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Programme overview

The programme will create opportunities for students in the Computer Science, Statistics, Physics, Electrical Engineering or related fields to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on the emerging fields of Data Science.

This programme forms part of the DST-funded National e-Science Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform (NEPTTP). Students will register with their Home Institution but will attend the coursework component at Wits University in the first year. On completion of the coursework modules, students will move back to their Home Institutions for their second year of study.

The programme comprises compulsory and elective modules. Cross-disciplinary data-driven projects are offered both within the University and from a wide range of industry partners. A candidate must undertake modules to the value of 180 credits and must successfully complete the following courses: 

Compulsory courses (Year 1 at Wits)

  • Research Methods and Capstone Project in Data Science (15 credits)
  • Data Privacy and Ethics (15 credits)

Elective courses

  • Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning (15 credits)
  • Data Visualisation and Exploration (15 credits)
  • Large Scale Computing Systems and Scientific Programming (15 credits)
  • Large Scale Optimisation for Data Science (15 credits)
  • Mathematical Foundations of Data Science (15 credits)
  • Special Topics in Data Science (15 credits)
  • Statistical Foundations of Data Science (15 credits)

Research Report (Year 2 at Home Institution)

  • Research Report: Data Science (90 credits)


Graduates of the programme can find data-orientated roles within academic institutions, technology, healthcare companies and the finance sector.


Competitive DST-CSIR MSc bursaries, covering tuition, accommodation and stipend, are made available by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to qualifying offer holders with a record of excellent academic achievement. Priority for bursaries will be given to South African Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Please click here for more information.

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Entry Requirements

  • A Bachelor of Science with Honours from Wits or another university
  • A graduate of this or another university who holds a degree in another faculty whose curriculum has ordinarily extended over not less than four academic years of full-time study.
Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to have a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree from a relevant discipline in Science (Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics) or a relevant NQF level 8 qualification or a relevant Professional Engineering Degree with demonstrable knowledge of basic principles of Computing, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics.

Applicants require a minimum of 65 percent in their NQF level 8 qualification and fulfil any additional institutional application requirements of the institution through which they are applying, and must be co-approved by the Consortium.

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Application Process

  • Please apply online. If you are unable to apply online, please download and complete the application form.
  • Some programmes require additional departmental forms. Please fill in these additional forms as the application is not complete until this is done and ensure you provide all the requested supporting documentation within the timeframes for submission of the documentation. Applications that remain incomplete are withdrawn by the University.
  • It should be noted that no more than two choices of degree and/or diploma are permitted.
  • All additional documentation required by the University must be uploaded via the Self Service Portal  The University would request for the duly certified hard copies of all academic qualifications only if your application to study is successful.
  • All postgraduate applicants are required to pay an application fee of R200. Current University of the Witwatersrand students who apply online are not liable for this fee.
  • Once the application is complete in terms of the requested documentation, the application is then referred to the relevant School for assessment.  Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.
  • All applicants will receive their correspondence via their e-mail and can also view it on the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants that are requested to provide an Academic Transcript and Degree Certificate are reminded that we require these documents for all tertiary qualifications, please note that credit certificates or statement of results are not acceptable. Applicants that are currently studying would be required to upload the Final Academic Record only once the final results become available towards the end of the academic year.      

For more information, please visit the Postgraduate Study at Wits site, or contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

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Apply now

International Students

Find out what you need to know with regard to study visas, medical aid, English Language proficiency and more. Visit our International students site.

Online applications

Complete an online application to study at Wits University

Complete an online application for financial aid or residential accommodation

Apply now
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