Honours degree programme

Postgraduate degree programmes in Bioengineering

The postgraduate degree programmes are as follows.

(i) The Honours degree in Bioengineering is an engineering degree that follows on a four-year degree in Electronic or Computer engineering. It consists of four fulltime postgraduate modules.The Honours degree is intended to lay the foundation for further research degrees (Masters and PhD) and is tightly integrated with the Masters degree.

(ii) A Masters degree (fulltime). This is a research-based degree in which electronic engineering background is applied to solve complex problems in medicine and biology.

(iii) A PhD (fulltime). This is an advanced research-based degree in which electronic engineering background and research background from a Masters is applied to solve complex problems in medicine and biology.

Postgraduate studies typically commences with a 1 year fulltime B.Eng.(Hons) degree, which entails coursework consisting of four 32-credit modules. 

Note that the Honours modules are specifically intended for fulltime postgraduate students working towards a Masters, and are therefore tightly integrated with and presented as part of the Masters degree curriculum.

The honours modules are specifically intended to support a Masters in Bioengineering, i.e. to build the necessary foundation for research in this area. The idea is that the curriculum incorporates a large part of the background and preparatory work required for a Masters and therefore allows students to focus on research during the Masters.

Before being allowed to register for ANY postgraduate studies in Bioengineering, prospective students are required to discuss their plans with the Group Head.
Postgraduate students can only enrol for an Honours in Bioengineering with permission from the Group Head and with a supervisor for the Masters degree research having been identified. 

Entry in the Bioengineering Honours programme

To enter into the Honours programme, a prospective student needs:

  • a solid commitment to fulltime Honours and Masters degree studies;
  • an undergraduate degree in Electronic or Computer Engineering, with an excellent academic record. Students with a Mechatronic Engineering undergraduate degree and that can demonstrate that they have the correct background (see next bullet below), and with an excellent academic record may be considered if there is a clear commitment towards a Masters following on the Honours and only if present research projects within the research group allow this;
  • a strong demonstrated background in core Electronic Engineering subjects areas, including mathematics, physics, programming, numerical analysis, statistics, electromagnetism, signal processing, control systems and electronic design;
  • appropriate foundational training and experience in research, typically through a comprehensive and challenging research project as part of the final year of undergraduate study;
  • excellent English reading, writing and speaking skills. The latter will be demonstrated through email communication, an interview, through a writing assignment, through a major undergraduate research report (typically the final year project report) and often through results of TOEFL tests;
  • International students will need own funding, and availability of this for the entire duration of study needs to be demonstrated before an application will be considered. Limited funding is available on competitive basis for South African citizens.
The intake of Honours students is limited and only open to fulltime students.To enrol for an Honours degree in Bioengineering, a student has to hold a four-year engineering degree (usually only Electronic or Computer Engineering) from an ECSA-accredited university engineering progamme. An excellent undergraduate academic record is required. Entry will be on competitive basis.

Honours modules

Please see the entry requirements above. It is a requirement that a student must complete all three the Bioengineering Honours modules, as well as Introduction to Research 732 (EIN 732), if he or she plans to proceed to a MEng (Bioengineering) degree.

Module Code Credits
Bioelectricity and electronics EBE 732 32
Bioelectromagnetism and modelling EBI 732 32
Biosignals and systems EBB 732 32
Introduction to research EIN 732 32


Funding is available for fulltime Honours study for South African citizens (among others, through assistent lecturer positions and research assistantships).


An online application needs to be submitted. In addition, kindly discuss your plans with the Group Head, Prof Johan Hanekom ([email protected]) no later than mid-January of the year in which you intend to register for an Honours degree in Bioengineering.

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