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Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

Advice & Help Centre

This study programme is designed for 16 to 19 year olds (aged 19 to 24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

All courses take place on our Sixth Form Campus, therefore any applicants aged 25+ or over who do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan may be required to complete a DBS check as part of the conditional offer to West Suffolk College. The cost to the applicant for a DBS is £30.00 and the DBS check can be completed through the college.

Please visit our Adult EducationDegrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

This course is suitable for learners who have completed their Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing qualification and wish to develop themselves further into advanced technical work. The course is designed to inspire and challenge the learner with up-to-date styling techniques that can be used within the salon and also for session and photographic work. The qualification is gained from passing a final practical and written exam.

Entry requirements

Learners will have completed the Level 2 Hairdressing Diploma. Applicants will need to be able to self-manage and will need a mature and responsible outlook, as much of the delivery will require them to work with a high degree of independence.

Some of the products used in the hairdressing and beauty industry contain nuts and therefore this occupation may not be suitable for those people with an allergy to nuts.



Work placement is a mandatory part of the course and learners also need to have a confirmed work placement to start alongside the commencement of the course.


Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Hairdressing

What you'll learn (core modules)

Learners will study and acquire new cutting techniques and specialist colouring work including colour correction. The course operates commercial workshop salon sessions in order to gain practice and assessment opportunities.

Learners are also encouraged to find specific models for their course to meet the varied and exciting hairstyles within the qualification.


Learners will develop their creative abilities by developing hair, clothes and make-up for photographic shoots and competition work. The course prides itself on inspiring learners with detailed demonstrations and a real focus to develop, challenge and excel in the world of hairdressing. Learners also will compliment their study by integrating themselves into the industry through work placement within local salons.


Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE A* to C (9 to 4 on the new grading structure) or equivalent qualifications in Maths and English by age 16 will need to continue to study these subjects in each academic year.

Benefits, skills and character strengths

The coursework enables learners to stretch and challenge themselves in commercial and competition work.

The course has a strong track record of learners competing and winning regional and national hairdressing competitions, including Worlds Skills Uk - The vocational Olympics !


We work on individuals realising their strengths within the industry and showing ambition, resilience, team work and curiosty to exceed in their technical skills and creativity.

How will I be assessed?


The national written exam is sat in March of each academic year and grading is awarded as 40% of the total qualification.


The practical exam consists of 6hrs of hairdressing services on live models with observations and grading awarded by a designated marker.

The outcome marks make 60% of the total qualification.


Both exams are calculauted together to give a grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

Salon workshops and theory classrooms.

Where will the course take me?

Learners can progress to Foundation degree in Salon Management/NVQ Level Four.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Learners will be required to purchase a uniform (order form supplied prior to course commencement), Hairdressing kit currently used from Level 2 course with the addition of tuition Heads x 2 (order form supplied), hair donuts, Ornamentation items, Hairpieces and other relevant products for the course content. There will be an additional cost for trips and activities throughout the year.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

Apply online for an interview with the Course Director

Days & times

Starting September 2023

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