Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies
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 organizations to harness future opportunities and avoid unnecessary risks.
The Programme 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 organization. You will qualify for 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 IN BRIEF
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 that complements their career goals. Recommended minors include Sustainable Development, Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation, and Economic Sociology. 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 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 specialized 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:
- environmental and energy research
- socio-cultural research
- food and consumption
The Finland Futures Research Centre develops the scientific foundations and methods of futures studies. The Master’s Degree Programme utilizes 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 competencies 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
- to train independent problem solving for demanding research questions and thus lay and advanced knowledge and skill basis for doctoral studies
- to train presentation and argumentation skills, both oral and written
- to attain expertise in the practices of researching, utilizing 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 a 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
Check out the complete list of Master’s theses written by our graduates from the programme’s web pages
PUBLISHING THE WORK OF STUDENTS
The Finland Futures Research Centre publishes the inspired and inspirational picks from the students' papers each year in a Special Issue “Coolest Student Papers”. With this publication, the Centre has wanted to create a channel for making visible the hard work, academic talent and creativity featured in our courses.
The Special Issue “Coolest Student Papers at Finland Futures Research Centre 2015-2016” covers six courses from the Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies, two courses organized by Finland Futures Academy (taught in Finnish), and the interdisciplinary teamwork course of Sustainability Studies. All the studies are coordinated by the Centre. In this Special Issue, each course forms its own section with an introduction by the teacher(s), followed by the papers.
For more information, see http://www.utu.fi/fi/yksikot/ffrc/julkaisut/e-tutu/Documents/eBook_6-2016.pdf
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 into 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
The students graduating from the Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies will qualify for 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
- futures analyst
- business development manager
- development and planning officer in the 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 16 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 careers in research and other positions of expertise.
GENERAL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
A Bachelor’s degree that formally qualifies the applicant to access Master’s level studies in the country where it has been completed. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to a minimum of three years of full-time study. You must also prove your English language skills when applying. Please visit the website of the programme for more information.
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