IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Thinking - Distance (Online)

Qualification information
  • COURSE: Diploma; Postgraduate Degree
  • MODE: Distance (Online)
  • DURATION: 2 years | Part-Time
  • NQF LEVEL: 8
  • CREDITS: 120
  • SAQA ID: 118660


The IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Thinking is designed for the student who has an appropriate undergraduate degree (NQF level 7 qualification) and work experience in strategic brand and business management, or strategic marketing, communication and/or channel planning, to conduct assessments of the connections between past, present and future scenarios and develop future-fit brand systems, cultures, and strategies. Students will use their strategic experience to develop operational foresight in informing brand development strategy; anticipating change; mitigating and managing risk through the analysis of economic data and trends forecasting; and using change management models and methods.

The qualification follows an interdisciplinary approach which integrates theoretical and practical components to facilitate future-focussed brand leadership and business thinking and career growth. This qualification also encompasses the use of human-centred design thinking approaches to the anticipation and navigation of the future of brands by equipping students with the principles, practices and tools of futures thinking. Students produce a research paper and the programme enables students to enrol for an appropriate Master’s degree should they wish to continue their studies.


Semester 1

  • Principles of Brand Building
  • Principles of Futures Thinking

Semester 2

  • Futures Thinking for Brand Building
  • Applied Futures Thinking

Semester 3

  • Change Management for Brand Ecosystems
  • Research Methodology

Principles of Brand Building
Students will develop an understanding of the core frameworks, principles and concepts used for constructing and building purposeful brand identities and architecture. The role of brands in adding value to stakeholders and society will be explored utilising design and systemic thinking to develop innovative brand building solutions. The principles of brand leadership and brand management will be discussed.

Principles of Futures Thinking
This module introduces the evolution of futures thinking theories, with a focus on design thinking and systemic thinking. Students will be challenged to explore and practise alternative ways of thinking, problem-solving and ideation as important components of brand systems design and innovation. Collaborative discussions provide the opportunity for peer-learning and shared experience.

Futures Thinking for Brand Building
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the principles and techniques of futures thinking in context of emerging trends in diverse social, economic, commercial, and digital environments, as they impact purposeful brand building. Students will critically examine the connections between the past, present and future as they apply to brand building for business resilience.

Applied Futures Thinking
The purpose of this module is to assess the trajectory along which purposeful brands move to adapt to and mould a desirable future. Various models and frameworks will be applied to assimilate the multiple dimensions of cross-sectoral scenario analysis and forecasting for the attainment of preferred and sustainable futures in developed and developing economies.

Change Management for Brand Ecosystems
Students will forecast alternative scenarios and their impacts on society, community and economy and forecast the strategic change required to optimise shared value for brand building. The module will contribute to students’ knowledge and understanding of change management and metrics, in context of futures thinking and the creation of preferred brand states.

Research Methodology
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the process of research and to develop their understanding of the techniques of gathering, analysing, interpreting, and evaluating data. Emphasis is placed on a controlled application of methods and techniques to solve a practical problem in the field of futures thinking for brand building. This module introduces the ways in which the processes and outcomes of research can be constructively embedded within professional practices

Online delivery includes:

  • An online learning system that leads students through the content, prescribed material and activities.
  • Online academic navigators (tutors) who are subject experts and maintain the human experience of the learning process.
  • Weekly live sessions with your online navigators.
  • A dedicated success navigator who supports students throughout the learning journey.
  • Purpose coaching pods that enable you to explore and develop your professional identity and potential.
  • Access to our online information centre and resources.


While you can generally structure your study time as you need, there are scheduled online sessions during which you will get mediated support. Scheduled assessments in the form of online activities, assignments and exams are paced to ensure your studies progress.

What you need in terms of technology, time and materials:

  • A reliable internet connection (we recommend 5-10GB of data per month), your own device with at least Windows 7 (Microsoft Office 365 is available as a free download for IIE students), and Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge Chromium or Firefox.
  • Prescribed textbooks are available for online purchase.
  • Online students need to commit to approximately 20-25 hours a week for online engagement (some of which is after hours) with material and assessments to succeed.
  • All final semester exams need to be written at an IIE campus or other approved exam centre.

Please note synchronous sessions generally take place after hours.

To succeed in your online journey, you need to be:

  • Self-motivated and invested in your learning journey.
  • Disciplined and able to balance studying with work and family commitments.
  • Able to direct your own studies, maintaining a diligent pace.

To assist you in succeeding in your online journey, our teaching approach is:

  • Student-centric: we facilitate your thought processes to foster innovative ideas and creative solutions.
  • Authentic: we use real-life examples and case studies.
  • Activity-based: We move your learning forward through applied activities and assessments.
  • Discussion-based: we ask you questions and stimulate debate to provoke deep thought and insights about course content.

Tuition Fees

Total Fee for 1st year modules
R45 862 Full Settlement Total Fee
R48 954 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)
A *Pre-Registration Fee of R2 000 and *Deposit of R5 342 are included in the Total Fee.

Total Fee for 2nd year modules (subject to an annual fee increase)
R24 138 Full Settlement Total Fee
R25 766 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)
*Deposit of R3 864 are included in the Total Fee.

Please note:

  • Applications for the 2024 intake are subject to a non-refundable application fee of R400.
  • You will be required to complete a new contract annually which will include fees for that year.
  • Returning students can obtain the 2023 fees from their Relationship Navigator.

Entry Requirements

  • An appropriate HEQSF Level 7 Bachelor’s degree, Advanced Diploma or an equivalent NQF Level 7 qualification
  • 2 years' work experience in strategic management or strategic planning;
  • A comprehensive CV indicating work experience;
  • A 500-word motivational essay evidencing the candidate's interest in the field of Futures Thinking
  • Recognition of Prior learning (RPL) – Where candidates do not satisfy the formal admission requirements for this qualification, The IIE may consider an admission application in terms of the Credit Accumulation and Transfer, Recognition of Prior Learning and Qualification Completion Policy (IIE010).

International Admission:

  • A SAQA Evaluation Certificate with NQF L7 equivalence in an appropriate field.
Jobs in this field:
  • Futures Strategist
  • Brand-Business Manager
  • Foresight and Strategy Manager
  • Brand Development Manager
  • Foresight Analyst
  • Organisational Consultant