The course Futures Studies and Forecasts spans a wide array of issues, all of them relevant for planners’ comprehension of the future. In the course, focus is on the understanding of some basic concepts in futures studies, such as scenarios, uncertainty and risk, and on how to deal with those. The course will touch upon issues of quite different character - such as population forecasting, regional plans and other long-term issues. The course works as a magnet for various such developments and places them in a common setting in order to help the student find methods to keep a long-term perspective on planning.
In this course, the students are trained to become users of futures studies in planning. They will not become experts in performing specific scenario studies, but they will get a broad knowledge on which methods are at hand. Thus, after the course, the students should have acquired a basic understanding of some fundamental methods of long-term planning.
- More specifically the aims of the course are that the students should:
- be able to explain the differences between various scenario approaches
- be able to use their knowledge regarding various types of scenario methods to critically analyse the use of scenario methods in various existing studies
- be able to point out risks and benefits with the methods presented in the course
- be able to choose a suitable scenario method for a specific problem
- have acquired a basic knowledge regarding existing techniques for scenario generation and be able to explain benefits and weaknesses with those techniques.
- be able to use their new skills both in writing and orally.
The formal setting of the course consists of a series of lectures, three assignments and a course binder with a selection of literature. On top of this comes the students’ own engagement and work.
In the lectures, a number of invited scholars and practitioners present various futures studies approaches and give examples from their own work. Research staff holds a majority of the lectures, but practitioners from e.g. regional planning bodies also take part in the course.
The course gives a total of 7.5 credits and is graded in the levels fail (F, G), pass (E), good (C,D) and excellent (A,B).
Detailed information for students participating in the course, including the latest version of the schedule, can be found on Bilda