This PGDip in Industrial Engineering is designed to equip individuals with the necessary skills for a modern industrial engineering career.
In today’s complex and dynamic world, the skills of industrial engineering are more valuable than ever before. Industrial engineering is uniquely positioned to tackle many of the challenges faced by local and global organisations by improving service delivery, increasing competitiveness, and addressing efficiency and capacity constraints.


Programme content

The programme consists of 10 modules. These modules include a strong foundation of the sciences associated with operations management, quality and process engineering. These skills are then strengthened with quantitative skills by teaching data and decision science and modelling and simulation. This is enriched with strategic skills in business process engineering, operational excellence and supply chain management.
Although the PGDip is a distance learning programme, careful design incorporates practical examples and case studies, group interaction and workplace learning to ensure that the diploma is relevant and practical and deepens engagement and learning.



Module Name


Industrial Thinking and Philosophies

The Industrial Engineer’s worldview is distinct from most other professions, including other disciplines of engineering. This course serves as the bridge to learn the Industrial Engineering – lens. Students will gain an appreciation for what Industrial Engineers do, how they do it, what value system they have and how Industrial Engineers bring, create, improve and sustain value.

Introduction to Software Engineering

Being able to create computer code is a key skill of the Industrial Engineer of the future. This course introduces the student to Software Engineering. Which will serve as the basis for future courses in data science, Simulation and modelling and Decision Support Systems.

Operations Excellence

Improving organisations makes use of well-developed improvement philosophies, including Lean, Six Sigma, Systems Thinking, and Theory of Constraints. This course introduces students to these philosophies, guides students through selection and execution and loops back to human factors for implementation.

Business Process Engineering

Making businesses better is probably the most central role of the Industrial Engineer. Business Process Reengineering is a loosely collected set of philosophies and techniques that can be used to gain efficiency, productivity, profitability and overall business success. This course equips students with a general set of competencies to achieve this aim.

Introduction to Data and Decision Science

Evidence based decisions are better decisions. In the abundance of data and the overwhelming amount of information and opinion, gathering suitable data, processing it correctly to build valid evidence is a key skill of modern Engineers. This module equips students with the basic skills to start rigorously analysing data and communicating supported findings.


Module Name


Quality Management

Quality is a field of importance to all organisations, from primary industries like agriculture and extractive industries like mining, to secondary – processing and manufacturing businesses to tertiary service-oriented businesses. The importance of good quality in systems must be emphasised. This course equips students with a specialised skill set in the theoretical and practical tools necessary to manage quality in organisations and across value chains.

Decision Support Systems

Making strong, evidence-based decisions is a key competence of Engineers broadly. Basing decisions on strong data and analysis allows engineers to make better decisions, with broad impact. In this module, students are introduced to the key philosophies, tools, software and approaches to building strong evidentiary chains to make good decisions, and to back these up scientifically.

Operations Management and Supply Chain

Understanding operations and supply chains scientifically is one of the most important areas in which the Industrial Engineering skill set is of importance. This course equips students with the important skills that are used to deliver product to customer demand in an optimised, efficient, and high-quality way.

Modelling and Simulation

Complex systems can rarely be solved exactly - only optimised. Given the almost unlimited number of variables and conditions, making use of models, representative tools that simplify reality, and simulations – approaches that reduce the need to run experiments in practice. This leads to lower cost, higher impact decisions in shorter time with the ability to test solutions through simulation before practically taking the high-risk steps of practical experimentation. In this course, students will be equipped with specific skills in model development, simulation coding and being able to apply these to understand and drive real world problems.

Engineering Investigation and Problem Solving

This course is the capstone project for this qualification. In this course, the student will have to identify and solve a problem in their working environment, making use of the skills gained in the other courses of this qualification to deliver an Industrial Engineering solution to a complex, real-world problem.

Who is this programme for?

This programme is targeted at individuals who aspire to advance their career or change direction by gaining specialised knowledge and skills in industrial engineering.
The programme is also designed for individuals without an appropriate undergraduate qualification in industrial engineering to transition to advanced postgraduate studies in industrial engineering.

Do I qualify for this programme?

In order to qualify for this programme you will need a qualifications such as such as a BSc, or a BTech or an appropriate NQF level 7 qualification within disciplines related to engineering with sufficient mathematical and physical science foundation (50% in relevant final year modules at NQF level 7) , as approved by the postgraduate admissions committee. Please refer to the Postgraduate Yearbook for Engineering for more details.

Recognition of prior learning will also be considered.

Structure of the programme

The PGDip is a two-year, part-time, distance programme. The programme will also incorporate project work in organisations.

What can I do with this qualification?

Industrial engineering is a particularly broad discipline that opens doors to a wide range of specialties and contexts.  This postgraduate diploma will introduce students to some of the fundamental elements of the industrial engineering body of knowledge.  As a result, graduates from the programme will have access to jobs in these areas of speciality in a variety of contexts. 

For example, positions in data science, operations management and improvement, entrepreneurship, business engineering, decision making and supply chain. 
Contexts are broad and could include: mining, agriculture, health care, transport, manufacturing, retail, public service and government. 

This postgraduate diploma may also provides a transition to a Masters degree in industrial engineering that could involve specialist research in any of these knowledge areas and contexts.

How to apply

  • Applications for future academic year enrolment normally open in April. Please visit our application page for specific dates when applications are open and to apply online:
    • Take note of the application guidelines and videos available to assist you.
    • Only online applications are considered:
      • Refer to for our application dates and how to apply.
      • Note: A motivation of +/- 250 words explaining why you want to enrol for this qualification and what you hope to achieve by completing it is required.
      • No application will be accepted without a motivation letter.
      • Refer to the Postgraduate Yearbook for Engineering for more details regarding the minimum admission requirements for the qualification.
  • Please note: there are limited spaces available in the programme and the NWU works on a first come first served basis.
  • For any other application enquiries please contact:

Documents required to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma

Identification Document (ID)
Transcripts & Certificates to serve as proof of previous qualifications
Resume / CV indicating your experience
Undertaking (Can be downloaded from the UODL website)
A Motivation letter of approximately 250 words explaining why you want to enroll for the Postgraduate Diploma and what you hope to achieve by completing the programme. 

Please upload your Motivation under the Preliminary Proposal tab if the Motivation tab is not listed under documents.


You can generate your own quote here
Please refer to the estimated first minimum payable fees information page for more information. Note that the values indicated could be for the current academic year and may change for future years. The minimum fee is payable at the time of registration and registration will not be complete until the minimum payable fee has been paid.
Please note: International students need to pay the full years tuition fee at the time of registration.

Please contact our Finance department for more information on our fees structure

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: Where can I find a brochure for the Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Engineering?
    1. All the information is available on our Web page under “Programme Content” and in the Postgraduate Yearbook for Engineering.
  2. Q: What are the core and elective modules?
    1. There are no elective modules for this PGDip. All modules listed are core modules.
  3. Q: Do all the modules in a year run concurrently?
    1. No. The curriculum consists of five module per year, over two years (Three modules during the 1st Semester and two modules during the 2nd Semester).
  4. Q: The Postgraduate Diploma incorporates project work in an organisation. Does this mean that I need to be employed in the relevant field before being able to complete the programme?
    1. It is the purpose of the NWU to make the programme as relevant and practical as possible. This will be done in several ways. At some points you may need to conduct a project in a ‘real-world’ context. This does not mean that you need to have full-time employment. Our lecturers are sensitive to the fact that some students may not have formal employment. Each module will have different requirements, but our lecturers will assist you to find an appropriate project that meets the criteria for that module, should you need assistance.
  5. Q: What is the difference between doing an Honors degree and a Postgraduate diploma?
    1. At NQF level there is no difference as they are both classed as NQF level 8 and show that you have one additional year of study besides your advanced diploma or Bachelor’s degree. 
  6. Q: Will the Postgraduate Diploma guarantee me access to do a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering?
    1. The Postgraduate Diploma does not guarantee access to a Master’s degree. Although there are advantages with this as the entry point to a Master’s degree, it is important to note that applicants for a Master’s degree must have a BEng degree to be considered and each applicant is considered on merit. The most important caveat that need to be considered during a Master’s application are:
      • Whether there is a suitable study leader available to supervise the research project, and
      • The relevant experience and qualifications of each applicant is considered individually
  7. Q: Why should I enroll for this Postgraduate Diploma?
    1. We have gone to great lengths to align the content of the programme with current industry trends to ensure our curriculum is designed around engagement with the “real-world” at every turn. Completing this qualification will provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to be successful in your career and provide you with a competitive advantage over your peers.
  8. Q: Who are the individuals that apply for this PGDip?
    1. Our application pool is made up of individuals with diverse experience and interests, but overwhelmingly, a desire to change the world. We are certain that being in our small classes, engaging with your first-class lecturers and other students around you, that you will have a spectacular experience and that you will definitely be able to "sell yourself" better in the workplace.
  9. Q: Can the Industrial Engineering PG dip programme be used to qualify for ECSA registration, like registering as a Professional Engineer?

A: Please note that the Industrial Engineering PG Dip programme does not assess engineering graduate attributes at exit level and, therefore, cannot be used on its own to apply for professional registration. Potential applicants are referred to the ECSA website for a list of accredited qualifications per registration category.

Contact us 

For application inquiries, please contact the Unit for Open Distance Learning: or 018 299 4571.
For more information on the programme, please contact Prof Joke Bührmann.