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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Ara Institute of Canterbury
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New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Barbering (Level 4)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date



Master the art of barbering for a career in an expanding sector.

Taught by barbering experts, this heavily practical programme will equip you with detailed knowledge and skills to be able to work in the ever-growing barbering industry. It combines a focus on elements of traditional and contemporary fashion styles with an understanding of the origins and influences of this vocation.

The programme covers classic and modern barbering techniques, small hair detail, scissor skills, clipper and fade work including traditional wet shaves, plus professional ethics and standards. You'll study the latest industry fashion trends and develop your own style in this exciting industry.

You'll also learn about health and safety requirements, front-of-house operations and discover how to enhance your social media capabilities in order to attract a regular clientele. Our on-site barber shop represents a real-life industry environment where you'll build your skills and capabilities as a professional commercial barber. Each cut is preparation for you working autonomously as a fully qualified barber in a variety of commercial settings.

To meet Health and Safety requirements, applicants must be physically able to undertake the practical components of the programme in an industry emulated environment.

Career opportunities

As a graduate of this programme you can pathway into another hairdressing qualification or head straight into employment where you can continue to develop your barbering skills and techniques on the job.

Study pathways

Further study options include the New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support), followed by the New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Emerging Stylist).

Entry criteria

10 NCEA Level 1 literacy credits and 10 NCEA Level 1 numeracy credits

If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.

Alternative Requirements

Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

Note: The number of courses you have to complete for this qualification may be reduced where you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace.

IELTS test - Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5


TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) - Score of 530 (with an essay score of 4.5 TWE)

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) - Score of 46 (with a writing score of 14)

Cambridge English Qualifications - B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill

Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36

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