BA (Hons) / FdA

Accredited by University College Birmingham


Choose Award

3 years full-time




10 weeks (10 sessions)


September (2021)


View Fees

School of Sport and Creative Services
Choose Award

2 years full-time




Opportunities available


September (2021)


View Fees

School of Sport and Creative Services
Discover more at our next open day

Saturday 28 November 2020

Join an open day

Learn and work in our state-of-the-art commercial aesthetics clinic

Experience placement opportunities in a variety of settings to support your career progression

BA Entry - This course is open for 2020 entry.
FdA Entry - This course is now closed for 2020 entry.

With non-surgical aesthetic treatments becoming increasingly popular in the UK, demand for qualified practitioners is at an all-time high. Open to therapists and non-therapists alike, our Aesthetic Practitioner degree opens the doors for you to pursue a variety of reputable and lucrative careers in this rapidly expanding industry.

Learning in our commercial Aspire Aesthetics clinic at University College Birmingham and using the very latest equipment, you will study and practise a range of non-medical procedures in cosmetology, hair removal and skin rejuvenation, developing knowledge and skills in advanced electrical face and body technologies. Procedures you will master include laser treatments, intense pulsed light, chemical peeling and skin needling, ensuring you have the skills to thrive in this booming sector.

Our aesthetic training course gives you the chance to gain vital real-world experience through a work placement and engage with industry experts through conferences and guest speaker visits, while you will also have the opportunity to visit the Mesoestetic production facility in Spain. Demonstrating best practice and providing reassurance to students and clients alike, University College Birmingham adheres to guidelines from the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) and the Cosmetic Practice Standards Authority (CPSA).

Why should I choose this course?

  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION - Work with real clients in our state-of-the-art clinic, featuring the latest equipment from cryotherapy machines to high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
  • WORK PLACEMENT - Start building your professional network and gain invaluable real-world experience through a work placement during your course
  • RESIDENTIAL VISIT - Learn first hand about the industry on a visit to the Mesoestetic production facility in Barcelona, with essential costs of the trip covered by the University
  • ENRICHMENT - Engage with industry professionals at events such as ACE Conference and Professional Beauty North, as well as meeting a variety of expert guest speakers

Our facilities

Our Aesthetic Practitioner course lets you get hands-on with real paying clients working in our Aspire Aesthetics clinic on campus, enabling you to put your training into practice using the latest technology and equipment.

Aspire Aesthetics

Take a look around Aspire Aesthetics, our professional clinic that offers a wide variety of non-medical treatments for the face and body.

Find out more

Course breakdown

Students on the FdA have the option of progressing onto the final year upon completion of the foundation degree.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Core Modules

Academic Essentials

Your underpinning knowledge and vital skills will be developed to enable you to study effectively via a structured delivery of academic study skills related specifically to the Aesthetic Practitioner programme. Key learning concepts will be identified and related to skills relevant to the industry, which will then be developed through a variety of tasks and activities. This is done in a relevant context that takes into account the wider education and community focus of your course as a whole.

Aesthetic Technologies in Hair Removal and Skin Rejuvenation

Vital skills and practical abilities to identify skin and hair conditions and those clients suitable for intense pulsed light and laser systems will be developed to enable you to practise effectively at an undergraduate level. You will work in the aesthetic clinics to practice and develop key learning concepts related to the aesthetic industry using current products and technologies. All procedures will be delivered inline with COVID-19 restrictions.

Chemical Peels: Theory and Practice

You will gain practical ability to carry out chemoexfoliation (Chemical Peeling) treatments at an undergraduate level. You will work in the therapy suites clinics to practice and develop key learning concepts related to the aesthetic industry using current products and technologies.

Physiology of Ageing

You will learn how the human body ages physiologically, developing an in-depth understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic ageing. This knowledge will support your assessments in the consultancy suites and clinics enabling you to select suitable treatment protocols to maintain skin health.

The Aesthetic Consultation

This level 4 module provides Aesthetic Practitioners with the knowledge and understanding of a range of aesthetic consultative assessment techniques for the face or body. You will identify the information and techniques which are pertinent to creating an aesthetic treatment plan which is compliant, which identifies the possible risks, outcomes and benefits, resulting in improved client engagement.

Choose 1 optional module

Electrotherapy in Aesthetic Practice

This module will introduce learners to the understanding and use of electrical and manual treatments for the face or body which are used in the beauty industry. This will promote the use of specific electrotherapy and manual prescription treatments for individual's needs and promote the effectiveness of products and treatment interventions.

Non-invasive Aesthetic Procedures

This module will introduce learners to the understanding of specific electrical equipment combined with the use of pharmaceutical products. Treatment procedures for the face and body, which are used in the aesthetic industry.

Core Modules

Advancements in Technologies

This level 5 module provides you with the knowledge and understanding of current and emerging non-surgical and non-invasive technologies for the face and body, enabling you to perform a range of advanced multi-platform treatment protocols. You will learn the assessment techniques to enable you to analyse, assess and provide a customised and prescriptive treatment protocol. You will complete a range of non-surgical and non-invasive face and body technologoes, and conditions, to maintain skin health. You will critically analyse and research current or emerging trends of non-surgical and non-invasive technologies for within the aesthetic industry.

Aesthetic Business Operations

Aesthetic Business practice is a general introduction to clinical reasoning within the world of aesthetic beauty practice. This module considers the speed of change, the highly competitive market and the demands of the aesthetic patient. In a flourishing and dynamic industry like aesthetics, the employment opportunities that arise require an extensive array of skills and attributes learned from aesthetic professionals sharing and learning experiences from a variety of industry sectors.

Clinical Aesthetic Procedures

Having completed a solid foundation in core techniques this module will promote considerable opportunity for advancing and diversifying your skills. Appropriate vascular and pigmentation treatments and advanced skin resurfacing techniques will further promote advanced use of the laser, enabling students to measure clinical ends and client reported outcomes. An introduction to the concept and use of injectable treatments also will be included, in addition to advanced chemical peels and skin needling treatments.

Exploring Research in Practice

The module provides you with the opportunity to develop a clear focus for investigation, underpinned by topics connected to the performance industry. Topics proposed for exploration include: equality and diversity, technological developments, social media influence, gender roles, sexuality and the portrayal of violence in the media. Through the module you will develop your understanding of critical analysis and evaluation through the application of research methods and academic undertaking. You will be encouraged to challenge yourself in the proposal, design and execution of a small-scale, independent, academic research project. You will generate a theoretical framework to guide the direction of your research, using this to build conceptual relationships that relate to the broader areas of knowledge.Through the process, you will explore and analyse literature relevant to your chosen sector. You will apply advanced research methods in order to achieve clear and coherent arguments supported with robust evidence. Ethical practices will underpin the module and you will be encouraged to engage in appropriate UCB approval processes to develop credible research. You will explore and justify the use of research instruments in order to collect primary data, resulting in your ability to analyse, interpret and conclude on your findings, which will lead to evaluation and recommendations to improve your self-reflective critical thinking and academic practice.

Science of Skincare

Within aesthetic beauty practice the use of skincare products is an essential tool. Facilitating students with knowledge surrounding skincare products preparation, use, function and development will assist in obtaining a fundamental understanding of their parameters in the aesthetic beauty industry. The exploration of research, development and technological advancement in the area of skin and the effect on the aesthetic beauty industry will also be explored.

Work Based Practice in Aesthetics

You will develop essential life skills and attributes, providing an experience beyond university based learning, which prepares you for a career in non-medical aesthetics, demonstrating and consolidating your knowledge and expertise. You will identify objectives, which will enable you to create a personal development plan, to ensure that the practice placement focuses on your interests, career goals and skill set whilst building self-esteem, encouraging independence and giving you a competitive edge in the workplace. You will be encouraged to relate this diverse and transient range of skills from theory to practice. This is an exciting opportunity to broaden your experiences, develop professional networks and demonstrate your abilities to potential employers.

Core Modules

Aesthetic Identity

The aesthetics industry is rapidly growing yet the reasons people choose to participate in aesthetic treatments is often misunderstood. This module aims to explore both sociological and psychological factors that may influence a client's decision to engage in such treatments. What is the ideal image? Does it, or should it even exist? Is it important and who are the drivers of this global industry? This module will ensure graduates/aesthetic practitioners develop a more holistic, well-rounded approach to treating clients.

Applied Aesthetics

This module will facilitate the development of aesthetic studies applied in the aesthetic clinic using research grade analysis on the face and body to provide a vehicle for critical analysis of data

Regenerative Aesthetics

This module will research current invasive and non-invasive regenerative treatments, available in the aesthetic industry. The efficacy and impact on internal and external body structures will be reviewed.

Research Project

You will have the opportunity to engage in an independent research project of your choice. You will have support with preparing your proposal and understanding the competent characteristics of good research. An appointed tutor will help guide you through this important and rewarding process.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

Aesthetic Practitioner BA (Hons)

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CCC-CDD.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of MMM-MMP. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted at University College Birmingham. A minimum of 96-80 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 96-80 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction.

Aesthetic Practitioner FdA

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CD-DD.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PPP-PP. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Apprenticeship: Achieve an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3).

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted at University College Birmingham. A minimum of 56-32 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 56-32 UCAS Tariff points.

Non-tariff: Non-UCAS Tariff-based Level 3 qualifications are also considered for entry. Please contact to check your eligibility.

Work-based: We equally consider applicants who have experience working in the aesthetics industry, but do not have a formal qualification. A reference from your current or most recent line manager supporting your entry to higher education will be requested.

EU/international students

For entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction.


Example of a typical teaching week (up to 16 contact hours):

  • Large group teaching – 4-6 hours
  • Smaller group teaching – 2-3 hours
  • Hands-on learning in the clinic – 4-8 hours
  • Tutorials – 2-3 hours

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time.


Estimated breakdown of assessment for this degree course:

  • Coursework – 68%
  • Practical assessment – 23%
  • Written examinations – 9%

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and kit costing approximately £290, 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.)


As a new student studying this degree full-time, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (eligibility criteria applies). This scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You might even qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Tuition fees

UK/EU students

If you are a UK/EU student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250 per each full year. A half year tuition fee is £4,625. UK/EU students do not pay tuition fees for any placement periods.

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £11,500 per year.

If you complete a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year, or £250 for a half-year placement.


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

Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our FdA and BA Aesthetic Practitioner courses both include a work placement, with 10 sessions over a 10-week period during your second year. We also encourage and provide extensive support for you to find appropriate work experience opportunities.

Work alongside experts in your sector

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

  • sk:n (Leamington)
  • Skin & Tonic (Tamworth)
  • Envie Clinic (Birmingham)
  • Fiji Skin Clinic (Birmingham)
  • Hampton Clinic (Birmingham)
  • Beauty Lounge Training Academy (Birmingham)
  • Medizen (Sutton Coldfield)
  • My Skin Spa (Solihull)
I chose University College Birmingham because of its location, it offered the course which I really wanted to study, and because of its good reputation. I really enjoy the practical sessions, as well as the theory, and the balance between the two is very good.

Monika Chrzanowska Aesthetic Practitioner FdA

Career opportunities

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

Business development manager (graduate)


Skincare consultant

Average Salary: £15,000

Aesthetic practitioner (laser and skin practitioner)

£23,000 - £26,000

Area sales manager

Average Salary: £34,136

Aesthetic clinic manager

£30,000 - £40,000

Aesthetic practitioner

£23,000 - £26,000


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


Find out more

Maria’s Story

Maria was one of the very first students on this pioneering degree course, launched to answer demand for results-driven, non-medical treatments.

Read Story

Undergraduate courses

Take the next step...