Start main page content

Wits offers new post graduate courses in e-Science

- Wits University

Programme will create opportunities for students in a variety of fields to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on the emerging fields of Data Science.

Wits University is leading the charge in combating the large shortage in scientists and professionals qualified in dealing with e-Science, including Big Data.

The University, in association with five other South African Universities and research institutions, has started two new Masters degrees, that deal with Big Data, namely a M.Sc. in e-Science, and a M.A. degree in e-Science. 

Situated in the Wits School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, the M.Sc. degree aims to train postgraduate students in computational, mathematical and statistical methods to solve data-driven problems. This programme will create opportunities for students in the Computer Science, Statistics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Medicine, Biological Sciences and other technical fields, to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on the emerging fields of Data Science.
The M.A. degree, which is situated in the School of Social Sciences in the Humanities Faculty, aims to train students in the use of statistical methods to conduct data-driven research in the social sciences and humanities.

Starting in 2018, students from Wits, University of Pretoria and North West University can enrol at the university where they are registered at.

The University of Limpopo, University of Venda and Sol Plaatje University will join the programme for the 2019 intake.

For the first year of the 18-month programme, students will attend their coursework classes at Wits, irrespective of which university they are registered at, before returning to their home institution for their research project.

Students who enrol for the M.Sc. degree will have to take two compulsory courses, namely: Research methods and capstone projects in data science, and Data privacy and ethics, as well as four electives, while students enrolling for the M.A. programme will have four compulsory courses, namely Research methods and capstone project in data science; data privacy and ethics; principles of quantitative social research and advanced topics in quantitative social research.
Both programmes are funded by the Department of Science and Technology, through the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR). The 2018 intake of 30 students will be fully funded.

For the 2018 intake students are required to have a background in mathematics, statistics or computer science. However, from 2019, bridging courses will be added for students who don’t have a strong mathematics background.

For more information contact or visit

Read the curriculum overview.