Industrial engineers optimise systems by creatively designing solutions that integrate people, processes and technology. They enable people, technology, information, materials, methods and money to work together productively and effectively. Industrial engineering originated more than a century ago during the industrial revolution when industries started to search for the best, cheapest and fastest way to manufacture products. However, today it is imperative to employ industrial engineers in various industries due to advancements in technology and the current demand of the market place.

Industrial engineering is among the top 10 scarce skills in South Africa. In order to study Industrial Engineering, the following admission requirements are needed:

  • 70% for Mathematics
  • 70% for Physical Sciences
  • 60% for Home Language (English or Afrikaans)
  • APS of 34
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The curriculum at the NWU for Industrial Engineering is as follows:

First Year

  • Intro to Algebra and Calculus I
  • Intro Inorganic and Physical Chem
  • Basic Physics I
  • Programming for Engineers
  • Engineering Graphics I
  • Practical Engineering Practice
  • Language and Academic Literacy skills
  • Intro to Algebra and Calculus II
  • Statics and Mathematical Modelling
  • Basic Physics II
  • Electrotechnics I
  • Introduction to Industrial Engineering
  • Material Science I

Second Year

  • Advanced Calculus I
  • Linear Algebra I
  • Dynamics I
  • Differential Equations
  • Electrotechnics II
  • Algorithms and Optimisation
  • Understanding the Technological World
  • Thermodynamics I
  • Optimisation and Numerical Methods
  • Operations Management for Engineers
  • Introductory Labour Law
  • Engineering Communication

Third Year

  • Simulation Modelling
  • Engineering Statistics
  • Object-Oriented Software Development
  • Operational Excellence
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Engineering Economics
  • Statistical Learning for Engineers
  • Advanced Optimisation
  • Control Theory
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Science, Technology and Society

Fourth Year

  • Quality Assurance
  • Facilities Design
  • Business Analytics
  • Database and Web-programming
  • Systems Engineering
  • Vacation Training
  • Project
  • Engineering Management
  • Business Engineering and Design


As an NWU​ Industrial Engineer you may register with the following professional Bodies:

Industrial engineers may work in the following industries:

  • Manufacturing, mining and energy
  • Food industry
  • IT and telecommunications
  • Logistics and supply chain
  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Healthcare
  • Banking and finance
  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Agriculture
  • Service and consulting