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

The 180 credit MEng programme encompasses five core data science modules, two elective modules, one specialization module, a module in professional communication, as well as a final 60-credit research assignment.

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 are spread throughout the year (see timetable). The module duration is typically nine weeks and starts with a pre-block. A lecture block week will be presented in the 3rd week, and students must attend this week full time. The block week takes place at Stellenbosch University or can be attended online for students who cannot travel to Stellenbosch. Beyond the lecture week no further contact time will be required.

Modules offered by other departments for the programme can have a different format/presentation mode.

Study time, Full time and part time option

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. Both student groups attend the same modules.

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 four years. If necessary students must apply for extension of study time with good motivation.

Once you commence your studies, a change from full time to part time is not possible.

Remember the co-requisite requirements for MEng and PGDip when you choose/register for your modules.Be aware that there is overlap between the modules.

Applications for the next year intake year commences in April of the current year. Applications must be submitted via the University’s postgraduate website. Current students can apply from July onwards.

Applications for current SU students opens from 1 May 2024. It is recommended for current student to apply after the finalisation of the 1st semester marks.

When you apply, select:

MEng (Industrial Engineering) Structure for the master’s program or

PGDip(Eng) (Industrial Engineering) for the postgraduate diploma programme.

The application closing dates for the programme is

  • 31 October 2024 for South African candidates, and
  • 31 October 2024 for international candidates.

Admission requirements for MEng IE (struc) are listed here.

Admission requirements for PgDip IE are listed here.

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

Information on postgraduate fees is available on the University’s postgraduate website in the Yearbook Section ‘Student fees’ of the respective year SU Calendar (

Use the information in the SU fees calendar in combination with the student fees website.

Fees are adjusted annually. Fees differ for South African and International students as well as part time and full time students. It is recommended that you acquaint yourself with the fee structure, especially the yearly registration fees as well as the module fees.

For South African students fees enquiries must be directed to student accounts.

For International students enquiries fees enquiries must be directed to SUIFINANCE []

Note: There are no scholarships from the IE department available for these programmes. For information on postgraduate funding and support, visit the funding support website.

For general enquiries about the programme and any enquiries regarding registration, please send enquiries to the programme manager, Dr Martina Frei.

Fee enquiries and requests for quotes can be directed to student accounts (SA students) /SUIfinance

For enquiries on the technical aspects of the online application process please contact