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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
Otago Polytechnic logo

New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) (Level 3)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


Otago Polytechnic


Hairdressing is exciting, creative and ever-changing; a career that allows you to express yourself!

Hairdressing skills are highly transferable enabling you to access a variety of employment opportunities around the world.

Our passionate tutors have a rapport with the industry and this connection and involvement with local businesses has resulted in students gaining employment and apprenticeships.

Our training salon is set up to represent a real world working salon. This will enable you to gain hands-on experience with clients and to gain skills and knowledge in a supportive and realistic environment.

We have regular visits from industry professionals ensuring you are up-to-date with current information about hairdressing technologies, trends and products. These visits also give an insight into the qualities and skills that potential employers are seeking.

This Certificate aligns with the NZQA framework and is equivalent to the first year of a hairdressing apprenticeship.

What will this programme cover?

Introduction to:

  • salon operations
  • salon knowledge and skills
  • hair and scalp treatments
  • basic styling
  • Salon systems and processes
  • Professional salon support practice
  • Basic hair cutting and colouring skills
  • Wet to dry styling.

Pathways to this programme

  • New Zealand Certificate in Salon Skills (Level 2)
  • Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 2)

Further study options

New Zealand Certificate in Beauty Therapy (Level 4), Hairdressing apprenticeship (HITO)

Your workload

Course workload for this programme will require approximately 20 hours directed study in the form of salon and classroom sessions per week.
Contact hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9.00am-3.00pm
It is also expected that you will spend approximately 15 hours per week of your own time in self-directed learning, and a minimum of 50 hours of work experience within the year, in order to successfully complete the programme


Blended - directed, practical training in our salon plus work experience hours and student-managed learning

Entry criteria

Applicants under 20 years

At least 8 NCEA Level 1 credits showing basic literacy OR equivalent

Students need to have achieved a secondary school qualification that is equivalent to New Zealand’s NCEA levels (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). Entry requirements vary from country to country.

Applicants from mature students (20 years or older)

  • No formal qualification needed.

English language requirements

Overall Academic IELTS 5.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.0 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR; TOEFL paper based test (PBT): Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE); TOEFL internet based test (IBT): Score of 35 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge english examinations: B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill; Pearson test of english (ACADEMIC): PToE (Academic) score of 36; Language Certificate: B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill.

Special entry

In exceptional circumstances, an applicant who does not meet the full entry requirements may be granted admission to the programme on the approval of the Academic Committee if the Committee is confident of the applicant's ability to successfully undertake the programme with a reasonable likelihood of success.

Other requirements

Likelihood of success on the programme demonstrated through interview
Physical fitness to withstand the demands of the hairdressing industry.

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