Futures research refers to a range of methods that can be used to identify, analyse and communicate insights about the future. Standard methods include horizon scanning, rend research, and scenario planning. Read more Read less

Outputs include emerging issues, trends, visions, scenarios, and wild cards. The methods employed and insights produced are used by both private and public sector organisations to inform a wide range of policy, risk, strategy and innovation processes. Futures research is a truly inter-disciplinary ‘science’, covering and combining developments in society, technology, economy, ecology, politics, legislation and values.

At a glance

What you will learn

  • Explain why organisations engage in futures research
  • Describe what futures research aims to achieve - and what it cannot do
  • Evaluate the utility and application of different futures research methodologies
  • Examine the role of futures research evidence in the environmental context
  • Be able to identify and apply the tools of future research in the environmental contexts
  • Be able to apply futures research methods to support a convincing case and use futures research evidence effectively.

Core content

In exploring horizon scanning and futures research in relation to their utility by environmental organisations, this module will combine formal lectures with interactive practical exercises that will cover:
  • An overview of the reasons why organisations engage in futures research
  • An overview of the aims and objectives of futures research
  • An overview of the different types of futures research methods including, but not confined to horizon scanning, trend research, scenario building, visioning and back-casting
  • A practical training exercise in horizon scanning. 

Who should attend

  • Strategy Managers
  • Technical Directors and Managers
  • Quality Directors and Managers
  • Head of Risk
  • Head of Assurance
  • Legal, Compliance Managers and Directors
  • Safety Managers and Directors


20% discount for Cranfield alumni 10% discount for colleagues of alumni

£840 - Professional/trade association discount

£820 - Multiple bookings*

*minimum of 5 delegates

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.