possible changes in their long-term future and their ability to respond accordingly. This is particularly important for the development of a growing number of open-minded citizens and institutions capable of displaying a holistic understanding of the social, ethical, political, technical and economic forces shaping the future.

As the only programme of its kind presented in Africa, and one of only a few in the world, it will equip you with high-level competencies to react meaningfully to growing complexity in the organisational environment while taking into account the unique developmental challenges of Africa and South Africa. These challenges typically include health deficits, education deficits, global participation and human security.

If you are a strategist, managing director, CEO or involved in strategic planning, this Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies will give you a unique advantage in the industry.

 

Who should enrol?

Futures Studies serves the needs of individuals, groups, organisations and governments that wish to gain an understanding of possible changes in their long-term future and to respond accordingly. This is particularly important in the light of Africa’s and South Africa’s imperative to raise the quality of life. This, in turn, requires the development of individuals and institutions with a holistic understanding of the social, ethical, political, technical and economic forces shaping the future.

Therefore, the programme is aimed at, among others, strategic planners, managing directors, CEOs and anybody involved in strategic planning over five to 20 years and longer. The programme is also aimed at anyone who wants to play a role in creating a better future for South Africa and for Africa.

This programme will therefore prepare you for senior-level positions in public and private corporations, in government, financial institutions and global institutions.

What you need to apply

  • Academic qualifications: An appropriate Bachelor’s degree
  • Work experience: A minimum of two years of experience in strategic management or strategic planning
  • Selection test: SHL selection test (see below). This test is done online.
  • Essay: You need to write an essay (see below).
  • Additional documentation: A comprehensive CV indicating your work experience.

Important:

  • Recognition of Prior Learning: The Business School provides wider access to its programmes through its RPL process. This means that, even if you do not have the required qualifications, you can still apply based on the management experience you have gained. You still need to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students, plus additional requirements. See Recognition of prior learning lower down in this section.
  • International students: International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. The Business School’s International Affairs Office will first handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. Students need to complete the online application and upload all certificates with their application. The International Affairs Office will, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application. However, should the International Affairs Office be uncertain about the status, recognition or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA before we consider your application further.
  • Vetting process: All degrees undergo a formal vetting process to eliminate fraudulent applications.

Write an essay

An essay of between 400 and 500 words on the topic outlined below is to be submitted in pdf format:

Stellenbosch Business School aspires to be a source of value for a better world. How are your career goals aligned with being a source of value for a better world, and how would this postgraduate programme assist you in achieving your short-term (2 to 3 years) and long-term (10 years) career goals?

 

SHL selection test

You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of verbal, numerical and inductive reasoning tests, which are used for selection and for the identification of your development areas.

  • Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Preparation: No preparation is required. However, you are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format. See shl.com/shldirect/en-us/practice-tests/
  • About the test: The SHL test is done online. (Random verification might be requested.) You will be provided with a link to the SHL test once you have paid your PGDip Futures Study application fee and SHL selection test fee, and after you have submitted your application form and have received your provisional student number. (You need to use this provisional student number when writing the SHL.)
  • Cost: For fees, please see usb.ac.za/pgdfutures (click on Fees tab). See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as reference. The application fee and SHL selection test fee can be paid online, and both are non-refundable.
  • Link to the SHL selection test: You do not have to arrange with the Business School to write the SHL test. You will receive a link to the test once the relevant payments have been received and you have submitted your application form. The Business School will receive your results directly from SHL and will upload it to your application form on your behalf.
  • Additional information: shl.com/en/assessments/cognitive-ability/
  • Important: The SHL selection test is valid for 18 months. If your SHL selection test results are older than this, you should ideally rewrite the test as people grow and develop and assessments need to take this into account. The Business School does not consider SHL tests from other institutions as you may have written a different type or level of test, or you may have been compared to a different comparison group. If you have completed the SHL with Stellenbosch Business School during the past 18 months, you do not have to rewrite the test.

 

Recognition of Prior Learning

Stellenbosch Business School provides wider access to its programmes through its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council on Higher Education (CHE), Stellenbosch Business School may admit up to 10% of its student body per programme under RPL. Candidates who wish to be admitted under the RPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective PGDip students under the RPL policy have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 4 qualification (all school and academic certificates are required).
  • Have at least 10 years of working experience after obtaining a school leaving certificate, of which at least 5 years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV. It must indicate detailed areas of responsibility as well as information on activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide the Business School with at least two persons who can testify about the candidates managerial or related professional abilities (typically current or former line heads). The referents will be asked to give a detailed personal reference of the candidate on forms that can be download from the application form.
  • Submit the SHL selection test results (if these were not sent directly to the Business School)
  • Write and submit three motivational essays (specific topics are provided).

 

The RPL selection process entails the following:

  • The programme head and another academic will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate and make a recommendation about admission.
  • Stellenbosch Business School’s Admissions Committee will consider the full application including the interview recommendation and the inputs received from the references for admission.
  • A notice of admission is sent via the Business School’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences for notification.
  • RPL candidates need to apply by 31 October each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.

Two streams to choose from

Stellenbosch Business School’s PGDip Futures Studies is offered in two streams:

  • The PGDip Futures Studies with generalist modules, which is aimed at strategic planners, managing directors, CEOs and anybody involved in strategic planning over five to 20 years
  • The PGDip Futures Studies stream in Managing New Technologies (MNT), which is aimed at leaders, managers, consultants and strategic planners who are involved in planning their organisations’ technological future.

The stream-specific modules are offered during the specialisation phase of the programme.

All students will graduate with Postgraduate Diploma Futures Studies from Stellenbosch University. If the student followed a focal area – Managing New Technologies in this case – this will be displayed on their certificates.

Click here for details about our PGDip Futures Studies in Managing New Technologies

  • Course
  • Fees & Dates
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
  • Focus Areas
  • Apply
Course Overview
Blended
Course starts January 2023
Applications 15 November 2022

Our internationally accredited PGDip Futures Studies will help you understand the forces and trends that shape the future, and the nature of global change. This will enable you to manage long-term organisational strategies aimed at designing the ideal future. The programme will also equip you with high-level competencies to react meaningfully to growing complexity in the organisational environment while taking Africa and South Africa’s developmental challenges into account. This will allow you to mitigate risks and leverage opportunities.

A transformative learning experience awaits you – particularly if you see your future self as a strategist, long-range decision maker, manager or leader. It is the only programme of its kind presented in Africa, and one of only a few in the world.

What is Futures Studies? Futures Studies is not about predicting the future, but rather about understanding how various futures will unfold. It analyses the interaction between a wide range of variables or forces, and distils from these forces those issues that will affect the future of a country, government, entity or individual. It studies the world of economics, politics, technology, demography, social values and other subject fields, both locally and globally. It equips decision makers with ways to deal with change and to make the right decisions to survive but preferably thrive in a changing world. Futures Studies is about acquiring strategic foresight to make long-range decisions in order to leverage competitive risk mitigation and opportunity sensing.

  • Duration: 1 year or 2 years
  • Choose between 2 formats – both allowing you to study while you work: Blended Learning (combination of online and on campus classes) and Modular (blocks of on-campus classes spread over time). Find more information about Blended Learning’s combination of technology with a strong human touch here.
  • Choose from 2 streams: General, and Management of New Technology
  • How to apply: Click hereto see the 8 steps of the application process.

Deadlines for applications and SHL selection tests: 15 November for students from South Africa, visa-exempt SADC countries, and the rest of the world; 31 October for RPL applicants

The fees below are for 2022. The fees for 2023 will be posted once these become available.

Programme tuition fees for 2022

Students from South Africa 2022 2023 Total Provisional Quote
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 1 year) R94 000 R 94 000 Download
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 2 years) R47 000 R47 000 R 94 000 Download
Students from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 1 year) R98 665 R98 665 Download
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 2 years) R51 665 R51 665 R 103 330 Download
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC)
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 1 year) R103 880 R103 880 Download
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 2 years) R56 880 R56 880 R 113 760 Download
Students from the rest of world
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 1 year) R133 905 R133 905 Download
PGDip in Futures Studies (over 2 years) R86 905 R86 905 R 173 810 Download
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2022 (Included in tuition fees)
Students from South Africa R14 100
Students from SADC countries R49 333
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R51 940
International students from the rest of the world R66 953
Application fee and SHL tests for 2022
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R850
SHL selection test fee R750

Important:

  • Payment of full programme fees for South African students: Students on the 1-year PGDip can pay the full programme fees upon registration, or they can pay 75% of the annual fees by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. Students on the 2-year PGDip can spread their payment over 2 years.
  • Payment of full programme fees for international students: International admitted students on the 1-year PGDip pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due 2 weeks before commencement of the programme.
  • Deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
  • Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Additional fees for international students: International students pay an International Registration Fee (IRF) per academic year. Students from countries other than those in the Southern African Development Community also pay an International Tuition Fee (ITF) (i.e. students from SADC countries are exempt from the ITF).
  • SHL selection test fees: See Admission requirements for details about this selection test.
  • Study materials: Study fees include tuition, assessment and e-textbooks.
  • Travel and accommodation: Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.
  • Fee changes: Stellenbosch Business School reserves the right to change the fees at any time.

 

FINANCING

Capitec’s credit for education solution

Capitec offers credit for education at a discounted rate from 7% which allows prospective students, or their parents or guardians, to apply for a loan of up to R250 000 and pay it back over 84 months. To apply, the applicant must be permanently employed, 18 years or older, and have a valid South African ID document. A provisional quote or admission letter from Stellenbosch Business School is needed to process the credit application. You can only apply for Capitec’s credit solution through the Business School’s website. Go to the academic programme in which you are interested (see the FEES tab) and apply via the link supplied. Or go to https://www.usb.ac.za/academic-programmes/capitec-credit-for-education/.

Initiation, service fees and T&Cs apply. Capitec Bank is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 46669) and registered credit provider (NCRCP13).

 

TIMETABLES

The timetables below are for 2022. The timetables for 2023 will be posted once the dates become available.

Timetable for Modular format

YEAR 1 (2022):

Block 1: 28 February – 4 March (orientation on the Monday)

Block 2: 23 – 27 May

Block 3: 15 – 19 August

Block 4: 31 October – 4 November

 

Timetable for Blended Learning format

YEAR 1 (2022):

Orientation: 17 January

Weekly classes thereafter: 18 January – 05 December (Tuesday evenings from 16:00-20:15)

Overview

Overview

The modules of the PGDip Future Studies are split into a foundation phase (covering skills, frameworks, and tools you can apply in any field of work) and a specialisation phase (programme-specific modules).

You need to do 4 of the following 5 foundation phase modules:

  • Term 1: Understanding the World (compulsory)
  • Term 2: Responsible Leadership (compulsory)
  • Term 3: Thinking Frameworks (compulsory)
  • Term 4: Organisational Behaviour OR Managing Risk and Uncertainty

Next, you need to do the four specialisation phase modules:

  • Term 1: Principles of Futures Studies
  • Term 2: Applied Philosophy
  • Term 3: Measuring and Making the Future
  • Term 4: Futures Studies in Practice

Choose between two formats

Blended Learning classes Modular classes
Late-afternoon classes once every week for those doing their PGDip over 1 year, or once every fortnight for those doing their PGDip over 2 years. The blended learning classes are presented online (and also on campus depending on Covid restrictions).

 

The specialisation modules and core modules alternate weekly. This means one week of specialisation modules is followed by one week of core modules. The specialisation modules are presented on Wednesday afternoons from 16:00 till 20:15 (with 15-minute break from 18:00 to 18:15), while the core modules are presented on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 16:00 till 20:15 (with 15-minute break from 18:00 to 18:15).

 

The online classes are presented synchronously with the on-campus classes.

Four full blocks of classes spread over the year if you are doing the one-year PGDip (i.e. morning and afternoon classes from Monday to Friday), or four blocks of either morning or afternoon classes per year if you are doing the two-year PGDip (i.e. morning or afternoon classes from Monday to Friday).
Advantages Advantages
Flexibility: Study while you work with the flexibility of digital class attendance, which means minimum time away from work. Attending regular weekly or fortnightly classes can be likened to running a marathon.

 

Less travel: The blended learning delivery option opens up access to students from elsewhere in South Africa, from other African countries and even further afield. This can also lower the opportunity cost to obtain this qualification as you can attend all classes online.

Flexibility: Study while you work, with in-class experience and focused studies. Think of the modular blocks as sprints.

 

An immersive experience: Being on campus for a week at a time allows you to focus on your studies without interruption from work. Working with your classmates in a face-to-face environment adds another dimension to collaborative (peer-to-peer) learning and network building.

Choose between two duration options

1-year PGDip 2-year PGDip
Number of modules: 8 Number of modules: 8
Delivery mode for all modules (foundation and specialisation):

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session per week for 40 weeks + 4 weeks of assessments
  • Modular format: 4 full modular blocks spread over the year (i.e. mornings and afternoons)
Delivery of foundation modules in Year 1:

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session every second week
  • Modular format: 4 block weeks per year with classes either in the morning or the afternoon

 

Delivery of specialisation modules in Year 2:

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session every second week
  • Modular format: 4 block weeks per year with classes either in the morning or the afternoon

Notes:

  • Each modular block runs from Monday to Friday, except the first modular block which runs from Monday to Saturday.
  • South African students who select the 2-year option will be able to pay their fees over 2 years.

 

The PGDip Futures Studies is designed to expose you to:

  • The nature of global change, its rapid pace, and its ever-increasing complexity
  • An understanding of the forces and trends that shape the future, allowing you to leverage opportunities and mitigate risk in good time
  • The management of organisational strategies so as to create a desired future.

In addition to learning about the tools required to measure the future, you will encounter ways and means of designing a more desired future. Indeed, this is the spirit that drives Futures Studies – we can, if we so wish, conspire to co-create the future we want. This qualification is therefore aimed at those people who wish to enhance their understanding of possible changes in their long-term future and their ability to respond accordingly. This is particularly important for the development of a growing number of open-minded citizens and institutions capable of displaying a holistic understanding of the social, ethical, political, technical and economic forces shaping the future.

As the only programme of its kind presented in Africa, and one of only a few in the world, it will equip you with high-level competencies to react meaningfully to growing complexity in the organisational environment while taking into account the unique developmental challenges of Africa and South Africa. These challenges typically include health deficits, education deficits, global participation and human security.

If you are a strategist, managing director, CEO or involved in strategic planning, this Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies will give you a unique advantage in the industry.

Who should enrol?

Futures Studies serves the needs of individuals, groups, organisations and governments that wish to gain an understanding of possible changes in their long-term future and to respond accordingly. This is particularly important in the light of Africa’s and South Africa’s imperative to raise the quality of life. This, in turn, requires the development of individuals and institutions with a holistic understanding of the social, ethical, political, technical and economic forces shaping the future.

 

Therefore, the programme is aimed at, among others, strategic planners, managing directors, CEOs and anybody involved in strategic planning over five to 20 years and longer. The programme is also aimed at anyone who wants to play a role in creating a better future for South Africa and for Africa.

 

This programme will therefore prepare you for senior-level positions in public and private corporations, in government, financial institutions and global institutions.

What you need to apply

  • Academic qualifications: An appropriate Bachelor’s degree
  • Work experience: A minimum of two years of experience in strategic management or strategic planning
  • Selection test: SHL selection test (see below). This test is done online.
  • Essay: You need to write an essay (see below).
  • Additional documentation: A comprehensive CV indicating your work experience.

Important:

  • Recognition of Prior Learning: The Business School provides wider access to its programmes through its RPL process. This means that, even if you do not have the required qualifications, you can still apply based on the management experience you have gained. You still need to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students, plus additional requirements. See Recognition of prior learning lower down in this section.
  • International students: International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. The Business School’s International Affairs Office will first handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. Students need to complete the online application and upload all certificates with their application. The International Affairs Office will, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application. However, should the International Affairs Office be uncertain about the status, recognition or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA before we consider your application further.
  • Vetting process: All degrees undergo a formal vetting process to eliminate fraudulent applications.

Write an essay

An essay of between 400 and 500 words on the topic outlined below is to be submitted in pdf format:

Stellenbosch Business School aspires to be a source of value for a better world. How are your career goals aligned with being a source of value for a better world, and how would this postgraduate programme assist you in achieving your short-term (2 to 3 years) and long-term (10 years) career goals?

 

SHL selection test

You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of verbal, numerical and inductive reasoning tests, which are used for selection and for the identification of your development areas.

  • Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Preparation: No preparation is required. However, you are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format. See shl.com/shldirect/en-us/practice-tests/
  • About the test: The SHL test is done online. (Random verification might be requested.) You will be provided with a link to the SHL test once you have paid your PGDip Futures Study application fee and SHL selection test fee, and after you have submitted your application form and have received your provisional student number. (You need to use this provisional student number when writing the SHL.)
  • Cost: For fees, please see usb.ac.za/pgdfutures (click on Fees tab). See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as reference. The application fee and SHL selection test fee can be paid online, and both are non-refundable.
  • Link to the SHL selection test: You do not have to arrange with the Business School to write the SHL test. You will receive a link to the test once the relevant payments have been received and you have submitted your application form. The Business School will receive your results directly from SHL and will upload it to your application form on your behalf.
  • Additional information: shl.com/en/assessments/cognitive-ability/
  • Important: The SHL selection test is valid for 18 months. If your SHL selection test results are older than this, you should ideally rewrite the test as people grow and develop and assessments need to take this into account. The Business School does not consider SHL tests from other institutions as you may have written a different type or level of test, or you may have been compared to a different comparison group. If you have completed the SHL with Stellenbosch Business School during the past 18 months, you do not have to rewrite the test.

 

Recognition of Prior Learning

Stellenbosch Business School provides wider access to its programmes through its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council on Higher Education (CHE), Stellenbosch Business School may admit up to 10% of its student body per programme under RPL. Candidates who wish to be admitted under the RPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective PGDip students under the RPL policy have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 4 qualification (all school and academic certificates are required).
  • Have at least 10 years of working experience after obtaining a school leaving certificate, of which at least 5 years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV. It must indicate detailed areas of responsibility as well as information on activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide the Business School with at least two persons who can testify about the candidates managerial or related professional abilities (typically current or former line heads). The referents will be asked to give a detailed personal reference of the candidate on forms that can be download from the application form.
  • Submit the SHL selection test results (if these were not sent directly to the Business School)
  • Write and submit three motivational essays (specific topics are provided).

 

The RPL selection process entails the following:

  • The programme head and another academic will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate and make a recommendation about admission.
  • Stellenbosch Business School’s Admissions Committee will consider the full application including the interview recommendation and the inputs received from the references for admission.
  • A notice of admission is sent via the Business School’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences for notification.
  • RPL candidates need to apply by 31 October each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.

Two streams to choose from

Stellenbosch Business School’s PGDip Futures Studies is offered in two streams:

  • The PGDip Futures Studies with generalist modules, which is aimed at strategic planners, managing directors, CEOs and anybody involved in strategic planning over five to 20 years
  • The PGDip Futures Studies stream in Managing New Technology (MNT), which is aimed at leaders, managers, consultants and strategic planners who are involved in planning their organisations’ technological future.

The stream-specific modules are offered during the specialisation phase of the programme.

All students will graduate with Postgraduate Diploma Futures Studies from Stellenbosch University. If the student followed a focal area – Managing New Technology in this case – this will be displayed on their certificates.

Click here for details about our PGDip Futures Studies in Managing New Technology

PROGRAMME HEAD

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Programme Ambassadors

Alumni who support prospective students in their new stage of life and share their personal experience about studying at Stellenbosch Business School.


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Programme enquiries and application support

Charmaine Garcia: Client Liaison

 

Admissions

Joanne Sleigh

 

FAQs

Futures Studies is about acquiring strategic foresight to make long-range decisions in order to mitigate risk and identify opportunities. You will gain an understanding how various futures will unfold so that you can make better decisions. Futures Studies analyses the interaction between a wide range of variables or forces and distils from these forces those issues that will affect the future of a country, government, entity or individual. It studies the world of economics, politics, technology, demography, social values and other subject fields, both locally and globally. It therefore equips decision makers with ways to deal with change and to make the right decisions to survive but preferably thrive in a changing world.

An appropriate Bachelor’s degree. A minimum period of two years of experience in strategic management or strategic planning.

Yes, but on a volunteer basis only. Alumni from Stellenbosch Business School offer to mentor students during their studies and to provide career or industry advice. This service is offered in association with the Business School’s Alumni Relations Office and Career Leadership Office.

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

Yes, South African students can spread the payment of their fees:

Payment of full programme fees for South African students: Students pay a set deposit on admittance. Students on the 1-year PGDip can pay the full programme fees upon registration, or they can pay 75% of the annual fees by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. Students on the 2-year PGDip can spread their payment over 2 years.

Payment of full programme fees for international students: International admitted students on the 1-year PGDip pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due 2 weeks before commencement of the programme.

The closing dates for each programme appear on the web page for that programme. In general, the closing dates for international 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 Stellenbosch Business School – hence the early application deadline for international students. RPL candidates (all programmes) need to apply by 31 October each year. Late applications after the closing dates will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

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, PGDip 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.’

Doris Viljoen, PGDip in Futures Studies 2016.

‘The PGDip in Futures Studies seamlessly integrates seemingly dissimilar fields into a whole that both challenged and extended my perspective of our complex world. I enjoyed the diversity of the subject material and the challenges set by the very practical assignments. I prefer to be in class with my fellow students, but the option to attend virtually meant that I could travel and still attend class from wherever there was an internet connection.’