Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a career is incredibly exciting, but it can be daunting at the same time.

There are many uncertainties and many risks, but getting your questions answered should help to eliminate some concerns. This is a list of the most commonly asked questions at Prue Leith Culinary Institute Open Days.

  • What is the application process?

    1. Find a course that you are interested in and request an application form online or from info@prueleith.co.za or complete the application online, www.prueleith.co.za.
    (We suggest attending Open Days if you are uncertain about which course to choose or a site visit and personal meeting.)

    2. If you meet minimum requirements, you will be contacted for an interview.

    3. Pay a R500 administration fee to confirm your interview.

    4. Attend the interview, either on Zoom or on-site.

    5. Receive notice of the application outcome. Successful applications will include an acceptance letter, contract, and payment agreement. For international students this will also include a letter to support Study Visa applications.

    6. Submit signed and completed documentation and pay the deposit to secure your place.

    7. Receive notification of Orientation Day.

    8. Join us on Orientation Day to start your culinary career!

  • What are the minimum entrance requirements for acceptance into the course?

    Academic entry requirements for all professional courses are a Matric or similar NQF Level 4 school leaving qualification. A 60% average is recommended, but it is not a final determining factor. A great passion for food and cooking and an insatiable hunger to learn more is however non-negotiable.

  • Do I need specific high school subjects to meet entry requirements?

    No, you do not. All Prue Leith courses start at the very beginning (how to wash your hands for the kitchen) and we do not assume any prior knowledge.

  • What is the procedure for international student applications?

    The initial application is the same for all students (see nr. 1). Once accepted on a course, international students need to apply for a study visa in their country of origin. The Institute will supply confirmation of acceptance to a course and a letter detailing the school and course information. It is a legal requirement that a student must have a study visa in order to join the course. This process can take between 2-4 months, depending on the country of origin.

  • Do we have a campus in Cape Town or Durban?

    No, we do not. All our efforts, passion and focus are concentrated on our Centurion campus, but we have student accommodation available if you do not live in Gauteng. We do however place students all over the country for the work experience semesters.

  • Do we offer student accommodation?

    Yes, we do. Apart from the seven-room Prue Leith Student House, across the road from the campus, there are several accommodation options in the same street as the Institute. For details contact info@prueleith.co.za. Accommodation is not included in course fees.

  • Do we offer online courses?

    Prue Leith Culinary Institute does not currently offer accredited online-only courses, but follows a blended learning programme, combining both online and on-site learning in all qualification courses. All practical classes are completed on-site with the theory component taking place online.

    The Institute however offers non-accredited short skills courses as online-only courses.

  • Do we offer bursaries or scholarships?

    We do have bursaries or scholarships available from time-to-time, but these are not guaranteed. When they are available, we will advertise widely, but it is best to enquire when applying for a specific year.

  • What is included in the Prue Leith course fees?

    Almost everything. Uniforms, knives, equipment, textbooks, digital course notes, assessments, team buildings, one-day culinary field trips, membership to the South African Chefs Association, safe parking. Additional costs include stationary, a comfortable pair of closed leather shoes, drying cloths and containers to take your culinary creations home in.

    Further optional costs include City & Guilds registration and examination fees, should students opt for dual certification – completing the international alongside the national qualification. Re-assessments will also result in additional costs.

    Laptops are not provided, but students can access course material either through their personal cellphones, laptops, or tablets. Computers are also available in the Prue Leith Library.

  • Do we offer different payment plans?

    Yes, we do. Most importantly, we have a “design your own” payment plan. Provided that a deposit is paid to cover equipment and uniforms issued on Orientation Day, the remainder of the course fees can be settled in regular instalments to suit personal finances. The only other requirement is that final instalments have to be made before the final course assessments. For more details on payment plans contact finance@prueleith.co.za

  • How does Covid-19 affect learning at Prue Leith?

    The Prue Leith Culinary Institute has strict Covid-19 policies and systems in place to ensure the safety of our students, customers, and staff. Policies are in line with Government regulations and regularly updated as per lockdown level changes. Our campus facilities are also well ventilated and are large enough to allow for more than the required social distance. As this is a food preparation site, handwashing and proper hygiene have always been second nature.

    In general, Covid-19 impacts minimally on the delivery of our courses, as our blended learning approach allows us to prioritize theory classes off-site when needed. Practical classes take place on-site in large well-ventilated kitchens and by wearing masks, sanitizing regularly, and keeping a safe distance we continue to cook safely.

  • Do you have to supply your own ingredients?

    No, you do not. When studying at Prue Leith Culinary Institute all ingredients and equipment are included in the tuition fees.

  • Do you have to wash your own dishes?

    Yes you do. And sometimes someone else’s dishes and sweep and mop the floor and deck scrub (deep clean) the kitchen. It is a myth that chefs cook and don’t clean. The best chefs are also the best cleaners, because we know that serving a safe plate of food is more important than serving a beautiful and delicious plate of food. We serve edible art and poor hygiene can result in illness and even death.

  • Does Prue Leith accommodate different dietary (religious, vegetarian, vegan) requirements?

    Yes and no. All Prue Leith courses follow a national or international chef qualification that requires knowledge and practical assessments within a wide variety of ingredients. Students with special dietary requirements generally inform their assessor of their dietaries but manage their own requirements. A student is not required to taste food they cannot eat, but it is not possible, for example, for a vegetarian to complete a chef qualification without preparing and cooking a variety of meats. Where ingredients can be omitted without affecting skill assessments, recipes can be adapted.

  • What is a pass mark at Prue Leith?

    Students need to achieve 60% in all formative and summative assessments to be deemed competent. Students completing the national Trade Test or External Summative Assessment at the end of the Occupational Certificate: Chef, need to achieve 70% to be deemed competent.

  • What are the class times at Prue Leith?

    • Class times depend on the courses and size of classes. Generally, students have class five days a week, either from Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Saturday. Students can expect full days – 6 to 8 hours.

    • When completing work experience in the Prue Leith Restaurant shifts are 8:00-17:00 or 14:00-close of the restaurant.

    • Holiday periods are in June/July and Dec/January each year and the Institute and Restaurant are closed on public holidays.

  • How many students are in a class?

    The number of students in classes and groups depends on the class size of a specific semester, but maximum numbers are as follows:

    • Full-Time Cook/Chef Courses: Maximum 40 students in theory and 20 students in a practical class.

    • Restaurant groups: 3-8 students per group, depending on class size.

    • Patisserie courses: 10 Students per class.

    • Part-Time Courses: 12 Students per class.

  • Do I have to find my own workplace experience placement?

    No, at Prue Leith all our students are placed by the Institute. Student’s first semester placement is on-site in the Prue Leith Restaurant, second and third placements are in industry. We place students across South Africa at top food service and hospitality establishments.

    Do you have any other questions? Send them to us: info@prueleith.co.za

All facilites, including the kitchens and lecture rooms, benefit from full generator back up for uninterupted professional delivery.

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