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Creative Arts & Design×

Full Time Masters Degrees in Creative Arts & Design, Northampton, United Kingdom

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If you are a scientist or technologist wanting transition into an industry with exciting career opportunities or are already involved in the leather industry but wanting to increase your knowledge and skills, this is an ideal course for you. Read more
If you are a scientist or technologist wanting transition into an industry with exciting career opportunities or are already involved in the leather industry but wanting to increase your knowledge and skills, this is an ideal course for you.

Here at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT), you will cover the science and technology of leather manufacture in a way designed to suit graduates for senior tannery positions. Whilst developing the critical mind it provides an excellent base for a move into Research and Development departments within chemical companies, tanneries and brands or into academic careers.

Leather is returning to prominence as nearly all alternatives require using up non-renewable carbon-based materials. Scientific advances in conjunction with environmental responsibility have transformed the leather manufacture industry into a modern scientific process, creating a highly sustainable material with high value in many sectors such as sports, automobiles, luxury goods and fashion.

Northampton graduates have been at the forefront of these changes making our leather alumni one of the best bodies in the industry to be associated with. Successful graduates from this course can expect easy access into senior industry positions.

This course is ideal for embedding into corporate continuing personal development (CPD) programmes. Taking this into account, ICLT delivers the course in a way that enables employees to only be away from their place of work for three months between September and December. During this period the theoretical and practical elements of the course are delivered in an intensive manner, after which the employees are able to return to their workplace to continue with their assessments and research elements of the programme. The course also enables students to study in the traditional manner where they stay at University for the whole academic year if desired.

As one of the foremost centres for leather education in the world, ICLT is dedicated to providing cutting edge education and training in the theory and practice of leather technology at the highest level.

If you do not meet our standard entry requirements, it is possible to undertake a single or a number of modules. The non-credit bearing course is called ‘Professional Leather Development’ Course, for further information about this course please visit the Professional Leather Development Course page: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/professional-leather-development-course/

Course content

The MSc Leather Technology (Professional) course is unique in that it aims to provide the opportunity to acquire and/or enhance technical skills within the subject of leather technology. Students will study within an environment that encourages the development of intellectual creativity as well as providing transferable skills to undertake research with respect to advanced technologies, developing skills and flexibility necessary to discriminate between technical and entrepreneurial issues and relating these to the needs of the leather industry such as successful management of the commercial operations.

This course offers students the opportunity to work and learn in a state-of-the-art teaching tannery for some of the modules, and will also be working with staff with a mix of academic and industrial experience. Many of the staff carry out research in various leather subjects and over the last 20 years Northampton leather research has built a leading world-wide reputation.

Industry leaders are frequent visitors to meet students and provide knowledge on current technical and commercial aspects of leather and its fascinating chain from farm to fashion or one of its many other end uses.

The MSc Leather Technology (Professional) course is delivered to meet student flexibility. In order for you to complete Master’s level qualification, you must complete up to seven modules and an independent research dissertation. During the course, you will complete six compulsory modules and choose up to two optional modules. This ensures that you have a basic understanding of principles pertinent to the leather industry with an added advantage in that you are able tailor the course to meet your particular needs and career aspirations.

Further information on the indicative content of the leather modules is available through the module catalogue for Leather Technology (Level 7).

Course modules (16/17)

-Leather Process Operations
-Performance Leather Process Operations
-Quality Evaluation and Systematic Problem Solving
-Sustainable Manufacture within the Leather Industry
-Research and Analytical Methods
-From Hide to High Street
-Leather Science
-Marketing: Principles and Management
-International Marketing Strategy
-Managing Operations
-Podiatry: Applied to the Footwear Industry
-Wastes Management

Methods of Learning

Theoretical lectures and seminars are reinforced by practical examples, case studies and site visits. Our virtual learning environment allows you and course tutors to exchange ideas as well as submit assignments.


A variety of approaches to teaching is used such as lectures, seminars, workshops, practical sessions with course teaching materials made available through our virtual learning environment. Modules are assessed by a wide range of methods and include the following: practical reports, seminar files, reflective portfolios, presentations and dissertation.

Facilities and Special Features

As the UK’s only university to integrate leather technology with subjects such as fashion, marketing, business and the environment, we are proud to house an on campus working tannery for practical leather making as well as laboratories to enable leather testing.
-100% employment of graduates in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
-This course is unique to the University of Northampton and not offered anywhere else in the UK or Europe.
-The University has an on campus tannery and laboratories for teaching.
-Modules to cater for leather career choices in practical leather making and testing.
-Industry-led practical workshops and seminars in technology and supply chain knowledge delivered by international experts.
-Continual networking with potential employers within the industry.
-Opportunities to attend international leather fairs in Hong Kong, Milan and Shanghai.
-Bursaries and scholarships available for leather students.


Graduates of this course are in high demand and are able to secure suitable posts in leather making or associated industries, including technical management, research and development, technical services, higher education and government bodies. When it comes to jobs in the leather industry, demand exceeds supply and opportunities are available worldwide with excellent progression prospects. Employment opportunities can also be found in other materials production or chemical industries. Successful graduates from this course can also proceed to undertake MPhil or PhD studies with us.

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The MA in Fine Art enables artists to evaluate and develop their creative practice to the highest of standards. It develops theoretical awareness, critical thinking and independent arts practice to a professional level. Read more
The MA in Fine Art enables artists to evaluate and develop their creative practice to the highest of standards. It develops theoretical awareness, critical thinking and independent arts practice to a professional level.

The course facilitates critical debate between artists working both within and across media areas including painting, photography, digital imaging, printmaking, sculpture, installation and site-specific art. Alongside their studio-based enquiry, students undertake related research into the broader context of contemporary art practices and theoretical debates.

The course offers access to comprehensive specialist resources with technical instruction and support. Students are continually mentored by research-active staff to position their practice within professional cultural environments, arts-related employment or higher-level academic research.

Both full time and part time students benefit from spacious and well-equipped facilities and external links with galleries, which have included the Milton Keynes Gallery, NN Contemporary (Northampton), Corby Cube Gallery and Rugby Museum and Art Gallery. The course often offers international study trips, typically one European option (recent visits have been to France, Italy and Spain) and one long-haul destination (recent visits have been to India, Vietnam and the USA) each year.

In addition to the course having very good links with regional galleries and arts organisations, students are encouraged to engage with external activities and events, both national and international. A group of MA Fine Art students recently attended a printmaking residency at the world-renowned Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium.

Our teaching staff have a broad range of research interests reflecting the disciplines available on the course, and all staff are practicing artists who publish and exhibit both nationally and internationally. Visiting speakers have included the internationally known artists Richard Long, Marcus Harvey, Simon Callery, Ian Davenport, Mark Francis, Lisa Milroy, David Batchelor, Richard Deacon, Svetlana Fialova, Richard Patterson, Ian McKeever, Dan Hays and Richard Wilson along with innovative arts organisations such as Artangel.

Course content

Upon commencing the Masters programme, students undertake the module ‘Extended Fine Art Practice and Research Methodologies’ (20 credits). This provides a grounding in different research-based methods and methodologies in Fine Art.

During the first trimester students also undertake the 20 credit studio-based module ‘Fine Art Practice’ wherein students begin to critically re-appraise and position their creative practice. Full-time students will also be enrolled on ‘Interfacings,’ a 20 credit module that considers a set of theoretical debates, issues and contexts that are pertinent to an interdisciplinary approach to artistic practice.

During the second trimester students enrol on the 40 credit module ‘Fine Art Practice and Context.’ This module culminates in a public developmental exhibition of their work. Alongside this module, full-time students can opt to take either the project-based ‘Independent Study’ module or the 20 credit module ‘Creative Practice and Enterprise.’

The final stage of the MA Fine Art course entails the student producing and exhibiting a body of creative work or completing a 15-18,000 word dissertation.

Course modules (16/17)

-Fine Art Practice and Documentation
-Interfacings: Fine Art and Postmodern Practice
-Creative Practice and Enterprise
-Fine Art Practice and Context
-Independent Study in the Arts
-Research project
-Extended Fine Art Practice and Research Methodologies

Opportunities Abroad

International study trips, typically one European option (recent visits have been to France, Italy and Spain) and one long-haul destination (recent visits have been to India, Vietnam and the USA) each year.

Methods of Learning

The MA Fine Art course supports all learners’ experience and development through a breadth of regular tutorial approaches. Tutor and learner contact is additionally enriched through a host of visiting artists of international stature. Modes of teaching delivery encompass tutorials, group crits, research supervision, lectures and seminars.


During the first and second trimester specific modules are delivered usually on Mondays 9:30-12:30 and 13:00 – 16:00.


The course is assessed in both theory and practice by assignment, examination, portfolio submission and exhibition.

In addition to an ongoing series of formative assessment points, the MA Fine Art course has three formal assessment periods that occur at the end of each trimester in February, May and September respectively.

Facilities and Special Features

The Fine Art subject is enriched through a spectrum of professional specialist spaces including: Fine Art New Media Space, Photographic Studio, Photographic Dark Room, Wood Workshop, Metal Workshop, Plaster and Resin Workshop, Etching Printroom, Screen Printing Room (including laser cutting), The Drawing Lab (Drawing research space and life room), Canvas Preparation Room and bookable installation spaces.


The course prepares students for the professional cultural environment and higher research study. PhDs at the University of Northampton can be pursued through traditional or practice led methodologies and this course provides a comprehensive and relevant foundation.

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