Proposed Advertisement for a Scholarship to undertake an MSc(Leather Technology) Professional degree

The Exotic Leather Cluster through its Exotic Leather Research Centre of University of Pretoria together with the Skin, Hides and Leather Council is seeking applicants for five scholarships provided by the Fibre Processing and Manufacture (FP&M) SETA to undertake an MSc Leather Technology (Professional) study through The University of Northampton, United Kingdom.

This is a unique opportunity for candidates interested in a career in leather, exotic leather technology and sciences to obtain a first class international leather education and to acquire and enhance technical skills related to both self-learning and to research.

This will enable successful applicants to make a critical appraisal of the technical basis and needs of the leather and associated industry. It will develop skills and flexibility necessary to discriminate between technical and entrepreneurial issues related to the successful management of commercial operations within the leather industry. It is a one-year, full time programme provided in a blended learning format.

The taught provision for the programme will be undertaken over 12 – 14 weeks from January through April 2017 at the University of Northampton followed by Assignments and a Dissertation carried out in South Africa at an approved site.

The MSc Leather Technology (Professional) qualification is a programme that can be carried out using two pathways. 1) A leather science pathway, where the students will deal with the chemistry and technical points of the leather-making process. 2) A business pathway, where the students are required to focus on the strategy of leather production.

The Process Operations module centres on commodity leather to learn the fundamental operations of raw to shoe upper with particular focus on leather property vs. recipe. Performance Leather Process Operations focusses on exotics and recipes that require a technical know-how (European BAT, defect problem-solving, laboratory analysis feedback into processing and process automation). Quality Evaluation and Systematic Problem-solving teaches the complexities of chemical and physical testing and a statistical understanding of leather solutions.

The Sustainable Development within the Leather Industry dwells on environmental and community driven incentives for tanners and how the dynamics of the global leather industry influence the leather industry. The Leather Science teaches the science and in particular chemistry of leather-making. The Research Methods and Dissertation modules cover the analytical and research techniques that are used in modern leather research and of course allow students to develop writing skills. The business modules focus on the strategic management and marketing knowledge skills and allow students to place their Leather Technology knowledge into a business context.

Applicants should hold a 4-year Bachelors or honours degree. Students with lower level qualifications but with relevant experience in the leather industry will also be considered by the hosting institution on an individual basis. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will need to demonstrate that they meet the expected minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent).

We are looking for hardworking and enthusiastic candidates with an interest in leather sciences and leather technology. Candidates must be willing to spend 12 – 14 weeks in Northampton, United Kingdom during the first quarter of 2017. Candidates will be selected based on the admission criteria, experience in the leather industry and their demonstrated interest in leather sciences and technology. Preference will be given to young African graduates.

The Scholarship made available through a fixed window discretionary grant of the FP&M Seta entails full registration fees and programme fees at the University of Northampton,

The Scholarship made available through a fixed window discretionary grant of the FP&M Seta entails full registration fees and programme fees at the University of Northampton, including research costs, air flight to and back from the UK, and accommodation and living expenses for the 12 -14 weeks in the UK.

Application must be sent to Prof Gerry Swan Director of the Exotic Leather Research Centre, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria at by email at or faxed to 012 529 8304. Applications must include latest CV, certificate(s) of your qualification(s), experience in the leather industry and a short motivation (one page) for wanting to undertake the study. For more information you can contact Prof Swan at 0836366157 or 012 5298386 or Mr Ernest Heunis of the Skin, Hide and Leather Council (SHALC) at or 0829059505
Applications close on 30 October 2016