Develop your talent for future thinking.
This vital skill can significantly enhance your ability to succeed in an ever-changing business world.
Join our online Future Thinking course to investigate the international, economic and business environments in which modern-day businesses operate.
- Learn the art of future foresighting.
- Study consumer decision making.
- Enhance your skills in industry analytics.
Access this focused part of our MBA with this flexible short course that fits around full-time work.
Build credits towards an MBA
This online course is part of:
Provided you meet the degree entry requirements, you may be able to use the credits you earn on this course towards this MBA.
What you’ll study
In this online short course, you’ll examine future thinking. You’ll explore what future thinking means, its role, and its relationship to planning and strategy.
- gain a greater insight into how our world works and the nature of change
- engage in your own scenario development process based on your own professional experience and research.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Differentiate between scenarios, predictions and forecasts.
Apply scenario-planning approaches to strategic management problems.
Explain what distinguishes scenario planning from other planning approaches.
Appreciate the range of challenges facing organisations operating in the 21st century.
How you’ll study
Our distance-learning Future Thinking course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level.
Course materials are carefully planned and structured. You’ll have unlimited access to our custom-built study platform, designed for ease of use and communication. Also available as an app, you can study on computer, smartphone and tablet 24/7.
Guidance and support is one-to-one and unlimited. Your tutor will respond to any questions and provide feedback on your coursework within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.
You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:
- online tutorials
- reading materials
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
You’ll learn from experienced academics and researchers from the University of Aberdeen’s Business School.
This course is assessed entirely online via:
- a scenario development project (60% of your final grade)
- a reflective review in the form of a 2,000-word essay (40% of your final grade).
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 15 – 20 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. The course website is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
There are no fixed-time activities on this course. You can access and work through it at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies.
You can communicate with your tutor one-to-one within the tutorial area of the study website. This communication is unlimited. You can also chat with your online colleagues and tutors within the online forum.
You’ll have access to a dedicated course coordinator who is available to offer support and guidance. They’re on hand to help you stay on track with your studies. Technical support, if required, is just a click or a call away.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that make online study easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your course coordinator
Professor Donald Hislop
Donald is a Professor in the Sociology of Work and Technology in Management Studies at the Business School. He has many years’ experience in teaching, researching and publishing in the fields of management, human resource management and knowledge management.View Donald’s profile
Where this will take you
Towards an MBA
You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. Provided you meet the degree entry requirements, you may be able to use these credits towards our:
- The only 100% online MBA from an ancient UK university.
- Tailored to your career and research goals.
- Develops key skills in leadership, innovation, change management, strategy development, sales and marketing.
Build your learning with more short courses
We have a range of online business and leadership courses you can use to build your skills, earn university credits, and gain postgraduate qualifications.
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
Free career support
Access our free careers service while you study.
- 1:1 appointments
- CV checks
- Interview prep
- Job opportunities
We welcome students from all over the world.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.
If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
Recommended level of English
For this course, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements, and these are minimum scores.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening and speaking
- 6.0 for reading and writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 21 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening and speaking
- 169 for reading and writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one from some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
Find out more about funding options.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.
The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:2 (second-class) undergraduate degree
- or relevant experience that supports this level of study.