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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

The Level 2 Certificate in Barbering . This qualification will provide you with the requisite knowledge, understanding and skills to work competently as a barber. Throughout this qualification you will ensure responsibility to reduce risks to health and safety, advise and consult with clients, shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp, cut hair using basic barbering techniques, cut facial hair to shape using basic techniques, basic colour services and dry and finish men's hair.

Entry requirements

Entry by interview. Applicants will have completed Level 1 in Hairdressing and Barbering but we will also consider students who have achieved Grade 4 (C) and above in English and Maths and minimum of one other at Grade 4 (C) and above. Successful applicants will be required to have current or planned experience working in a salon environment. 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.


Level 2 Technical Certificate in Barbering

What you'll learn (core modules)

The following units will be covered:

201 - Principles and practices of hairdressing and barbering services

202 - Shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp

208 - Cut hair using basic barbering techniques

209 - Dry and finish men's hair

210 - Cut facial hair to shape using basic techniques

211 - Create basic outlines and detailing in hair


Each unit will be practically assessed whilst learners work on clients in the salon session, during which they will be supervised and supported throughout. Oral assessment is also used to support practical and written evidence.


End of year practical synoptic exams (practical trade tests) and theory exams will form your final grade of Pass/Merit/Distinction.


Learners will be assigned a Personal Support Tutor who will set up their individual learning plan, and their tutor will meet with them on a one-to-one basis throughout the year to discuss targets and progress through the programme.


Learners will be assured of any learning and personal support they require. Organised trips and visiting speakers are part of the course and are relevant to the hairdressing industry; they provide enrichment and inspiration for the learner's chosen profession.


Learners will be required to provide models for assessments throughout the year.


Every student is expected to work towards a GCSE Grade C/4 in English and Maths.


Learners are required to find at least one day a week salon placement which will build relationships in the industry and could lead to employment in the future.


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

Working in the hairdressing, barbering & beauty industry attracts passionate, artistic and hardworking individuals, this is a demanding industry where maximum job satisfaction is guaranteed for the right person.


A full-time course here at West Suffolk College offers you the opportunity to work on building your knowledge and life skills whilst planned, focused training happens weekly to ensure you have the skills required to provide high standards and excellent customer service skills.  You will get the opportunity to take part in local and national competitions, to visit trade shows, experience training and experience showcase events that are related to the industry. You will benefit from endorsement of industry leaders and this will bring opportunities for employment that benefit your long term career. 


This is an industry where teamwork, artistry and personal flair is part of every working day and that brings with it the responsibility and rewards that ensure that every day is a new and exciting challenge. If you are looking for a long term, varied career that motivates and inspires your passion then this is the career for you. 

How will I be assessed?

This course has an end point practical assessment, similar to a trade test, this covers practical skills and behaviours of the professional barber, this happens at the start of the third term. There will also be and end of course exam at the end of the second term, this covers theory taught across all 5 units of barbering. Both elements must be completed and achieved in order to achieve a full qualification. You will be required to supply models for practice and exams.

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

The Academy of Hair and Beauty Studies at West Suffolk College

Where will the course take me?

Learners may progress on to the Level 3 Technical  Diploma after successful completion of this course. Once learners have achieved their level 3 qualifications, they may have the option of doing the Foundation Degree in Salon Management.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Upon enrolment for this course learners will receive order forms that list all the equipment, tools and uniform requirements of the course. The uniform will consist of black trousers, a polo top, black hoody and flat black closed shoes. Learners will be required to purchase tuition/mannequin head that will be used to learn all the practical skills for barbering. An equipment list will include all electrical equipment, combs, brushes and scissors needed, including a kit bag. Each learner will be required to have access to a recommended text book that supports the knowledge delivered for this course. You may need to consider an additional cost for trips and activities throughout the year. Uniform is required for every session in the practical area.


Approximate Kit Cost - £400

Approximate cost of the polo shirt - £20 

How much will it cost?

There is Government funding for students between 16-19 years old for the cost of the course. The cost of uniform/kit/equipment will be discussed at enrolment, you will be given an order form and must order from that the complete kit. 


Approximate Kit Cost - £400

Approximate cost of the polo shirt - £20 

I'm interested. What should I do now?

Apply online to enable us to contact you, then you will be invited in for an interview and for you to meet the team! Please have a look for a barber shop that will allow you to do your hours of work experience. Spend time on Instagram looking at the most influential barbers to get a feel for what is on trend at the moment, see what styles and looks you are most interested in learning how to achieve. 

Days & times

Starting September 2023

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If there is anything more you would like to know about this course, please message us here.

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