Our department offers a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (Research), which is a 100% research-based programme. This programme generally requires full-time study and research under the guidance of a supervisor(s) over a period of 18 – 24 months. Part-time candidates who are working in the industry are considered, and enrolment stretches over approximately three to four years. The residency culminates in the submission and examination of a thesis, as well as academic articles as part of fulfilment and attainment of the degree.

Candidates eligible to apply for a master’s degree in the Department of Process Engineering include graduates with a four-year undergraduate degree leading to a professional qualification such as BEng and BSc Eng, or graduates with a BSc Honours degree in one of the following fields: computer science, mathematics, applied mathematics, chemistry, biological sciences or physics. Note, however, that completion of a MEng is not a qualifying degree for registration as an engineer if a candidate comes from one of the last-mentioned fields.

Programme Information

Admission requirements:
– Qualifications

  • BEng degree
  • Hons BSc degree
  • Applicable 4-year Bachelor’s degree
  • Applicable Postgraduate Diploma
  • MTech

Minimum academic requirements:

  • A candidates with BEng qualification: 65% average for degree completed in four years, >65% average for degree completed in five years.
  • SA candidates with Hons BSc qualification: 65% average. Preference will be given to applicants with average of 70% and above.
  • SA candidates with MTech qualification: 65% average and above
  • International candidates: 65% average / Second Class Upper Division pass for degree completed in minimum time. Results of individual modules are also scrutinized. Preference will be given to candidates with a First Class Pass.

All applicants are encouraged to apply for research funding, especially NRF funding. As most South African funders only make funding available to SA citizens, international students are strongly encouraged to apply for funding from their home countries or other international funders.


  • Full-time enrolment for approx. 2 academic years
  • Part-time enrolment of approx. 3 – 4 years
  • 100% research-based programme


  • Submission of thesis
  • Submission of articles in accredited research journals

SAQA credits:

  • 180 credits (thesis)
  • NQF level 9

Application procedure:

To apply for a MEng (Research) in Chemical Engineering, please complete the SU’s online application.
Applications for the MEng (Research) programme open in April and close by end November.
International candidates must keep in mind that the visa application process can take up to 8 – 12 weeks, and this only starts after admission to the programme. 

Read more here for details about the institutional application process. Should you require assistance with finalising and completing your online application, your are welcome to contact our Client Service Center on info@sun.ac.za / +27 21 808 9111 for assistance. Please ensure that ALL necessary supporting documents are uploaded (detailed below) – if your application is incomplete it will not be processed and you will not be considered for departmental admission.

Please take note of the following regarding the compulsory documentation to be uploaded as part of the application:

  1. Departmental application form: The upload labelled “Dept-XXX” on the application portal refers to the departmental application form.
  2. Students currently registered for BEng (Chemical Engineering) at SU aren’t required to complete or upload the departmental application form as part of the institutional application. For other students registered at SU (but not within the department), this may be beneficial to complete and share with potential supervisors if you have not yet secured a supervisor (even though the application will not require the document as a compulsory upload).
  3. Regarding references to be included on the departmental application form: Three references are required, preferably from academic referees.
  4. Proof of written academic work: MEng applicants must please submit their final-year research project for proof of written academic work. If you have published articles in accredited journals, please upload those as well. If you have graduated a while ago and have recently written project proposals or reports as part of your professional work, which demonstrate your academic writing skills, you can upload those as well.
  5. All electronic copies of academic records or degree certificates must be certified. A certified copy is a copy (often a photocopy) of a primary document that has on it an endorsement or certificate that it is a true copy of the primary document. Certification can be obtained by taking the original documents and copies to a police station or commissioner of oaths. The certified copy can then be scanned to produce the electronic certified copy.

More information about and descriptions for the compulsory documents that must be uploaded as part of the institutional application can be found here

If you have a specific research focus or interest and wish to work with a particular supervisor, you can contact the supervisor and include your complete departmental application and academic records. However, we do not advise that you contact all the supervisors in the department as this does not reflect well on the candidate.

Our department’s process from application to registration is as follows:

  1. Application: Candidates create a profile and submit an application via the application portal. Once the application is submitted, it is reviewed by our Central Admissions Office for completeness (status changes to “reviewed”). If the submitted documents are incorrect, candidates will be contacted via the application portal (status changes to “incomplete”). Once the application is reviewed by the CAO, it is screened by the department to check whether the candidate meets the admission criteria.
  2. Selection: All candidates who meet the admission criteria are shared with the department’s supervisors for consideration. Should a supervisor be interested in offering you a position in their research group, they will contact you directly for more information, to complete an assignment, or to schedule an interview.
  3. Nomination: The potential supervisor nominates the candidate for approval at a departmental management meeting.
  4. Admission: Successful candidates will receive conditional offers via SUNStudent, which they must accept, and thereafter another final offer will be issued that candidates must also accept. International candidates start with the visa application process – further information and steps are shared with successful candidates at this point.
  5. Registration: This typically take place at the start of the new academic year towards the end of January when registration opens. Admitted candidates will receive communication in this regard.

Your status on the SU application portal will remain “reviewed” until we reach the point of admission (as explained above).

If you are not contacted by any supervisors by the end of the year, you can consider your application unsuccessful. In certain cases supervisors receive late confirmation of research funding early in the new academic year (January – March) and in such situations, candidates may be contacted early in the new year to take up a postgraduate position in our department.

We receive more applications than positions available for a new academic year, and positions are offered to selected applicants. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for research funding – students who are bursary recipients have a higher likelihood of successful admission.

All queries can be directed to postgradchem@sun.ac.za.

Tuition Fees & Bursaries

More information about Study & SU Residence fees can be found below, including opportunities and information about bursaries.

FAQs & International Students

Some answers to questions about the postgraduate programmes including information about International Students

Postgraduate Support

Contact Mieke de Jager, our Postgraduate Manager, if you have any queries or need support.

Postgraduate & Research Manager

Find out more

Stellenbosch University reserves the right to change the degree structure, modules and their content, lecturers, fees, admission requirements, delivery mode, semesters in which modules are offered and related issues. Admission is subject to selection and the number of students per cohort is limited.