Requirements to study Mechanical Engineering in South Africa

On this page, we explore what is needed to become a Mechanical Engineer, including which grade 10 high school subjects are needed or required to study Mechanical Engineering in South African Universities and Colleges? We also look at what APS Score is required for Mechanical Engineering Degree and Diploma courses. You should know that every learning institution, internationally or locally, will have its own set of requirements for Mechanical Engineering studies.

List of Grade 10 subjects required to study Mechanical Engineering courses

Well, let us explore what Grade 10 subjects are required in order to study Mechanical Engineering in South African Universities and Colleges. The subject that you choose in grade 10 may directly determine what study options you will have at tertiary institutions. Therefore, when choosing your subject combination in grade 10, you should already have an idea in terms of what you intend to study after matric.

This is a Science field of study, therefore there are specific High School subjects that are required to study in this field. You also need to meet the minimum APS score in the University you are going to study at. The following subjects are needed and essential for the curriculum:

  • Physical Science,
  • Mathematics,
  • English Home Language, or English First or Second Additional Language.

What Mechanical Engineering Career is all about

Mechanical engineers develop and build engines that produce power from steam, petrol, nuclear fuels, and other sources of energy. They also develop and build a wide variety of machines that use power, including heating and ventilation equipment; cars; machine tools; and industrial-processing equipment.

What is the APS Score for Mechanical Engineering

In order for you to get accepted at a University in South Africa, or (Colleges that use APS scores) for a qualification in Mechanical Engineering, you should possess a National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) with an APS score of between 26 -42. APS score is determined by the Grade 12 marks or results. It is also good to know that Universities and Colleges may use your Grade 11 marks if you applied before your matric results came out.

The minimum requirements for a candidate to obtain a Grade 12 National Senior Certificate?

The minimum requirements are:

  • Achieve 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at Home Language level and 30% in three subjects.
  • Provide full evidence in the SBA component in the subjects offered

Correct Subject Choice is Important

When it comes to subject choices, every learner should ensure that their subject choice (from Grade 10 already) will lead them in pursuing the careers they want.

The subject choice at the end of Grade 9, or Grade 10 according to The Department of Education, could determine the field of study learners can follow once they complete school. In other words, if learners do not select the correct combination of subjects, they could find themselves unable to enter into certain higher or further education programmes. So when making this important subject choice, learners should consider their options for when they complete school and select accordingly.

How much does it cost to study Mechanical Engineering?

Although every learning institution will have its own fees structure and costing, studying Mechanical Engineering courses can range from R15 000 to R60 000 per annum. It is always advisable for learners to contact the institution they want to learn at in order to confirm the study fees amounts for the year.

Training and Courses to becoming a Mechanical Engineering in South Africa

To become a Professional Engineer, it is necessary to attend a university to take the four-year degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering in the discipline of Mechanical Engineering. This is followed by a three year training period of postgraduate employment in industry after which the young engineer can apply for registration as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa. Those wishing to study Mechanical Engineering at a university should in general, be in possession of a school-leaving certificate with matriculation exemption with above-average marks in mathematics and physical science at higher grade.

Watch: Mechanical Engineering at UKZN

The following universities offer degrees in Mechanical Engineering

Training – Universities of Technology

The Professional Engineering Technician

For those students who prefer a more practical orientated training, the schools of mechanical engineering at the various universities of technology offer courses structured on a basis of four semesters attendance at the university of technology followed by two semesters of experiential training leading to a National Diploma: Engineering: Mechanical. After a three-year (minimum) post-qualification employment period, the candidate may apply for registration as a Professional Engineering Technician with the Engineering Council of South Africa.

The Professional Engineering Technologist

After obtaining a National Diploma, the graduate may continue his studies for a further one-year to complete the B-Tech Degree. After a three-year (minimum) post qualification employment period, the trainee may apply for registration as a Professional Engineering Technologist with the Engineering Council of South Africa. Subjects studied are similar to those of university study, however, emphasis is less theoretical and more on the application of technology.

Those wishing to study at a university of technology require a senior certificate or equivalent with above average passes in mathematics and physical science. However, other conditions of entrance can apply and prospective students not having these qualifications should apply to the university of technology of their choice for further details.The following universities of technology offer courses in Mechanical Engineering: