Computer Science Rekenaarwetenskap

Postgraduate Studies in Computer Science

What are the entry requirements?

  1. To be admitted for Honours in Computer Science, you
    • need a degree that covers our Computer Science curriculum
    • must have obtained an average of at least 65% for your Computer Science subjects in your final year. This number is at the discretion of the department and might be adjusted upwards as the course becomes even more popular.
    • must have a strong mathematical foundation; thus mathematics (or Applied mathematics) at least until second year level is required.
    • must have practical programming experience; our Honours degree has a strong focus on programming and it is imperative that you can program to successfully complete the Honours degree
  2. To register for any individual postgraduate module you need either a degree in Computer Science or must have already fulfilled all the requirements to obtain one and to receive it at the next scheduled graduation ceremony. Furthermore, the same mathematics, programming, and Computer Science background as needed for an Honours in Computer Science is required.
  3. The entry requirements for a Masters in Computer Science is a degree in Computer Science and an Honours degree
  4. The entry requirements for a Doctoral in Computer Science is a thesis-based Masters degree.

How do I apply?

The important steps are:

  1. This step is only for prospective Masters and Doctoral students. You need the agreement of a staff member that will supervise your Masters/Doctoral thesis. Browse through our Research pages and read more about the kind of work we do. You can also look at our staff’s publications to get an idea of the kind of topics they are interested in. If you have found an area of our research that interests you, contact the responsible staff member to discuss potential topics. It is not essential to agree on a specific topic at this stage, but it is very important to obtain the staff member’s agreement to be your supervisor. If at all possible, make an appointment for a face-to-face meeting.

2. This step is only for prospective Honours, Masters, and Doctoral students who are not currently studying at Stellenbosch University. Email all your transcripts to the postgraduate coordinator (postgrad@cs.sun.ac.za) and ask whether you satisfy the requirements for the postgraduate programme you are interested in. Prospective Masters and Doctoral students, please mention the staff member who has agreed to supervise your thesis.

  1. This step is for all prospective Honours, Masters, and Doctoral students. Fill out a formal application form. If you have access to the internet (if you are reading this, you probably have), you can find the form and details about how to complete it on the Science Faculty website under the “For prospective students / Application forms” heading. You can apply online. You can also try at Postgraduate Studies under the “Application to SU” dropdown menu.

  2. This step is only for students who want to follow the Data Stream. Send an email to the postgraduate coordinator (postgrad@cs.sun.ac.za) to ask whether you qualify for the Data Science stream.

The closing dates are:

What about part-time/foreign students?

The university allows students to enter as part-time students. The degree then extends over more years; the honours degree can be extended to a maximum of two years, which must be consecutive. A part-time Masters degree extends over three to four years. Generally speaking, this is a much harder alternative and requires self-discipline and dedication.

Honours students should take note of the following:

We also welcome applications from foreign students. In addition to the application steps mentioned above, you should also contact the university’s Postgraduate Office for administrative details about studying at Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch University has many partnership agreements with foreign universities, making it easy to arrange student exchanges. Our 16 credit modules are equivalent to 8 ECTS credits, and all of the modules are presented in English.

What about the costs and financial support?

Computer Science does not offer any direct support for students, but the university as a whole does, and of course there are many external bursaries available. The university’s portal for prospective students is a good source of information about such bursaries and up-to-date details about tuition fees. (International students should also have a look at the “Student fees and funding » Funding” section of the Postgraduate Office website.)

Most of our undergraduate modules require teaching assistants and we expect students who have completed them to get involved with at least one such module. While it will not provide enough income to support your studies, these positions can provide some supplemental income. But more than this: becoming a teaching assistant is not only a wonderful way to help the next generation of Computer Science students with their studies, but also a great opportunity to consolidate your own knowledge!

Some supervisors also have research funds available to support Masters or Doctoral students, but once again it may not necessarily provide enough income to cover all your expenses. Note that you cannot rely on this and must talk directly to the supervisor about this option.

Where can I find more information?

If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact our post-graduate coordinator by sending an email to postgrad@cs.sun.ac.za.