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National Certificate in Beauty Services (Cosmetology)

Level 3

Gain practical and theoretical knowledge on how to perform basic cosmetic services as an introduction to beauty therapy with UCOL’s National Certificate in Beauty Services (Cosmetology).

Student applies makeup to a fellow student at the Wairarapa campus
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Palmerston North

Duration: 14 weeks, full-time

To be confirmed

Domestic Fees:*
To be confirmedScholarship info

Find out if you're eligible for fees-free study

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details.

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

The National Certificate in Beauty Services (Cosmetology) provides an introduction to the exciting world of beauty therapy.

You will learn practical skills and gain theoretical knowledge in a range of services, including manicures and pedicures, eye treatments, make-up and basic facials. 

You'll gain practical experience by performing beauty services for the public under the support of your lecturer at UCOL's beauty clinic.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of the National Certificate in Beauty Services (Cosmetology) will be work-ready and be able to:

  • Perform a manicure and/or pedicure service
  • Perform cosmetic services
  • Advise clients on selection and use of cosmetics and toiletries.

Employment options include entry level roles in the beauty services industry, such as:

  • Retail assistance
  • Pharmacy assistance
  • Self-employment in the beauty industry

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

 Course Information

  • Workplace Safety
  • Customer Services
    • Receive customer payments
    • Advise clients on selection and use of toiletries
    • Provide reception services for the beauty industry
    • Sell goods and services
  • Cosmetic Services
    • Conduct skin consultations
    • Perform facials
    • Apply makeup
  • Manicure and Pedicure Services

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

Our Beauty and Hairdressing students have opportunities to be involved in some of the region's premier events including:
  • Miss Teen Manawatu
  • Miss Manawatu
  • Evento

 Learning Facilities

Fully equipped salons and a spacious beauty clinic with industry standard equipment.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 (including 10 Literacy Credits and 10 Numeracy Credits at Level 1)


Equivalent academic achievement


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

English proficiency requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Under 20 years of age

For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

The National Certificate in Beauty Services (Cosmetology) comprises 52 credits. This programme is part of Certificate in Beauty Services Level 4. Please discuss your enrolment with the Programme Leader to work out the best option for you.

Excellent personal presentation is required on this programme at all times.  A uniform is provided for students and this must be worn when working in the clinic. 

In order to achieve the written components of the programme students will need to have basic numeracy and literacy skills.  To optimise chances of success, 100 per cent attendance is strongly recommended.


Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, and will comprise a weekly commitment of:

  • 24 hours of lecturer supported learning including practical and theory tutorials
  • 16 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent on research and study to complete your written assignments and time to further develop practical skills)
  • Classes run between the hours of 9am - 4pm Monday – Thursday.
Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.

 Additional Costs

One or two pairs of black, 3/4 or full-length pants $100
One pair of flat, black, enclosed shoes – black $80.00

Stationery (approximately $60)
  • Ring binder/s
  • Refill
  • Subject dividers
  • Pens/pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Pen drive


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.