Postgraduate Diploma in
Futures Studies

Acquire the strategic foresight to help create a better future

  • Blended
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
Course Overview
Course starts 20 January 2021
Application closes 15 November 2020 (SA) / 30 October 2020 (International)

USB’s internationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in 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.

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 Africa and South Africa’s unique developmental challenges into account. See how blended learning works at USB.

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Format: 1 on-campus block + about 25 weekly blended learning (online) sessions

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. Read our overview of USB’s Futures Studies programmes.

Deadline for applications

  • South African applicants: 15 November
  • International applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 30 October
  • International applicants from the rest of world: 30 October
YEAR 1
Orientation
20 – 23 January 2021
Classes
2 February – 7 September 2021 (Tuesday evenings from 16:00-20:00)

Time to learn?

Take advantage of USB’s fee relief for the PGDip in Futures Studies, and get access to the skills needed to rebuild the economy.

Programme tuition fees for 2021 Total Provisional Quotes
Students from South Africa R89 900 Download
Students from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries R94 400* Download
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R99 430* Download
Students from the rest of the world R162 830* Download
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2021
Students from South Africa R13 060
Students from SADC countries R47 200*
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC)​​ R49 715*
International students from the rest of the world R81 415*
Application fee for 2021
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R850

*Provisional international fees for 2021.

Overview

The PGDip in Futures Studies is structured conveniently so that you can manage your studies around your professional life. Attend 1 block on campus at the start of the year and about 25 weekly blended learning sessions thereafter (online or on campus).

Core Modules

  • Applied Philosophy
  • Applied Systems Thinking
  • Managing for Change
  • Measuring and Making the Future
  • Principles of Futures Studies
  • Understanding the World

This programme will equip you with the skills to make strategic decisions for a better future, while taking into account increasing competitiveness, complexity and volatility. The programme will 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
  • Managing organisational strategies so as to create a desired future.

This qualification is aimed at those people in organisations who wish to enhance their understanding of possible changes in their long-term future and their ability to respond accordingly. This is 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.

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. USB’s International Affairs Office will handle your credential evaluation free of charge. Please enquire at international@usb.ac.za.

Recognition of Prior Learning

USB provides wider access to its programmes through its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council for Higher Education, USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under RPL. RPL candidates need to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective RPL candidates 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.

The RPL selection process entails the following:

  • USB’s Admissions Committee (programme head 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 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.
  • Important: RPL candidates need to apply by 30 October to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.
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.

Programme Ambassadors

These programme ambassadors are current students and alumni who support prospective students in their new stage of life and share their personal experience about studying at USB.

Jackie Nagtegaal futures studies

Advocate Jackie Nagtegaal 
Managing Director at LIPCO

jackien@lawforall.co.za

Try our programme finder

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  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?

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. The programme is therefore aimed at:

  • Strategic planners, managing directors, CEOs and anybody involved in strategic planning over five to 20 years and longer
  • Anyone who wants to play a role in creating a better future for South Africa and for Africa.

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

  • The ability to help design the future: Enhance your understanding of possible changes in your long-term future and respond accordingly. This includes a holistic understanding of the social, ethical, political, technical and economic forces shaping the future.
  • The ability to handle complexity in organisations: Acquire the high-level competencies required to react meaningfully to growing complexity in the organisational environment while taking into account the unique developmental challenges of Africa and South Africa.
  • The ability to make strategic decisions: Make significant strategic decisions for the long term in an environment characterised by increasing international competitiveness and volatility.
  • Access to the MPhil in Futures Studies: This PGDip contains the essence of the learning assumed to be in place to complete the 180-credit MPhil in Futures Studies for those who pass at a particular level. The MPhil builds on the PGDip to deepen your understanding of futures concepts and tools.

Testimonials from our alumni

‘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.’

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

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

‘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.’

Doris Viljoen, PGDip in Futures Studies 2016,

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.

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 will enable you to make better use of opportunities and also to contain risks more effectively.

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. 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 Leadership 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. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. 75% of the annual fee is payable by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due two 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 USB – hence the early application deadline for international students. RPL candidates (all programmes) need to apply by 30 October each year. Late applications after the closing dates will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

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