Postgraduate Studies in Computer & Electronic Engineering


The MUST research group offers a postgraduate programme focused on machine learning. To qualify, prospective students must have an undergraduate degree in a related Engineering field and an interest in machine learning, deep neural networks, statistical pattern recognition and/or generalisation within the context of Artificial Intelligence.

MUST students either study the essence of the learning process of different types of deep networks, or apply and improve these techniques in the context of a specific application domain. In practice, students work with MUST researchers on one of our research projects, using popular deep learning tools (such as Pytorch and Tensorflow) to explore specific questions on new and existing data sets. Our students learn about machine learning algorithms, development of software, and the design and interpretation of machine learning experiments. In addition to the generic skills, many of our students working on specific application domains gain the knowledge and skills required to effectively operate in these specialised domains.

Through its affiliations and collaborative activities with SANSA, CAIR and NITheCS,  MUST is able to offer a number of M.Eng and PhD bursaries annually. We consider exceptional applications throughout the year (space allowing), and have an open application process in August-September.

MUST students enjoy considerable in-group support during their studies. Senior students are available to assist new students, resources are regularly shared on the group’s various communication channels, students meet with the entire group weekly and at least every second week with their supervisors in smaller groups. There's even a dedicated socials organiser to ensure an appropriate portion of fun and downtime.

Besides learning how to conduct research, postgraduate study at MUST is also a “finishing school” of sorts for engineers. Our students work in an informal office setting where they learn to balance the freedom to explore with a variety of responsibilities, such as contributing to group activities, participating in collaborative software development, sharing research results and guiding younger researchers when the time comes. Students leave MUST having learnt essential soft skills that will help them hit the ground running at their next opportunity, with a healthy understanding of work-life balance. Students at MUST also have the option of continuing their academic career, by applying to enrol for a PhD degree after completion of a master's degree.

Recent topics:

Study leaders: 

Prof Marelie DavelProf Stefan Lotz & Prof Etienne Barnard.

External domain experts participate as co-supervisors where relevant. Currently, the group includes the following experts:

Studies are also conducted in collaboration with other NWU faculty from the School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, currently Prof Albert Helberg & Prof Alwyn Hoffman.

Fernkloof hike, study visit in Hermanus (2019)   

Scenic drive up Rotary Way, study visit in Hermanus (2019)

   Post-colloquium beer tasting to celebrate 7 title registrations (2019)    Potchefstroom social event (2021)    On the balcony of the new Hermanus office (2021)


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Picnic, study visit in Hermanus (2022)   Student visit to SAIGEN (2021)   In-person graduations return (2022)       Deep Learning Indaba, Tunisia, (2022)  

Sundowners at Fick's Pool (2021)