Beauty Therapy

Level 2, Level 3

Course Level

Level 2, Level 3


1 year full-time per level


Included in course




View Fees

Department of Creative Industries
Discover more at our next open day

Saturday 19 October 2024

Join an open day

Our spa facilities feature the latest equipment and are open to the public

Wide variety of placement opportunities available including hotels, spas and salons

Fascinated by fashion and the latest trends? Do you love the idea of making people look great and feel their best? Beauty therapy is a glamorous and booming business, and our Beauty Therapy college course will equip you with the skills you need to launch a thriving career in the industry.

Available over two levels, this course will give you the practical grounding you need to enter a career in the sector or move on to further study. Beauty Therapy Level 2 provides you with the skills to work with confidence in a beauty salon, covering essential techniques such as skincare, manicure/pedicure and waxing. Beauty Therapy Level 3 then advances your skills and knowledge for higher-level work, with opportunities around the world such as on cruise ships, luxury spas and resorts.

Throughout the course, you will be learning in a practical working environment within our superb training/commercial salons at University College Birmingham. You will also have the chance to put your skills to the test in the real world by attending a work placement in the industry, providing a real boost to your career prospects once you complete your studies.

Why choose this college course?

  • WORK PLACEMENT – Our excellent links with the beauty therapy sector provide you with a wide range of opportunities to boost your CV with vital industry experience
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – 'Learn by doing' with hands-on training in our on-campus salons, enabling you to master your technical skills working with real-life customers
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to continue your learning journey after college? Progress your training to degree level on one of our university courses
There are lots of reasons why we think you should study with us, but here are our top 5. View video.

Our facilities

University College Birmingham's state-of-the-art salons are open to the general public and all treatments are carried out by our students, providing you with the essential skills to gain future employment.

Course breakdown

Topics you will study:

Level 2

  • Provide facial skincare
  • Remove hair using waxing techniques
  • Provide eyelash and brow treatments
  • Client care and communication in beauty-related industries
  • Provide manicure treatments
  • Provide pedicure treatments
  • Follow health and safety practice in the salon
  • Apply make-up
  • Display stock to promote sales in a salon

Level 3

  • Electrical science
  • Facial electrical treatments​
  • Body electrical treatments​
  • Client care and communication​
  • Body analysis​
  • Skin analysis​
  • Anatomy and physiology for the face and body systems​
  • Swedish massage therapy​
  • Mechanical massage​
  • Health and safety in the salon​

Please note: Units/topics of study are subject to change

You will also have an individual study programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to progress onto higher education or gain employment.

Maths and English

To help you secure your dream career, you will also continue developing your maths and English skills alongside your full-time course. If you haven’t achieved GCSE grade 4/C in English and maths at age 16, you will continue to study these through resits or taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level.

How maths will support your career

  • Ratio is very important when mixing hair dye etc.
  • Basic addition and subtraction are important in calculating the costs of equipment and products and managing the stock
  • Percentages are key in working out customer discounts
  • Area and perimeter are important when designing and arranging a salon space

How English will support your career

  • Accurate spelling and a wide and specialist vocabulary are key in the presentation of hair and beauty products and services
  • Good quality speaking and listening skills are needed when communicating with colleagues
  • Customer service requires good English skills in speaking and written communication
  • Accurate reading is a vital skill when following instructions in hair/beauty products and treatments
  • Secure English is important when preparing a CV or a business proposal, or when advertising/marketing your business

Entry requirements

Our beauty lecturers are looking for students who are committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to succeed in the beauty industry, so please contact Admissions if you do not have the specific requirements outlined below.

If you are unsure if your qualification is equivalent or if you wish to check if you meet the entry requirements for this course, please call 0121 214 2919, email or use our live chat.

Beauty Therapy Level 2

Academic requirements

  • 4 GCSEs at grade 3 (grade D) or above, or equivalent.
  • A minimum GCSE English (Language or Literature) or Maths at grade 4 is also required.

Supporting documents required

  • School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham.
  • If you are a school leaver (over 19), you will be required to provide a reference from a previous education provider or employer in support of your application.

Guaranteed progression option

Students who achieve Level 2 Beauty Therapy and receive approval from the University College Birmingham teaching team will be permitted to progress onto Level 3 Beauty Therapy or Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair And Media Make-up.

Beauty Therapy Level 3

Academic requirements

  • A relevant Level 2 qualification in Beauty or Beauty Therapy.
  • GCSE English (Language or Literature) or maths at grade 4 or above.

Work experience admissions pathway

2 years’ relevant beauty industry experience. Admissions will be based on your interview performance alongside a reference stating the roles and responsibilities held during your period of employment.

Supporting documents required

School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham.

Guaranteed progression option

Students who achieve Level 3 Beauty Therapy will be automatically guaranteed an offer for Aesthetic Practitioner FdA. Students who wish to study other degree courses at University College Birmingham will need to contact for further advice and guidance on suitability.

English and maths

If you do not have a grade 4/C or above in English and maths and you are under 19, you will be required to study these subjects alongside your vocational subject. After enrolment you will complete an assessment with our teaching team so we can ensure you receive appropriate English and maths support.

Applicants over 19 are not required to complete maths and English.

Guaranteed progression

Students who achieve a pass for this qualification will automatically be guaranteed a place on a foundation degree course at University College Birmingham.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You are assessed by a variety of methods, including:

  • Practical observations in our realistic working environment 
  • Verbal questioning
  • Written modular tests.
  • Production of a portfolio of evidence

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and kit costing approximately £110 for Level 2 or £95 for Level 3, depending on the items you purchase. (Prices are subject to change each year – exact costs and information on how to order required items will be provided to you prior to enrolment.)

You may be eligible for the Learner Support Fund, which assists college students with course-related costs such as essential uniform, equipment and travel. For more information, please visit our Financial Support for College Students page.


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements offer a wealth of benefits alongside your studies, helping you put your learning into practice, develop your skills and understanding of the workplace, boost your CV for your chosen career or enhance your UCAS application for higher education. Our Hired employability team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our Beauty Therapy course offers work placements in a variety of settings, with opportunities in hotels and spas, nail salons, hair and beauty salons or pamper events.

Work alongside experts in your sector

A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:

  • Bannatyne Health Club and Spa (Brindleyplace and Sutton Coldfield)
  • Park Regis Shakina Spa (Birmingham)
  • Heaven Skin Care (Shenstone)
  • Rio Spa Beauty (Bearwood)
  • Monalia Beauty Spa (Sutton Coldfield)
I chose to study at UCB because it is one of the best for beauty therapy and the beauty salon is amazing. I enjoy working at the salon in the college as we can apply the knowledge and theory that we have learned, as well as work with clients.

Marietta Ferrer Possamai Beauty Therapy Level 2

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Beauty therapist

Average Salary: £17,500

Nail technician

Average Salary: £15,600


Average Salary: £17,442

Salon manager

Average Salary: £21,046

Area manager (retail)

Average Salary: £34,762

Sales associate

Average Salary: £21,849

Aspiring to a higher level career? Complete this course and you could progress onto our Aesthetic Practitioner degree.


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


Find out more

Safa’s Story

Now skilled at an array of beauty treatments, Safa is on her way to realising her dream of opening her own salon.

Read Story

Take the next step...


Back to top