Masters Decision-Making

Masters in future studies

MPhil in Futures Studies

MPhil in Futures Studies

Learn how to make strategic long-term decisions to create a desired future

Applications close 12 December

  • Blended
Course overview
Course starts February 2021
Application closes November 2020

USB’s internationally accredited MPhil in Futures Studies will equip you with strategic foresight to make long-range decisions, enabling you to mitigate risk and sense opportunities. You will learn how to respond to change and to make the right decisions to create a desired 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.

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Format: Blended learning (on campus or online)

Application deadlines

  • South African applicants: 15 November
  • RPL applicants: 30 October
  • International applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 30 October
  • International applicants from the rest of world: 30 October

Dates
These are the dates for 2020. The dates for 2021 will be added once they have been finalised.

CLASSES
6 February – 1 October 2020 (Thursday evenings)
YEAR 1
Complete 5 core modules on-campus or via online classes
YEAR 2
Complete the research assignment
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.

  • Fees
  • Structure & content
  • Learning philosophy
  • Admission requirements

  • These are the provisional tuition fees for 2020. Programme fees for 2021 will be published once this information becomes available.
Programme fees for 2020 2020 (1st year) 2021 (2nd year) Total Provisional Quotes
Students from South Africa R96 085 R77 058 R173 143 Request Quote
Students from Southern African
Development Community (SADC) countries
R100 355 R81 328 R181 683 Request Quote
International students from the
rest of Africa (non-SADC)
R105 125 R86 098 R191 223 Request Quote
International students from
the rest of the world
R130 195 R111 168 R241 363 Request Quote
Deposit payable
on acceptance of admission for 2020
Students from South Africa R12 600
Students from SADC countries R50 178
International students
from the rest of Africa (non-SADC)
R52 563
International students
from the rest of the world
R65 098
Application fee for 2020
Application fee (non-refundable;
applicable to all students)
R800

 

Overview

The content of MPhil in Futures Studies is aligned with the professional and intellectual skills required of futurists. You will, among others, acquire consultation and facilitation capabilities, and learn how to manage projects and do stakeholder analysis, environmental scanning, scenario planning and strategic planning.

This programme runs over two years, covering five modules and a research assignment. For the course-based part of the programme, you can choose between attending weekly classes on campus or online, downstreaming the classes by logging in via any internet-linked device (blended learning). See how blended learning works at USB.

Core modules

This programme consists of 5 modules:

  • Scanning the Environment
  • Demography
  • Technology Futures
  • Applied Futures Studies
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Futures Studies Methods

Research assignment

You need to complete a research assignment during the second year of enrolment which counts for 80 of your total course credits. This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a field of your choice.

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 therefore about acquiring strategic foresight to make long-range decisions in order to leverage competitive risk mitigation and opportunity sensing.

Complete and pass USB‘s Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies with an average of at least 65%.

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

Class Profile 2018

Less than 2 years
3-6 years
Unknown
25-30 years
31-36 years
37 years and older
Commerce
Arts & Humanities
Engineering
Natural & Physical Science
Unknown
Law
Information Technology
Black African
Coloured
Indian
White

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.

  1. Acquire strategic foresight and make better long-term decisions: This qualification will equip decision makers and strategic planners with essential skills to make strategic long-term decisions so that they can deal with rapid and complex changes both locally and internationally.
  2. Deal with change and complexity: This programme will equip you with ways to deal with change and to make the right decisions to at least survive but preferably thrive as a result of change. 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.
  3. Make Futures Studies work for you: You will be encouraged to develop your own models and practical applications, design protocols and test these in a variety of environments.
  4. Become a professional futurist: The programme content is aligned with the professional and intellectual skills required for futurists – such as consultation and facilitation capabilities, stakeholder analysis, environmental scanning, systems simulation and strategic planning. The research assignment is regarded as the culmination of the learning experience, offering you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and abilities you have acquired to a field of your choice.

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.’

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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.

The programme is therefore aimed at strategic planners, managing directors, CEOs and anybody involved in strategic long-term planning, and also to anyone who wants to play a role in creating a better future for South Africa and for Africa. The content of the programme is aligned with the professional and intellectual skills required of futurists. You will, among others, acquire consultation and facilitation capabilities, and learn how to manage projects and do stakeholder analysis, environmental scanning, scenario planning and strategic planning. This prepares you for senior-level positions in public and private corporations, in government, financial institutions and global institutions.

This programme is conducted over a two year period.

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.

The course content is presented through a series of lectures and workshops, delivered in blended learning format. With blended learning you can choose between on-campus classes and online classes. This makes the programme convenient and accessible for busy business people and executives. It also means you can study while you work. Students have to be thoroughly prepared for blended learning lectures so as to extract optimal benefit from contact sessions.

For the course-based part of the programme, you can choose between attending weekly classes (4-hour classes) on campus or, alternatively, downstreaming the classes by logging in and participating online using your own computer or device.


masters in development finance

MPhil in Development Finance

MPhil in Development Finance​

Specialise in development finance to help unlock Africa’s growth potential

Applications close 15 November

  • Modular
  • Blended
Course overview
Course starts March 2021
Application closes November 2020

If you want to make it your life’s work to help unlock Africa’s growth potential, the MPhil in Development Finance will equip you with critical skills to become a specialist in this area. You will gain an understanding – on a Master’s level – of the complexities of the different development finance resources available to poor countries, especially in Africa. You will also acquire the skills to help formulate and implement policies to make this happen. This will enable you to take on senior positions in the financial industry and in policy-making and regulatory institutions.

  • Modular programme: Attend 3 on-campus blocks (2 weeks each) over 2 years, and complete a research assignment. Classes are presented at the USB campus in the Tyger Valley business district in northern Cape Town.

Application deadlines

  • South African applicants: 30 September
  • RPL applicants: 31 August each year
  • Applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 31 August
  • Applicants from the rest of the world: 31 August

Dates
These are the dates for 2020. The dates for 2021 will be added once they have been finalised.

YEAR 1
2 blocks
Block 1
02 – 14 March 2020
Block 2
24 August – 5 September 2020
Course overview
Course starts March 2021
Application closes November 2020

If you want to make it your life’s work to help unlock Africa’s growth potential, the MPhil in Development Finance will equip you with critical skills to become a specialist in this area. You will gain an understanding – on a Master’s level – of the complexities of the different development finance resources available to poor countries, especially in Africa. You will also acquire the skills to help formulate and implement policies to make this happen. This will enable you to take on senior positions in the financial industry and in policy-making and regulatory institutions.

  • Blended Learning: Attend 1 on-campus block at the start of Year 1, followed by weekly blended learning classes (using any internet-linked device), and a final on-campus block (which covers the electives) in Year 2. See how blended learning works at USB.

Application deadlines

  • South African applicants: 30 September
  • RPL applicants: 31 August each year
  • Applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 31 August
  • Applicants from the rest of the world: 31 August

 Dates
The dates for 2021 will be added once they have been finalised.

YEAR 1
2 blocks
Block 1
23 March – 04 April 2020
Block 2
28 September 2019 – 10 October 2020
PROGRAMME HEAD
Professor Michael Graham

Professor Michael Graham received his PhD from the University of Vaasa, Finland, and was an Associate Professor of Finance at Stockholm Business School in Sweden before being appointed as Professor in Finance at USB. His research interests are in corporate finance, corporate governance and financial markets.

  • Fees
  • Structure & content
  • Learning philosophy
  • Admission requirements

These are the provisional tuition fees for 2020. Programme fees for 2021 will be published once this information becomes available.

Programme fees for 2020 2020 2021 Total Provisional Quote
Students from South Africa R91 220 R91 220 R182 440 Request Quote
Students from the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) countries
R95 490 R95 590 R190 980 Request Quote
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R100 260 R100 260 R200 520 Request Quote
International students from the rest of the world R125 330 R125 330 R250 660 Request Quote
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2020
Students from South Africa R12 600
Students from the SADC countries R47 745
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R50 130
Students from the rest of the world R62 665
Application fee for 2020
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R800

 

Overview

The aim of USB’s MPhil in Development Finance is to offer an internationally recognised academic qualification with content that is relevant in terms of Africa’s development needs. This critical-skills degree is designed as a coherent programme of study at postgraduate level to train you to:

  • Fill the skills gaps in the financial industry and in policy-making and regulatory institutions in the development finance environment
  • Better understand the complexities of and manage the different development finance resources available to poor countries, especially in Africa
  • Understand thoroughly the special problems of finance in developing countries in general and Africa in particular, and acquire the skills to operate successfully and make a meaningful contribution to policy formulation and implementation in this field.

 This will enable you to take on senior positions in the financial industry and in policy-making and regulatory institutions, allowing you to contribute towards sustainable progress in Africa.

 

Core modules

The six core modules are compulsory:

  • Economic Development Perspectives in Africa
  • Issues in Banking and Finance
  • Microfinance
  • Project Finance
  • Public Policy and Leadership
  • Research Methods in Development Finance

Electives

You need to choose 3 of the following electives – one from each block:

Block 1

  • Environmental Finance
  • Infrastructural Finance
  • Public Sector Finance
  • Structured Finance

Block 2

  • Agricultural Policy & Finance
  • Business Forecasting and Econometric Analysis
  • Corporate Governance and Ethics
  • Food Security and Development
  • Leadership Development​
  • Small Scale Enterprise Development

Block 3

  • Development Project Management
  • Economic Diplomacy
  • Environmental Finance
  • Financial Sector Regulation and Development
  • Investment Promotion

Research assignment

Write a research assignment of 15 000 to 25 000 words on a development finance topic, preferably one that is of professional interest to you. You can work on your research assignment while you are doing your course work and electives. Through this research assignment you will learn how to:

  • Identify and describe a research problem and goal in the field of development finance
  • Become acquainted with relevant literature in this field
  • Critically to apply research methods and techniques
  • Present your material in a logical, clear and systematic way
  • Show your capacity for independent, self-managed learning and critical reflection on the research process.

The aim of this degree is to offer an internationally recognised academic qualification with content that is relevant in terms of Africa’s development needs. This critical-skills degree is designed to:

  • Fill the skills gaps in the financial industry and in policy-making and regulatory institutions in the development finance environment
  • Better understand the complexities of and manage the different development finance resources available to poor countries, especially in Africa
  • Understand the special problems of finance in developing countries and Africa in particular, and to acquire the skills to operate successfully and to make a meaningful contribution to policy formulation and implementation in this field.

To apply for the MPhil Development Finance you must meet the following requirements:

  • An appropriate Honours degree (the first postgraduate degree after a Bachelor’s degree) or a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, economics, accounting or commerce; OR
  • A 3-year Bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate diploma (120 SAQA credits) from a university or a university of technology in business, finance, economics, accounting or commerce; OR
  • A postgraduate degree in any discipline and appropriate experience in the area of development economics and/or finance; AND
  • A sound understanding of quantitative analysis – a good pass/grade for school-leaving mathematics is an advantage.
  • 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

IMPORTANT: The Bachelor’s or Honours degree must be on a level that is equivalent to the South African qualification. Local and foreign academic qualifications have to be at the NQF 7 level (old) or NQF 8 level (new). This implies that the qualification includes a module in Research Methodology and an individual research paper.

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 Master’s programme at USB, candidates should be in possession of a relevant NQF 8 qualification, such as an Honours degree, 4-year in-depth Bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate diploma.

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 Master’s degree at USB have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 6 qualification.
  • Have at least SIXyears of working experience after obtaining the qualification mentioned in 1, of which at least THREE years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information on activities outside the work environment.
  • Write an assignment of 10 to 15 pages (11-point font size with 1.5 spacing) on a topic supplied by the programme head. The assignment must contain a signed declaration of own work.
  • Provide USB with at least two references (typically current or former line heads) who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional 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 MDevF programme, 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. ​
  • ARPL candidates need to apply by 30 September each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.

Class Profile 2018

Under 25 years
25-30 years
31-36 years
37 years and older
Less than 2 years
2 years
3–6 years
7–11 years
12 years and more
Unknown
Black African
White
Coloured
Indian
Commerce
Law
Information Technology
Arts & Humanities
Engineering
Natural & Physical Science
Education
Unknown

If you work on a managerial level in a financial services environment, you should consider this qualification. This MPhil holds value for people like financial analysts and policy makers in the private or public sector who engage with macro, enterprise and sectoral finance and financial management issues with a focus on developing countries and emerging markets.

Graduates typically work in financial institutions such as central banks, commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, and development finance institutions such as the DBSA, industrial development corporations and the African Development Bank. They are often project managers or management-level financial analysts.

  1. The skills to develop Africa where it matters. Acquire an astute understanding of development finance and its application in African countries and beyond. This will enable you to evaluate development finance projects in terms of feasibility and outcomes, and to manage the development finance resources available to poor countries.
  2. Meaningful ways to contribute towards sustainable development. This programme focuses on the impact and effectiveness of the policy and project interventions that underpin sustainable development.
  3. The ability to shape finance policies and programmes: Know how to articulate economic development needs and how to formulate, implement and evaluate development finance policies and programmes to address these needs.
  4. The skills to design and implement African-driven solutions. Learn how to structure need-specific solutions for Africa and how to apply this knowledge in any developing country in the world.
  5. A critical skill set in development finance: This includes economic development perspectives in Africa, project finance, microfinance, and governance and ethics.

Research skills: Learn how to use a structured method and rigorous process to answer a question or solve a real-life challenge relating to development finance. It will also give you the ability to make a value judgement on research presented at managerial level.

Testimonials from our alumni

Rutendo Change, 2015 MPhil Development Finance, Associate Consultant, ZIMBISA, Harare, Zimbabwe,

‘As a future policy maker, I needed a programme that would stimulate critical thinking about the continent’s development challenges and act as a platform for the exchange of ideas and solutions to improve opportunities for all Africans. I have started building networks in Southern, West and East Africa, a tribe of Africa’s future leaders committed to the advancement of the continent and its people. No other development finance programme is as committed to Africa as USB’s MDevF.’

Iesrafeel Jakoet, 2015 MPhil Development Finance, Chief Financial Officer, OIM Group, Cape Town, South Africa,

‘With USB’s rating as one of the top three business schools in Africa, it was the obvious choice for me. I chose the MDevF to challenge myself on a professional and personal level. It broadened my knowledge base and gave me a different perspective on the challenges faced by the African continent. I’ve met some extraordinary people on this programme and it has made me realise the importance of a strong network of leaders who, together, can deal with the unique challenges of our continent.’

Elton Jangale, 2015 MDevF, Partner, PFI Partnerships (Public-Private Partnership Practitioners), Blantyre, Malawi; Board Director, Malawi Stock Exchange; Board Director, Malawi Revenue Authority,

‘I enrolled on MDevF to enhance my skills as a PPP practitioner. The MDevF, its experienced professors and diverse students challenged me to take a broader view of Africa’s sustainable economic development. I have now become a Development Practitioner playing various roles in promoting the economic development of Malawi and SADC.’

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FAQs

Not necessarily. The Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance is a natural feeder to the MPhil. In extreme situations we accept exceptional candidates as RPL candidates.

Yes, you can apply through Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL).

USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under RPL. In order to be admitted to a Master’s programme at USB, candidates should be in possession of a relevant NQF 8 qualification, such as an Honours degree, 4-year in-depth Bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate diploma.

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 students applying for a Master’s degree at USB have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 6 qualification (all school and academic certificates are required)
  • Have at least SIX years of working experience after obtaining the qualification mentioned above, of which at least THREE years should have been in a management or related professional position
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating, in detail, areas of responsibility as well as information on activities outside the work environment
  • Write an assignment of 10 to 15 pages (11-point font size with 1.5 spacing) on a topic supplied by the programme head. The assignment must contain a signed declaration of own work.
  • 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 (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 programme, 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. ​
  • RPL candidates need to apply by 31 October to allow sufficient time for assessment.

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.

USB supports the principle of recognition of prior academic learning, although this is only applied in very selective instances, because group work and collaborative learning are cornerstones of the USB MBA. To obtain an MBA degree at USB, a student must be registered at Stellenbosch University for at least two years and at least 50% of the credits have to be obtained at this University. A student who has been admitted to the MBA programme may apply for accreditation of prior learning, provided that it was obtained on another MBA programme. Students wanting to apply for accreditation of credits obtained elsewhere need to supply:

  • An application which includes full course outlines, number of SAQA credits, learning outcomes, number of class contact hours, prescribed textbooks, method and weights of assessment, and outcomes or topics per class session.
  • Additional work or assessments may be required.

Study loans for students from West Africa: Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, has partnered with the USB to provide loan facilities for tuition expenses to USB students in West Africa. The MaxAdvance facility is a time loan or term loan that aims to meet a range of personal needs for students.