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Quick facts

Qualification type City & Guilds Level 1 Certificate
Duration 1 year
Study times

You will be expected to be in college for a minimum of 3 days per week, from 9:15 to 4:00. Your timetable will be confirmed at induction. 

Entry requirements

Students will be able to start at this level if they have achieved a grade 3 in English and Maths at GCSE. Some students may have completed an entry level Hairdressing or Beauty Therapy programme during year 10 and 11 of Key Stage 4 in formal education but will need to have also achieved at least a grade 3 in English and Maths. 


The Academy of Hair and Beauty, West Suffolk College main campus, Bury St Edmunds 

Work placements Highly recommended

Is it for me?

If you admire influential hairdressers and stylists on Instagram and want to create your own trending styles, this course could be your first step become a skilled professional hairdresser.  


On the Level 1 certificate, you will learn both theory and practical knowledge, working on both long and short hair. Alongside developing the confidence and self-esteem to excel in this career, you will receive focused training to ensure you have the skills required to begin to provide high quality hair services and excellent customer service.  


Alongside this course, you will be required to study English and Maths as part of your study programme. Students that have achieved a grade 4 in both subjects will be exempt from this part of the programme. 


You will get the opportunity to take part in local and national competitions, to visit trade shows and experience training from industry leaders. Our Hairdressing department is recognised by both World Skills UK and the Fellowship of British Hairdressing as a Centre for Excellence, highlighting the world class expertise we deliver to our students. Join us to start your journey to becoming a high-performing hairdresser and develop ambition, resilience, teamwork and curiosity to exceed in your career. 

What you'll learn

  • Shampooing and conditioning  

  • Introduction to the hair and beauty sector  

  • Presenting a professional image  

  • Styling women's hair  

  • Create a hair and beauty image  

  • Health and safety 

  • Working with others  

  • Salon reception duties 

  • The art of colouring hair  

  • The art of dressing hair 

Equipment required for the course

There will be uniform to purchase, as you will need to represent the trade you will be training for. The details regarding the uniform will be given out as you enrol onto the programme.  


The uniform will consist of self-sourced black tailored trousers or leggings, tunic or polo shirt, plain black cardigan and flat solid black closed toe shoes/trainers. Each learner is required to buy a recommended textbook that supports the knowledge delivered for this course. You will need to consider additional costs for trips and activities throughout the year. 


Approximate cost of the polo shirt: £25 

Approximate cost of the tunic: £25 

Work experience placements

Work experience is a big part of this course – you will be encouraged to have real work experience in a professional salon for a minimum of 60 hours over the year, this will be recorded and monitored by your course director. You will also need to complete a log of the hours and experiences you have whilst in this placement. 


Assessment will be on a unit-by-unit basis, each having both theory and practical elements to achieve. You will be given feedback as you progress through the skills taught and then once you are competent, you will be prepared for assessment tasks. Theory is assessed through written assignments, tests and online exams and practical assessments are assessed by delivering in person services. Most units offer a Pass, Merit or Distinction grading system. 

Further study

  • Barbering Technical Certificate Level 2 

  • Barbering Advanced Technical Diploma Level 3 

  • Hairdressing - Colouring Perming and Styling Services Technical Certificate Level 2 

  • Hairdressing - Cutting and Styling Services Technical Certificate Level 2 

  • Hairdressing Advanced Technical Diploma Level 3 

  • Make-up Artistry and Hair Styling Technical Certificate Level 2 

  • Media Make-up and Hair Artistry Advanced Technical Diploma Level 3 

Example careers

  • Hairdresser
  • Senior Stylist
  • Freelance Stylist
  • Salon Owner
  • Colour Technician

Days & times

Starting September 2023

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