Computer engineering is one of the three internationally accepted and closely related subdisciplines of the traditional field of electrical engineering (electrical engineering, electronic engineering and computer engineering). Computer engineering is the most dynamic and rapidly growing engineering discipline in the vast and constantly expanding field of information and communication technology (ICT). There is hardly a technological system in the world that does not rely on computer engineering. It involves a combination of electronics, computer systems (hardware and software) and communication systems. A computer engineer is someone with a talent for optimising electronic systems with dedicated computing systems and control software. This includes computer and communication networks of all sizes – from a couple of microcontrollers to the worldwide web. It is essential to know what this career entails before enrolling for the programme.
A computer engineer has a good understanding of the basic sciences and a sound education in the theoretical and practical aspects (including design methodology) of electronics, digital systems, computer systems and control software. With the dramatic increase in computing and storage capabilities, as well as a decrease in size and cost, most technological systems include components of computer engineering.
The computer engineering degree at the University of Pretoria was developed in 1998 to deliver graduates who can undertake the most demanding challenges of the ICT world in all its forms. Examples of computer engineering include cellphone technology, car control computers for engine management, entertainment systems, security systems, air-conditioning, active suspension and the anti-lock braking system (ABSs), which all use the principles of sensing, computing and actuation under optimised software control. This is the fastest- growing new discipline in engineering, and job opportunities for graduates exist all over the world.
Computer engineering is used in the following fields in particular: telecommunications, computer networking, cellphone operations, computer system companies, military technologies (avionics, night vision, electronic warfare, smart bombs, drones, laser target designators), transport technologies (toll roads), internet banking, security systems, consumer equipment, modems, handheld scanners, voting, medical systems (portable and remote diagnostic recorders), robotics, entertainment equipment, global positioning system (GPS) navigation, measurement and control software, and fibre-optic (self-healing networks).
A computer engineer has to be innovative and must keep abreast of new technologies and developments in both software and hardware. Some computer engineers move very quickly into management, where their analytical, synthesis, managerial and leadership skills enable them to reach the highest levels of corporate management.
The aim of computer engineering is to integrate electronics, computing and control systems in the best way possible to ensure fast, small and powerful systems. Typical subsystems include sophisticated software for artificial intelligence, biometrics, radio frequency (RF) subsystems and real-time applications, software engineering, human language technologies, e-commerce, m-commerce, billing software, data security and various networking applications, such as storage area networks.
For more information, please consult the Faculty webpage.
- Disclaimer: This publication contains information about regulations and programmes of the University of Pretoria. Amendments to or updating of the information may be effected from time to time without prior notification. The accuracy, correctness or validity of the information contained here is therefore not guaranteed by the University at any given time and is always subject to verification. The user is kindly requested to verify the correctness of the information with the University at all times. Failure to do so will not give rise to any claim or action of any nature against the University by any party whatsoever.
Computer engineers are active in all fields of the information superhighway and the information and communication technology (ICT) world, which include computer systems, software engineering, computer and communications networks, wireless sensor networks, embedded software, electronics, smart control systems and automation, data security, e-commerce, pattern recognition (face and speech recognition), and artificial intelligence. They specialise in combining hardware, software and communication technologies to optimise system performance.
- SA – 30/09/2020
- Non-SA – 31/08/2020
- The closing date is an administrative admission guideline for non-selection programmes. Once a non-selection programme is full and has reached the institutional targets, then that programme will be closed for further admissions, irrespective of the closing date. However, if the institutional targets have not been met by the closing date, then that programme will remain open for admissions until the institutional targets are met.
- The following persons will be considered for admission: Candidates who are in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required National Senior Certificate (NSC) with university endorsement; candidates who are graduates from another tertiary institution or have been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution, and candidates who are graduates of another faculty at the University of Pretoria.
- Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the APS.
- Grade 11 results are used for the conditional admission of prospective students.
- A valid qualification with admission to degree studies is required.
- Minimum subject and achievement requirements, as set out below, are required.
- Conditional admission to the four-year programmes in the School of Engineering is guaranteed only if a prospective student complies with ALL the requirements as indicated in the table.
- Admission to ENGAGE in the School of Engineering will be determined by the NBT and NSC results, achievement levels of 5 for Mathematics and 5 for Physical Sciences, and an achievement level of 5 for English, together with an APS of 30.
- Students may apply directly to be considered for the ENGAGE programme.
- All lectures at the University of Pretoria are presented in English only.
Note: The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) accredits our programmes and our degrees meet the requirements for Professional Engineers in SA.
Candidates previously registered for the BSc – Extended programme
The Admissions Committee of the faculty considers applications of candidates who were previously registered for the BSc – Extended programme, on grounds of their NSC results as well as academic merit. Such students will only be considered for the four-year programme if they have passed all the prescribed modules and obtained a minimum of 65% in the Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry modules, respectively.
Candidates previously registered at UP or at another university
The faculty’s Admissions Committee considers applications of candidates who have already completed the final NSC examination and/or were previously registered at UP or at another university, on grounds of their NSC results as well as academic merit. Candidates who were dismissed from other faculties or universities will not be considered.
Candidates previously registered at a teacher’s college or university of technology
The faculty’s Admissions Committee considers the application of these candidates on the grounds of their NSC results as well as academic merit.
Qualifications from countries other than South Africa
- Citizens from countries other than South Africa and South African citizens with foreign qualifications must comply with all the other admission requirements and the prerequisites for subjects/modules.
- In addition to meeting the admission requirements, it may be expected from candidates to write the Institutional Proficiency Test (currently NBT) and TOEFL, IELTS or SAT, if required.
- Candidates must have completed the National Senior Certificate with admission to degree studies or a certificate of conditional exemption on the basis of a candidate’s foreign qualifications, the so-called “Immigrant” or “Foreign Conditional Exemption”. The only condition for the “Foreign Conditional Exemption” that is accepted is: ‘completion of the degree course’. The exemption certificate is obtainable from Universities South Africa (USAf). Detailed information is available on the website at click here.
University of Pretoria website: click here
National Benchmark Test website: click here
English Home Language or English First Additional Language
Candidates who do not comply with the minimum admission requirements for the four-year programmes, but who do comply with the minimum admission requirements for ENGAGE, must write the NBT.
* Cambridge A level candidates who obtained at least a D in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. Students in the Cambridge system must offer both Physics AND Chemistry with performance at the level specified for NSC Physical Sciences in the table above.
* International Baccalaureate (IB) HL candidates who obtained at least a 4 in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. Students in the IB system must offer both Physics AND Chemistry with performance at the level specified for NSC Physical Sciences in the table above.
Duration of study
5 years, full-time.
The Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria is a leading source of graduates in the engineering, built environment and information technology professions. We achieve this by a focus on research to drive innovative and enquiry-led teaching for educating and positioning our students to be leaders in their professions. The Faculty has extensive and cutting-edge teaching, learning and laboratory facilities integrated with the excellent suite of facilities and services offered by the University. We facilitate access to our qualifications through our extended programmes but expect our students to excel and develop as future professionals through our programme offering. We invite you to consider enrolling in one of our programmes if you share our vision of excellence and want to position yourself as a leader in the professions that we support.
The Faculty is organised in four schools: the School of Engineering, the School for the Built Environment, the School of Information Technology and the Graduate School of Technology Management. The School of Engineering is the largest of its kind in the country in terms of student numbers, graduates and research contributions and offers programmes in all the major engineering disciplines with many specialisations also offered at undergraduate and graduate level.
The University of Pretoria aims to be internationally competitive while also locally relevant. Advisory boards at both faculty and departmental level promote alignment and excellence in our teaching and research activities. Where applicable and available our programmes are accredited by statutory and professional bodies at both national and international level.
Enquiries about the programme