Futures Studies 2021

Futures Studies

PGDip | MPhil | PhD

Acquire the strategic foresight skills to help create a desired future


In our uncertain and rapidly changing world, it is now more important than ever to stay the course, upskill and adapt. This USB programme is designed to help you turn challenges into opportunity – to reinvent yourself, rethink your business ventures and help rebuild the economy. Most importantly, this programme is your opportunity to keep learning.

Why Futures Studies at USB?

Like all of us, you desire a better future. But how do you create this future? What foresight and understanding do you need in order to make strategic decisions for the long term? How do you handle our world’s constant change and increasing complexity? USB offers a cluster of programmes in Futures Studies – a Postgraduate Diploma, MPhil and PhD – each designed to guide you towards creating a desired future. These are the only Futures Studies programmes presented in Africa, and some of the only ones in the world. 2019 also marked 21 years of Futures Studies as an academic field at USB.

What stands out?

Make strategic
decisions for the
long term

Become equipped
for long-range
decision making for
risk mitigation and
opportunity sensing.

Create a
desired future

Gain insight into
the underlying trends
and forces that shape
the future.

with rapid change

Understand how to
handle the increasing
complexity of an ever
changing world.

Flexible learning

Learn while you earn
through each Futures
Studies programme
(see “Flexible learning
formats” below).

What will you gain?

The ability to help design the future: Enhance your understanding of possible changes in your long-term future and respond accordingly.

The ability to handle complexity in organisations: React meaningfully to growing
complexity while taking into account the unique challenges of Africa and South Africa.

The ability to make strategic decisions: Plan for the long term in an environment
characterised by increasing international competitiveness and volatility.

Access to the MPhil in Futures Studies: The MPhil builds on the PGDip to deepen your
understanding of futures concepts and tools.

Future Studies

1 year (on-campus block
+ 25 weekly blended
learning sessions)

Understand the underlying forces and trends that shape the future

Develop the ability to make strategic decisions

Gain access to an MPhil in Futures Studies


2 years

Make strategic
long-term decisions

Become a

Gain access to a PhD in Futures Studies


2 years or more

Do supervised research at
PhD level

intellectual capital

Become an expert
in your field

Who should apply?

You could be a strategic planner, managing director or a CEO involved in the strategy of your business. You could be someone who requires a holistic understanding the underlying forces and trends that shape the future. Whichever level of management you’re on, if you want to play a role in creating a better future for South Africa and beyond, a qualification in Futures Studies is for you. The PhD will serve you well if you are interested in an academic career.

Flexible learning format


Attend 1 block on campus
at the start of the year and about
25 weekly blended learning sessions
thereafter (see more about blended
learning below).


For the course-based part
of this two-year programme, you
attend weekly classes online,
downstreaming the classes via
blended learning.

Blended learning:

Attend class from

anywhere in the


The blended learning format allows you to join the class either via an internet-linked device, or on campus. Online classes are delivered synchronously with on-campus classes.

USB’s high-tech classrooms allow the lecturers to see, in real time, the faces of all the online students portrayed onto a screen or class room wall. This virtual environment enables you to actively participate in classroom discussions – whether you are logging in from an airport in Europe, a boardroom in Africa or your office at home.