Industrial Engineering Data Science Programmes


Data science is the scientific investigation that employs innovative approaches and algorithms, most notably machine learning algorithms, for processing and analysing data. Data Science technologies can be applied to both small and big data, of various types such as relational, images, video, audio, and text. Big data constitutes extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions. The data science programmes focus on enabling students to develop innovative optimisation and machine learning techniques to produce novel, efficient and robust data science technologies, for use in Industrial Engineering, Engineering Management and related applications. Examples include forecasting, customer segmentation and targeted marketing, production quality control, supply chair performance prediction and process monitoring.

The Programmes

The Department of Industrial Engineering is hosting two data science related programmes, namely the MEng (Structured) and the Postgraduate Diploma.

The MEng programme encompasses five core data science modules, two elective modules, a specialization module, a module in professional communication, as well as a final 60-credit mini-thesis.

The postgraduate diploma, on the other hand, requires students to complete six core data science modules, two generic modules and a professional communication module.

The modules will each be presented during a block (each block typically has a duration of one week), and students must attend these blocks at Stellenbosch University. No further contact time will be required.

A student may choose to enrol for the programme as a fulltime or a part-time student, where the main difference is the length of time allowed to enrol. It is expected of a fulltime student to complete the postgraduate diploma in one year or the MEng programme in two years. A part-time student, on the other hand, is expected to complete the postgraduate diploma in two years and the MEng programme in three years.

Application Process

Applications for the 2021-intake year commenced on 1 March 2020 and can be submitted via the University's postgraduate website.

The application closing dates for the programme is

  • 1 December for South African candidates, and
  • 30 September for international candidates.

Please note that the programmes are quota-managed and have a limited number of places available for students.


Fees are adjusted annually. For a provisional quotation of fees, visit the student fees website. Formal requests for quotes can be directed to student accounts.

More information on postgraduate fees are available on the University's postgraduate website.

Note that there are no scholarships available for these programmes. For more information on postgraduate funding and support, visit the funding support website.


For general enquiries about the programme, you are welcome to contact the programme coordinator, Dr Christa de Kock, or the programme head, Prof Andries Engelbrecht.

For any enquiries regarding registration, please contact Mrs Wilna Wessels (Admin A building, Room A2029). Fee enquiries and requests for quotes can be directed to student accounts or Mr Sean Davidse.

The Department

For more information on the Department of Industrial Engineering, visit the department's website.