HomeProgrammesBeauty & HairdressingNew Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing

New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing

Level 3

Train towards a career in the hairdressing industry with the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing.

A UCOL hairdressing learnerin one of our campus salons
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL Whanganui, UCOL Wairarapa in Masterton

Duration: 1 year full-time (40 weeks)

26 Feb 2024 - 29 Nov 2024

Domestic Fees: *

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
$25,000.00 + Student Services Levy $591.00

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.

Get a start in hairdressing with the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing. You'll learn skills such as reception duties, shampooing, applying treatments or colours, hairstyling and cutting techniques. You'll gain real-world experience in our on-site campus salons, where you'll develop skills and work on clients, performing hairdressing treatments with the support of your kaimahi (lecturer), and build confidence in your hairdressing skills. We have a strong culture of teamwork and applied learning.

If you enjoy hair styling and colour work, you'll love our annual History of Hair competition, where you can re-imagine and create a historic-themed hairstyle.

Keen to know more? Hear from recent graduate Charley MacDonald.


 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 40 weeks, including 6 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
16 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings, salon practicals, timetable set by your lecturer.
Industry Experience
5 hrs

Practicum, work experience or internship in a hair salon.
Study Time
14 hrs

Study in your own time.

 Career & Study Outcomes

The purpose of this qualification is to provide the hairdressing industry with people who have obtained sufficient knowledge, practical skills, and attitudes to perform limited salon and client services that contribute to the effective operation of a salon. 

This qualification is intended for people who may have no prior knowledge or experience in hairdressing and who wish to learn hairstyling and colouring tasks and basic hair cutting techniques. 

Graduates will be capable of operating at a foundation level under supervision.
1. Communicate and interact appropriately with clients, peers and supervisors within the salon, and undertake reception duties such as making appointments to support the profitability of a salon. 
2. Apply hairdressing theory and practice to perform limited scope client consultations, including hair and scalp analysis. 
3. Apply and remove shampoo, conditioner, and treatments, and remove colour from clients' hair and scalp. 
4. Recommend home haircare products to meet a range of client needs. 
5. Apply knowledge of hair shape, form, texture, and direction to perform hair styling tasks using a range of techniques and styling tools.
6. Use and maintain cutting tools to demonstrate basic cutting techniques. 
7. Follow instructions to undertake a range of colouring services and de-colouring services; and assist with chemical reformation services. 
8. Meet the personal hygiene, presentation, health, safety, and environmental requirements of a salon.

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries for Hairdressers and Barbers, see careers.govt.nz

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL Te Pūkenga is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

From 2023, UCOL Te Pūkenga and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga. So, if you join UCOL Te Pūkenga in 2023, you will be awarded Te Pūkenga certification. And, if you are a current learner graduating in 2024, you will be awarded a co-branded certificate.

This programme comprises 120 Credits.

Professional Identity (10 Credits)
Explain the roles, responsibilities, and attributes of a professional in the hairdressing industry and complete a hair service which reflects own professional identity.
This course will cover:
Key roles: 
Prioritising and assisting the needs of co-workers, greeting clients, cleaning of salon, roles within the salon.
Responsibilities: Safe, legal, and sustainable practice, responsibilities of the job roles within the salon, Privacy Act,
Attributes: Personal presentation, professional communication, personal health and interpersonal skills.
Professional and personal well-being o Te Whare Tapa Wha and lifestyles. 
Hair and scalp analysis (PETALS); Face shapes, shampoo and treatments, introduction to styling and hot-tool styling,  hairstyles and self-styling, and current fashion trends.

Salon Discovery (15 Credits)
Use systems to complete client bookings in a hairdressing salon, policy and practices within salon services, and communicate with diverse clients in a professional context.
This course will cover:
Workflow of a salon in relation to appointments.
Reception duties; Create and maintain appointments, answering the phone, processing sales, greeting clients, customer care. 
Standard operating procedures (SOPs): Code of ethics, professional standards, salon environment, Whanaungatanga,  Manaakitanga, Health & safety, sustainable practices including the three pillars of sustainability, Kaitiakitanga and diversity; personality types and communication skills/styles.

The Art of Hair Design (20 Credits)
Complete the consultation process to inform design decisions in a hairdressing context,  apply design principles to long and short hairstyles to an industry standard, and recommend products and home haircare for clients.
This course will cover:
Consultation and hair and scalp analysis, Face shapes and relevant bones of the head, skin including skin irregularities, common hair and scalp conditions, contraindications, cultural practices relevant to hair and head assessment, Tikanga and kawa relevant to creating hairstyles, fashion trends, cultural and historical influences, and design principles including line, form, texture, contrast, proportion, balance and alternation.
Preparation of the hair for short and long styles, long and short hair styling, mould and scale the hair, set the hair using wet and dry techniques, blow waving using a variety of brushes, elementary hair ups, pin-curls, finger waving, braiding, health and safety requirements in a salon professional practice, industry acceptable time frames, product knowledge, home haircare advice and upselling.

Reformation Basics (15 Credits)
Explain reformation processes relevant to a hairdressing context, follow instructions in a hairdressing context, and assist with chemical reformation services in a hairdressing context.
This course will cover:
Permanent wave, key product ingredients used in the reduction and oxidation process, rod selection, product selection, manufacturer’s instructions’, health and safety.
Straightening/smoothing, key product ingredients used in the reduction and oxidation process, hot and cold straightening methods, key ingredients of relaxing/smoothing services and the effects on hair shaft, product selection, manufacturer’s instructions’, and health and safety.
Active listening, literacy and numeracy skills, asking good questions, paraphrasing.
Technical procedures of chemical reformation services for straightening and waving, following instructions, managing self and manufacturer’s instructions.

Introduction to Sculpture (15 Credits)
Describe the principles and practices of haircutting, explain culturally safe behaviours and professional practices in a hairdressing context, and apply technical haircutting skills to a hairdressing industry standard.
This course will cover:
Cutting tools, scissors, razor and clippers.
Techniques and terminology, safe handling of equipment, structural graphics associated with foundation cuts, sculpturing procedures. 
Tikanga practices associated with the head, multicultural awareness, foundation cuts using scissors, razor, and clippers, Hairdressing Health Regulations and workplace ergonomics, and industry acceptable time frames.

Colour Basics (20 Credits)
Explain colour and decolouring processes relevant to a hairdressing context, complete colouring services to an industry standard under supervision.
This course will cover:
Theory of colour, law of colour, effect on the hair shaft, oxidative and non-oxidative, identifying base/level, reflect, % grey, ratios, manufacturer’s instructions, decolouring, developers, health and safety, levels of lightening, concepts of colour selection and processes, ratios and manufacturer’s instructions.
Colour formulation, colour applications and removals, oxidative colour, non-oxidative colour, colour designs, retouch, global, and foil placement.
Hairdressing Health Regulations & manufacturer’s instructions, allergy test, contraindications, industry standards,tTime frames.

Client Journey (15 Credits)
Demonstrate professional behaviour and skills to hairdressing industry standards during the client's journey, Reflect on professional behaviour and skills required to meet hairdressing industry standards during a client's journey.
This course will cover:
Time management, industry acceptable time frames, building a client base, customer care from entry to exit, salon ethics, covering a range of services, health and safety of the client and others, professional conversations, including product recommendations and aftercare, continuous professional image to industry standards, perform elementary styling tasks that will include a range of chemical and non-chemical services, rebooking client, customer satisfaction, record keeping 
professional practice for the hairdressing industry, professional communication and interactions, making informed recommendations, following direction, personal hygiene and presentation, reflective practice and reflective cycles.

Grand Finale (10 Credits)
Design a collection of hair styles in response to a theme, and present a collection of hair styles to a professional standard.
This course will cover:
Design process, themes, visual planning, collection of styles for long and short hair, technical skills, dressing and finishing techniques, presentation skills, organisation and time management.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Learning Facilities

Fully equipped hairdressing and beauty salon, classrooms and computer labs.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

This programme has open entry.

English language proficiency
All applicants (international and domestic) for whom English or te reo Māori is not a first language need to provide evidence that they have the necessary English language proficiency required for the programme. 
For more information about NCEA Credits see the UCOL Te Pūkenga NCEA explained page.


For more information about NCEA Credits see the UCOL Te Pūkenga NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

English language proficiency
International applicants are required to have an IELTS score of 5 (general or academic) with no individual band lower than 5 from one test taken in the preceding two years, or an equivalent described in NZQA Rules.

Under 20 years of age
In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

 Advice & Guidance

The New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing is suitable for learners who may have no prior knowledge or experience in hairdressing You must complete work experience as part of the programme.

It is the first in a suite of qualifications that provide a pathway to recognition as a professional hairstylist.

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 have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Te Pūkenga Academic Statute and other relevant policies and procedures.

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 (not via the online application form).

 Additional Costs

The following are the course-related costs for New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing Uniform

  • One pair of industry standard shoes (no laces permitted in the salon unless covered toe and leather) $100
  • Black trousers or a black skirt to wear with a tunic (the tunic is supplied by UcolI Te Pūkenga)

Stationery approximately $65

  • Ring binder/s
  • Refill
  • Subject dividers
  • Pens/pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Memory stick

Hairdressing tools and equipment kit (approximately $650.00)

Note that learners are responsible for providing models for practical sessions and all practical assessments. 


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.