Prospective postgraduates

Postgraduate administrator: Melinda Rust (Tel: +27 21 808 4295)

The Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch hosts two postgraduate study domains: Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. In the Industrial Engineering study domain, there are two different programmes, i.e. the MEng (Industrial Engineering) programme and the PhD (Industrial Engineering) programme. There is only one programme in the Engineering Management study domain, the MEng (Engineering Management) programme. These options add up to three different possible postgraduate qualifications for students in a variety of research areas:

  • MEng(Research) (Industrial Engineering);
  • MEng(Research) (Engineering Management); and
  • PhD(Industrial Engineering).

The PhD (Engineering Management) programme is currently under development and should be available in 2017. Underpinning the study domains and programmes are research areas pursued by researchers in the department as well as postgraduate courses to lay the theoretical foundation for the respective programmes.


Industrial Engineering (as study domain) is a discipline of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. It is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis and synthesis, as well as the mathematical, physical and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering design to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems or processes. Its underlying concepts overlap considerably with certain business-oriented disciplines such as operations management and financial management, but the engineering side tends to emphasize extensive mathematical proficiency and usage of quantitative methods.


Engineering Management (as study domain) on the other hand is a specialized form of management that is concerned with the application of engineering principles to business practice. Engineering management often leads to a career that brings together the technological problem-solving abilities of engineering and the organizational, administrative, and planning abilities of management in order to oversee complex systems from conception to completion. Technology management, as a sub-set of engineering management, is a specialized professional practice that captures technology-based innovation opportunities. It guides technological progress, assesses the potential of individual technologies and uses this potential to the benefit of business, society and the environment. It distinguishes five generic processes: a) identification of technologies, which are (or may be) of importance to the business; b) selection of technologies that should be supported by the organization; c) acquisition and assimilation of selected technologies; d) exploitation of technologies to generate profit, or other benefits; and e) protection of knowledge and expertise embedded in systems.

The figure shows that research in the Industrial Engineering study domain requires a research contribution primarily in engineering but significant integration of management concepts are allowed (up to a maximum of 50% of the total research output). Engineering Management requires mastering advanced management principles and concepts while integrating engineering principles as part of the research contribution. The engineering component of Engineering Management research output must exceed 25% but should be less than 50%. Research outputs where the management component exceeds 75% of the study is typically the make-up of an MBA thesis and falls outside the scope of the Industrial Engineering department.

For more information about the Postgraduate Prospectus click here

MEng (Research)

The MEng (Research) is a research based programme, generally requiring full-time study and research over a period of 18-24 months. A research thesis is produced, but thesis supportive subjects are required to be completed to instill fundamental concepts. The MEng Degree has a total credit value of 180 SAQA credits.


Programme Admission Requirements Format SAQA Credits
M.Eng (Research)(Industrial)M.Eng (Research)(Engineering Management)
    1. Quali cations:
      • BEng
      • Hons BSc
      • Applicable 4-year B degree
      • PGDip
      • MTech


    1. Successful completion of Admissions Week


    1. Selection by Department
100% research based programme with an element of compulsory supplementary coursework, with the purpose of supporting the research. 180

For more information about the Postgraduate Prospectus click here


The PhD programmes are 100% research based and are summarized below:

Programme Admission Requirements Format SAQA Credits
  1. Applicable Masters Degree
  2. Suitable Research Topic
  3. Selection by Department
100% research based programme 360

For more information about the Postgraduate Prospectus click here

You will find the Postgraduate application form here