Postgraduate Diploma in
Futures Studies

Applications close 30 November

  • Blended
Course Overview
Course starts January 2020
Application closes November 2019

The one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies will expose you to an understanding of the forces and trends that shape the future, and to the nature of global change. This will enable you to manage long-term organisational strategies that will help you design the ideal future.

Application closes

South African: 30 November 2019
ARPL: Applications closed
Students from SADC countries: Applications closed
Students from rest of world: Applications closed


22 – 25 January 2020 (including orientation)
4 February – 1 October (Tuesday evenings)
Attend in person or connect via any internet-linked device.
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.

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

  • These are the 2020 provisional tuition fees.
Programme tuition fees for 2020 Total Provisional Quotes
Students from South Africa R98 900 Request Quote
Students from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries R103 170 Request Quote
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R107 940 Request Quote
Students from the rest of the world R160 220 Request Quote
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2020
Students from South Africa R12 600
Students from SADC countries R51 585
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC)​​ R53 970
International students from the rest of the world R80 110
Application fee for 2020
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R800



This is a one-year programme that will equip you with the skills to make strategic decisions for a better future, while taking into account increasing competitiveness, complexity and volatility. It also lays down the foundation of knowledge and skills that will give you access to a MPhil in Futures Studies.

Core Modules

The six modules for this course are:

  • Applied philosophy
  • Managing for change
  • Principles of futures studies
  • Applied systems thinking
  • Measuring and making the future
  • Understanding the world

This course provides learners with the basic skills to implement long-term strategies to create a better future for people, manage an increasingly complex environment in any organisation and provide the foundation you need for a MPhil in Futures Studies.

Read our overview of USB’s Futures Studies programmes.

To apply for the PGDip in Futures Studies you must meet the following requirements:

  • A relevant Bachelor’s or Honours degree
  • At least 2 years of experience in strategic management or strategic planning
  • 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 (CHE), USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under ARPL.

In order to be admitted to a Postgraduate Diploma at USB, candidates should be in possession of a relevant degree or National Diploma at NQF level 7.

Candidates who wish to be admitted under the ARPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective students applying for a Postgraduate Diploma at USB have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 4 qualification.
  • Have at least TEN years of working experience after obtaining a school leaving certificate, of which at least FIVE years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information of 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 abilities to cope with the demands of the Postgraduate Diploma, 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.

Try our programme finder

Class Profile 2018

25–30 years
31–36 years
37 years & older
Black African
Arts & Humanities
Information Technology
2 years
3–6 years
7–11 years
12 years & more

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, 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.’

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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.

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

A student may be accepted on Assessment of Recognition and Prior Learning.

Yes, but on a volunteer basis only. USB alumni offer to mentor students during their studies and to provide career or industry advice. This service is offered in association with USB’s Alumni Relations Office and Career Services Office.

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.

There are six modules.

Yes. For South African students, 75% of the annual fees are payable by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. (Foreign students, however, need to pay the full programme fee prior to or upon registration.)

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.

Yes, there is a comfortable lodge on the campus (Bellvista Lodge –, which is ideal for short-term accommodation. However, this will probably be too expensive for longer stays. Once you have been admitted and your deposit has been paid, your course administrator will give you guidance on finding other accommodation options, such as a room or flat.