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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Postgraduate Diploma: Futures Studies 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
90735  Postgraduate Diploma: Futures Studies 
ORIGINATOR
University of Stellenbosch 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The primary purpose of the qualification is to equip learners with high-level competencies to react meaningfully to growing complexity in the organisational environment, while taking into account the unique developmental challenges facing Africa and South Africa. The qualification contributes to learners' ability to make significant strategic long-term decisions in an increasingly internationally competitive and volatile environment.

The qualification will contribute toward providing learners with a thorough understanding of the basic principles, history and philosophy of Futures Studies, by instilling in learners the ability to apply systems thinking to futures-related issues; by enabling learners to identify and analyse the influence of external environmental factors and trends on the future of an entity, and by equipping learners with the ability to use various techniques for measuring future trends.

Rationale:
The qualification is intended to expand the postgraduate learner intake in a field where there is a paucity of expertise. The qualification will contribute to the learners' ability to make significant strategic long-term decisions in an increasingly internationally competitive environment. The qualification will be presented telematically over a one-year period, using the delivery platform provided by the Centre for Interactive Telematic Education (CITE), complemented by web-based support. The module methodology is embodied in a series of interactive telematic lectures and workshops, blended with module material composed of comprehensive module outlines, textbooks and journal articles.

Interactive Telematic Education (ITE) is the preferred optimal vehicle for achieving the qualification outcomes since it enables participation by learners who would be at an advanced and senior stage of their careers and are therefore not in a position to attend on-campus lectures. The experience of the last 12 years in respect of the M.Phil (Futures Studies) has shown that the latter (on-campus lectures) effectively disqualifies many prospective learners from participating in the qualification. The qualification will be presented telematically and will therefore be more accessible for working professionals.

The part-time and telematic nature of the qualification will allow for a large number of learners to access the qualification, serving South Africa and also beyond its borders. This in turn will serve to aid in achieving the objectives of the NQF of enhancing the quality of the education and training in South Africa. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
It is assumed that the learners have:
  • Well-developed information retrieval skills and presentation skills following prescribed formats, using IT skills.
  • An ability to present and communicate information and their own ideas and opinions in well-structured arguments, showing an awareness of audience and using the academic/professional discourse.
  • A capacity to operate in variable and unfamiliar learning contexts, requiring responsibility and initiative.
  • A capacity to self-evaluate accurately and identify, address and take responsibility for own learning needs.
  • An ability to interact effectively in a learning group.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    The learners who do not meet the minimum requirements can gain access to the qualification through the recognition of prior learning and credits will be granted where competency in a specific module is established by an assessor.

    Access to the qualification.
    The minimum admission requirement is an undergraduate Degree or an equivalent qualification. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The qualification consists of the following 6 compulsory modules (20 credits each) at NQF Level 9, totalling 120 credits:
  • Principles of Futures Studies.
  • Applied Systems Thinking.
  • Applied Philosophy.
  • Measuring and Making the Future.
  • Understanding Key Trends, Shaping our World.
  • Managing for Change. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Identify, analyse and understand the theories pertaining to Futures Studies.
    2. Think critically, logically, and analytically about the systems in Futures Studies.
    3. Apply strategic management ideology to Future Studies.
    4. Select and use a range of research methodologies and techniques to address research in Futures Studies.
    5. Critique current research and make sound theoretical judgements based on evidence from advanced scholarship in Futures Studies.
    6. Express an understanding of the leading trends pertaining to Future Studies.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    Upon completion of this qualification the learners will have acquired specialist knowledge in Futures thinking, and be able to apply that knowledge in a critical and problem-solving manner to the problems of the twenty first century. Learners will also be equipped to practice as strategic planners within various organisations. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria of Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Knowledge and application of the formal techniques of evaluating arguments and deductive systems is demonstrated.
  • Western philosophers, major movements, issues and philosophical systems of the early modern and modern era, as well as knowledge of non-western philosophers and philosophical systems are identified and understood.
  • Major philosophical movements and issues in ontology and causality and issues in meaning and theories of knowledge are evaluated.
  • The ways in which ethical theory is applied to Futures Studies is discussed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria of Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Critical understanding of the systems thinking philosophy, with a particular emphasis on Futures thinking is demonstrated.
  • The ability to use social systems methodology to analyse and understand Futures related issues is expressed.
  • Systems' thinking is used to define problems and design solutions.
  • The use of systems thinking to foster and facilitate organisational development initiatives is illustrated.
  • Systems dynamics (causal loop diagrams) are used to develop an understanding of the dynamics underlying systemic problems.

    Associated Assessment Criteria of Exit level Outcome 3:
  • The link between strategic management and Futures thinking/research is evaluated and understood.
  • The ability to use Futures Studies to effect change and transformation is demonstrated.
  • Resilience theory and the role of leadership within the context of Futures thinking is understood.
  • The use of Futures thinking to measure, manage and mitigate risk is researched and applied.

    Associated Assessment Criteria of Exit level Outcome 4:
  • The use of forecasting techniques to scope the future is demonstrated.
  • The use causal layered analysis to reveal the scope and nature of Futures related problems and issues is applied.
  • Trend and megatrend analysis is used to measure the future.
  • Chaos theory, demography and scenarios are utilised to scope the future.

    Associated Assessment Criteria of Exit level Outcome 5:
  • The history of Futures thinking is evaluated.
  • Key concepts of Futures Studies are applied to societal issues.
  • A distinction between good and bad work in Futures Studies is identified.
  • The use of Futures thinking in a developing country context is analysed and understood.

    Associated Assessment Criteria of Exit level Outcome 6:
  • The emerging economic, political, social and technological trends that are shaping the future landscape are identified, analysed and understood.
  • The balancing of economics and technology within ecology is evaluated and understood.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Each module will be assessed through an extensive individual assignment (formative assessment) and a comprehensive final examination (summative assessment). The former may include the analysis of case studies and/or the application of theory and the use of futures studies tools and techniques to organisational, societal or national issues. The latter will emphasise the application of knowledge in the form of critical essays. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This qualification is comparable with the following international qualifications in terms of the module competencies the learner is to master.

    The University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia) offers a Graduate Certificate in Futures Studies; the qualification is offered part-time over two years. Learners are required to successfully complete four compulsory modules: Futures Methods and Techniques, Strategic Foresight Leadership, Sustainable Futures and Applied Futures Studies: Methods and Values and Strategy.

    The University of Western Australia (Australia) offers a Graduate Certificate in Integrated Human Studies which delivers a transdisciplinary perspective and methodologies. It draws on science, the arts and humanities, and implementing disciplines like economics and law to consider local and global issues.

    Conclusion:
    International institutions which offer qualifications in Futures Studies offer these qualifications at Masters and PhD level (Freie Universitšt, Moscow State University, Turku University and University of Houston). Futures Studies is a relatively new field globally and locally, therefore this qualification at NQF Level 8 offers learners from different disciplines the opportunity to gain knowledge in Futures Studies before embarking on more advanced research in the field. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification offers both horizontal and vertical articulation opportunities for the qualifying learner:

    Horizontal articulation with qualifications at NQF Level 8, includes the:
  • Postgraduate Diploma: Human Ecology.
  • Bachelor of Arts: Science: Planning.
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours): Human Ecology.
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Honours): Strategic Management.

    Vertical articulation with qualifications at NQF Level 9, includes the:
  • Master of Philosophy: Futures Studies.
  • Master of Arts: Science: Planning.
  • Master of Philosophy: Social Planning and Administration: Research.
  • Master of Commerce: Strategic Management. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Internal and external moderation will be conducted according to the institutions' moderation policies. Both internal and external moderation of examinations will be formalised. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    The assessors that will be assessing this qualification will have a qualification at least one NQF Level higher than the qualification being presented and must be specialists in their relevant field with a minimum of five years lecturing/teaching experience. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. University of Stellenbosch 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.