Level 2, Level 3

Course Level

Level 2, Level 3


2 years full-time


Included in course




View Fees

Department of Creative Industries
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You will be trained to a high professional standard in our training and commercial salon facilities

Work in a salon, or branch out on your own as a freelance hair stylist

Want to cut it as a professional hairdresser? Discover all the essentials you need to succeed in this sector on our Hairdressing college course. If you love following the latest fashions, trends and styles and want to learn how to make people look and feel their best, this course will lay the foundations for you to thrive.

Learning different techniques over two levels of study, you will cover practical skills such as cutting, colouring, styling, shampooing and conditioning, while you will also have the chance to take part in competitions. Your training will take place in our superb commercial salons on campus, while you will also have the opportunity to apply your learning to the real world through work experience placements.

A broad range of roles are open to you upon completing this course, from working in salons or high street businesses to luxury spas and resorts, as well as specialised roles in photographic studios and hair clinics. You will also gain the skills and knowhow for branching out on your own as a freelance hair stylist.

Why choose this college course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Master vital practical skills for working with hair to an advanced level, as well as reception skills and how to work effectively
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Learn in our training and commercial salons and test your abilities through competition opportunities
  • WORK PLACEMENT – Put your training into practice in the real world through placement opportunities, thanks to our excellent links with a wide range of salons and spas.
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 has a range of state-of-the-art teaching facilities and equipment for students on our hair and make-up courses, with outstanding training and commercial salons as well as a media workshop.

Course breakdown

Topics you will study:

Level 2

  • Cut hair using hairdressing techniques
  • The art of dressing hair
  • Client consultation for hair services
  • Follow health and safety practice in the salon
  • Working in the hair industry
  • Colour and lighten hair
  • Shampoo and condition the hair and scalp
  • The art of colouring hair
  • Plaiting and twisting hair
  • Promote products and services to clients in a salon
  • Display stock to promote sales in a salon
  • Create an image based on a theme within the hair and beauty sector

Level 3

  • Cut hair to create a variety of hairdressing looks
  • Promote and sell products and services to clients
  • Monitor and maintain health and safety practice in the salon
  • Style and dress hair using a variety of techniques
  • Colour hair to create a variety of looks
  • Hairdressing consultation support for colleagues
  • Hair colour correction
  • Marketing in the hair and beauty sector

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

  • Ratios are very important, for example when mixing hair dye
  • Basic addition and subtraction are important in calculating the costs of equipment/products and managing 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 for hair/beauty products and treatments.
  • Secure English is important when preparing a CV or business proposal, or when advertising/marketing your business.

Entry requirements

Our hairdressing lecturers are looking for students who are committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to succeed in the hairdressing 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.

Hairdressing 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 Hairdressing and receive approval from the University College Birmingham teaching team will be permitted to progress onto Level 3 Hairdressing.

Hairdressing Level 3

Academic requirements

  • A relevant Level 2 qualification in Hairdressing.
  • GCSE English (Language or Literature) or Maths at grade 4 or above.

Work experience admissions pathway

2 years’ relevant hair 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 Hairdressing 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.

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 £250 for Level 2 or £175 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.

As part of your hairdressing course, you will attend a work placement. The length of time and schedules vary between days and block weeks, with opportunities available within a wide range of salons and spas.

Work alongside experts in your sector

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

  • Emava Hair Salon @ Bannatyne (Solihull)
  • Regis Salon (Birmingham)
  • Tandis Hair and Beauty (Birmingham)
  • Lemuria Urban Retreat (Birmingham)
  • Bijou Hair Salon (Sutton Coldfield)

I am really enjoying the course and have learned about colouring, cutting, blow drying and styling hair. We also learn how to work with clippers for gents’ hair and do theory and practical work in the salon. When I went to the open day, I felt they made time for me.

Permjit Kaur Hairdressing Level 2 & 3 Diploma

Career opportunities

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


Average Salary: £22,000

Hair stylist

Average Salary: £17,709


Average Salary: £17,442

Salon manager

Average Salary: £21,046

Area manager (retail)

Average Salary: £34,762

Sales associate

Average Salary: £21,849


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


Find out more

Zainab’s Story

Zainab was invited to attend introductory workshops to prepare her for her college course and headlong towards a dream career in hairdressing.

Read Story

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