Data Science, Machine Learning, AI and Robotics at Wits Join us at the forefront of the 4th Industrial Revolution Apply Online Now
Data Science, Machine Learning, AI and Robotics at Wits Join us at the forefront of the 4th Industrial Revolution Apply Online Now
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Postgraduate Programmes in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

We need to train scholars to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century, some which we may not yet have encountered. The new world order, including the use of quantum computing, biotech, big data, internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence, has the potential to vanquish routine jobs that we take for granted today – and create new ones that we cannot yet envision. The downside could be the deepening inequality in an already divided society. - Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Affairs.

The evolving nature of innovations powered by AI means that those involved will be able to drive change at every level of society. Researchers in this area will help solve problems facing society locally and internationally, and drive innovations that will impact how future generations use technology.

The potential benefits of this technology are wide and numerous, but realising them presents deep scientific and engineering challenges.

The fields of AI, data science, robotics, machine learning, and other related fields offer great opportunities for South Africa and Africa to play a part in developing and innovating solutions and shaping them to deal with our realities.

Data scientists and machine learning specialists are in high demand. A Masters level qualification is usually the minimum requirement for employment in these fields, at large corporations. At Wits you can invest in yourself by completing an MSc that will provide you with the knowledge and skills to work in a field where there is a huge demand and a shortage of skills, as well as pioneering the use of new technology to make meaningful advances in all areas of society.

Africa needs experts to harness these technologies towards our local challenges and priorities. We aim to be at the forefront in one of the most important pursuits of modern science.

Join one of the leading teams of researchers at Wits University and position yourself at the top of the field.

Master of Science Degrees

MSc Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be seen as a system’s ability to interpret its environment, to learn from that interpretation, and to use those learnings to improve its ability to achieve specific goals and tasks through continuous adaptation. AI has the potential to completely modify society, government and the economy impacting the individual, the entrepreneur and large scale enterprise equally. The demand for individuals with a skill set that includes AI is ever increasing in both academia and industry. Wits aims to produce African experts to harness AI towards our continents challenges and be at the helm of the development of innovations and solutions using these technologies.


MSc Data Science

Data Science is an emerging field that sits at the intersection of computer science, software engineering, and applied statistics and optimisation. The challenges of data science are largely driven by a vast and rapidly generated, diverse variety of data. In order to derive meaning and value from this data, individuals are required to not only tap into an extensive knowledge of algorithms and mathematical constructs but also to use and develop emerging software and hardware technologies to support their endeavours. Beyond the mathematics, science and technology that drives data science, experts in this field have the ability to acquire extensive domain knowledge through interactions with experts whilst navigating the societal, legal and ethical constraints of their environments. The Wits MSc in Data Science endeavours to empower these all rounded individuals with the requisite skills to be successful in industry, government and academia.


MSc e-Science & MA e-Science

The MSc and MA programmes in e-Science aim to train postgraduate students in the use of statistical methods to conduct data-driven research in their field. The MSc programme, for students with backgrounds in Computer Science, Statistics, Physics, Electrical Engineering and related fields, and the MA programme, for students with backgrounds in the Social Sciences and Humanities, create opportunities to develop interdisciplinary perspectives on and skills in the emerging fields of Data Science.


MSc Robotics

Robotics is one of the world’s fastest growing fields and has the potential to revolutionise society. The programme is tailored to understanding how robots perceive the world, build models and plans, and take actions to manipulate their environment. This is done by focussing on machine learning, control, computer vision and artificial intelligence.






The Wits Institute of Data Science (WIDS)

The Wits Institute of Data Science (WIDS) is a leading interdisciplinary research and training institute with a focus on innovation in data science and machine intelligence. The mission of the University of the Witwatersrand is to grow its global stature as a leading research-intensive university and a gateway to research engagement and intellectual achievement in Africa. WIDS will support this mission by fostering intellectual excellence, international competitiveness and local relevance.

To find out more about our Wits’ researchers’ activities you can read Curiosity magazine which focuses on the interaction of human beings and technologies, showcasing of Wits’ ground-breaking research through the voices of talented researchers, students and academics, as well as


The National E-science Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform (NEPTTP)

The National e-Science Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform (NEPTTP) is multi-institutional programme that is growing qualifications, curricula and pedagogic interventions to advance the training of postgraduate students in the rapidly developing cross-disciplinary fields involved in e-Science.

The implementation of the NEPTTP project is championed by a Consortium of six South African universities: North West University (NWU), Sol Plaatje University (SPU), University of Limpopo (UL), University of Pretoria (UP), University of Venda (UniVen), and Wits University (as the Lead Institution).