The Department prepares candidates for the degrees listed below. The Doctor of Philosophy is a research degree. The Master of Science can be either by dissertation only or by coursework and dissertation in any of its research areas. The Master of Philosophy is by coursework and dissertation.
- Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering Management [EG003]
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Materials Science [EH007]
- Master of Science in Engineering by dissertation [EM023]
- Master of Science in Engineering by coursework and dissertation [EM024]
- Master of Philosophy by coursework and dissertation [EM026]
- Doctor of Philosophy [ED001]
Why you should do a postgraduate degree
Mechanical Engineers live in a world where there are ever increasing pressures placed on one to master continuously changing technologies and processes. It is widely recognised that one of the best ways of doing this is to further ones education by doing a postgraduate degree.
Just as a doctor first studies to be a General Practitioner (GP) and then takes the time to study further and specialise, we follow a similar approach in the Mechanical Engineering Department. At the undergraduate level, we believe that we provide you with the "toolbox" with which to ply your trade and then at a postgraduate level, we help you to specialise in an area that you may find of interest. Here we guide you in developing the highly complex and technologically advanced skills that are so often necessary in industry today.
Our Postgraduate Programme is well developed with all of our Academic Staff members involved in supervising students in their further study. There are some particularly active research groups that are always on the lookout for new people to help develop new ideas and stimulate the research spirit that we have in the Department.
Graduate life is quite different to that of an Undergraduate. All our facilities are available for to you to use and you are encouraged to come and participate in the lunch and tea - time discussion that goes in the staff common room. There is both a dynamic and collegial working environment with a sound cross pollination of ideas occurring in all areas.
If you are considering further study, come and speak with us. Find out first hand what research is being done and we will find a place for you and help you to develop into a highly skilled practitioner of your science. It will be, without doubt, both a stimulating and rewarding experience.
Will it help me in my career?
If you have the slightest inclination to proceed with graduate study, do so now. It can only benefit your career. If you are presently a final year student and you don't proceed, then the chance of your ever returning to it after you leave the university is very slim indeed. Our experience is that only one in seven of the students who say they wish to do postgraduate study, but put it off for a few years, actually graduate in the end. The 18 months or 3 years that it generally takes to do a Masters or Doctorate respectively is not a long time when you consider the time that you will be required to work until retirement.
It is your career that you are building, and postgraduate qualifications give you that extra freedom in tailoring your career to suit your interests. If you are a working engineer, and now wish to proceed with postgraduate study, then we suggest that you try to do it full time. Your studies will be far more directed that way, and your chances of success are about four times better than if you try to do it part time. If for financial reasons you are unable to do it full time, then do not despair. Many of the university's best postgraduates have done it through the tough and arduous part time route. It requires greater determination, and many hours of hard work.
The objectives of graduate study are the development of a more general and fundamental understanding not only of the sciences specifically underlying a particular field, but also those underlying related fields. Furthermore, it is to promote the study of general and more powerful methods of analysis and synthesis, to advance the capacity to read with understanding learned papers, many of which are of a specialized nature, and to acquire courage, imagination and technical capability to make new contributions to engineering progress.
What coursework is on offer?
This varies from year to year. Courses are presented by a member of staff to support students that they have doing their postgraduate studies with them (as well as others who wish to do the course) and are not necessarily available every year. The following types of courses are available:
Structural Impact, Industrial Engineering, Operational Systems Management and Design Essentials, Systems Engineering, Project Management, Managing for Performance Improvement, Manufacturing Technology and Process Design, Non-Destructive Testing and Evaluation, Advanced Refrigeration, Kinematics and Dynamics of Mechanical Systems, Gas Dynamics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing.
How do I get started?
If you are presently a final year student at UCT then the first thing to do is to approach a supervisor in your area of interest. If s/he is interested then s/he will assist you to proceed with an application. If s/he is not, do not despair, it is probably because s/he may have too many students already, or s/he may not have an appropriate project at the right time, or a host of other reasons. It is not because s/he feels that you are a poor candidate. Approach another possible supervisor. Perseverance is the name of the game. If you cannot find a possible supervisor then we will try to match your interests with those of a member of staff of the department. This person will then contact you directly to carry the matter forward.
Visit our website for further details.