Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies


Program Description


Will you be the next expert of the future?

The Master's Degree Programme in Futures Studies provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary and practical education in the field of futures studies. It is designed to educate foresight experts who help organisations to harness future opportunities and avoid unnecessary risks.

Futures Studies is a newly emerging field of research. As the future does not exist yet, futurists study the future projections of and discontinuities in past trends and current views of the long-term future. Futures Studies is interested in the probable futures, possible futures and preferred futures. As a societal action, futures studies aim to serve private and public decision-makers by outlining alternative long-term strategies in a changing operational environment. As an academic field of research, Futures Studies generates knowledge of the ways and processes of how individuals and organisations deal with the uncertain future. Typical research questions in the field are focused on the epistemology of knowledge about the future, the methodological development of futures studies tools and analyses of alternative futures of a clear topic or a more general theme. Futures Studies is an interdisciplinary field, where wide topics are analysed and the results and approaches of more traditional disciplines meet.

The Programme in Future Studies includes plenty of rehearsal, case-studies and real-life experiences on using foresight methodology. These range from quantitative and qualitative methods to innovative and creative futures design techniques.

Here you will get a versatile toolkit for implementing foresight thinking for the benefit of a given organisation. You will qualify to a wide array of expert positions in the strategic and foresight units of private companies and public institutions. The Programme also serves as an excellent basis for building a consultant business.

Programme structure


The extent of the Programme is 120 ECTS and the degree is designed to be completed in two years. Futures Studies as a major subject includes compulsory and optional courses that build the expertise of the student in, for example, futures studies methodology, strategic foresight and scenario building. Students are free to choose a minor subject within UTU that complements their career goals. Elective studies can include courses in Futures Studies, but can also widen the knowledge of the student in new subjects or thematic areas. All students are also expected to study languages (Finnish as well as English) and general methodological studies.

Academic Excellence & Experience

The program is offered by Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku. TSE has earned AACSB Accreditation (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the highest standard of excellence in business education worldwide. We have been accredited since 2019 and are committed to continually improve the quality of education we offer.

The two-year Programme is run by the Finland Futures Research Centre, which is the world’s premier hotspot of future-minded scholars. The Centre is specialised in futures studies and foresight and seeks to accomplish the ultimate goal of a responsible and sustainable future. The Centre researches alternative futures and the challenges and possibilities included in them. Academic research places special emphasis on:

  • Foresight and futures research methodology
  • Environmental and energy research
  • Socio-cultural research
  • Food and consumption
  • Security
  • Education

The Finland Futures Research Centre develops the scientific foundations and methods of futures studies. The Master’s Degree Programme utilises the resources, connections and personnel of the Centre to provide students with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary and practical education in the field of futures studies.

The Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies is designed to educate futures experts. You will gain the theoretical and academic knowledge required for starting PhD studies as well as practical competences for working in challenging positions in companies or the public sector.

Education is given in English, and the students of this international Programme learn to work together with associates from different countries and scientific backgrounds.

Master's Thesis & Topics

The thesis is a scientific research report comprised of both a theoretical section and empirical applications. The aim of the process is to:

  • Provide you with the tools to locate and critically evaluate scientific information.
  • Train independent problem solving for demanding research questions and thus lay and advanced knowledge and skill basis for doctoral studies.
  • Train presentation and argumentation skills, both oral and written.
  • Attain expertise in the practices of researching, utilising and developing alternative and possible futures in the chosen field.

Examples of Master’s thesis topics in futures studies:

  • Images of the future of privacy: A privacy dynamics framework and causal layered analysis of ideal types.
  • The future of branded sportswear store formats in Germany 2030: Four images of the future.
  • Futures of citizens’ political participation in Russia: scenarios for years 2014–2025.
  • Sustainable Development – the Key to Competitiveness CSR as an added value to Alstom’s corporate performance.
  • Futures of Finnish food system by 2050. The perspective of resilience.


Competence Description

As a student in the Programme, you will learn:

  • To understand, compare and evaluate different futures studies cases and methods in relation to each other.
  • To explore ethical questions in decision-making processes and learn how to incorporate sustainability goals to futures studies.
  • How to design and manage demanding projects independently and apply the various methods of futures studies and judge the meaning and consequences of your methodological choices.
  • To communicate the results of your projects and studies in a larger context.
  • To express yourself clearly with the correct scientific terminology and achieve a significant understanding of your field of research.

Job Options

The students graduating from the Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies will qualify to a wide array of expert positions in the strategic units of private companies and public institutions.

The Programme builds upon and enhances the knowledge attained by the students in their previous degrees and other experiences and therefore the career options of the graduates are also strongly linked to them.

Possible job titles are:

  • Strategic planning executive
  • Consultant
  • Futures analyst
  • Business development manager
  • Development and planning officer in public administration

Career in Research

Master of Arts degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. Degrees can be completed at the University of Turku or the graduates may choose to apply to any other university in Finland or abroad.

Graduates from the Programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS. The Graduate School consists of Doctoral Programmes, which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.

Together with the Doctoral Programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high-quality doctoral training. UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.

Entry Requirements

General Admission Requirements

General Requirement

You are an eligible applicant for Master’s-level studies if:

  • you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – normally a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education,
  • your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study,
  • your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to. Please check the programme page for detailed degree requirements.

Language Requirements

Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests.

Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements here.

Programme-specific Admission Requirements

Requirements for the 2020 intake will be published soon.

The Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies admits approximately 20 students in 2019 to complete a 120 credit Master of Arts degree.

Application Evaluation

All applicants that fulfil the phase 1 of the application process which means general degree requirements, as well as the minimum grade requirement, will move on to phase 2 of the selection.

In the case of tied points

In case of applicants receiving the same number of points priority is given in the following order to applicants with the most points from a) eligible previous studies in futures studies, b) grade of major studies, c) grade of thesis and d) points from supplementary studies. If there are still applicants with the same number of points after the mentioned priorities, all applicants will be treated equally in the admission procedures.

Here you will find more information on how and when to apply to the University of Turku and about our scholarships options.

Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

The University of Turku (UTU) is an international research university located in Southwest Finland in the Student city of Turku. We are an active academic community of 25,000 students and employees wi ... Read More

The University of Turku (UTU) is an international research university located in Southwest Finland in the Student city of Turku. We are an active academic community of 25,000 students and employees with over 100 different nationalities. Read less
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