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New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support)

New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support)

Level 3

Train towards a career in the hairdressing industry with UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support).

  • UCOL's Palmerston North hair salon environmentUCOL's Palmerston North hair salon environment
  • A UCOL hairdressing studentA UCOL hairdressing student
  • Washing a client's hairWashing a client's hair
  • Demonstrating cutting hair at UCOL's Whanganui salonDemonstrating cutting hair at UCOL's Whanganui salon
  • Learning how to style a client's hairLearning how to style a client's hair
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL Whanganui, UCOL Wairarapa in Masterton

Duration: 1 year full-time (38 weeks)
Part-time option available.
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

27 Feb 2023 - 17 Nov 2023

Domestic Fees: *
$7119.00Scholarship info

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

Get a start in hairdressing with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support). You'll learn essential skills such as reception duties, shampooing, applying treatments or colours, and styling. You'll also be introduced to cutting.

You'll gain real-world experience in our campus salons, where you'll cultivate your own clientelle, perform hairdressing treatments with the support of your lecturer, and build confidence in your skills. We have a strong culture of team work and we like to have fun.

If you enjoy hair styling and colour work, you'll love our annual History of Hair competition, where you can re-imagine and create a historic themed hair style.

Keen to know more? Hear from recent graduate Charley MacDonald.



 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 38 weeks, including 6 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
22 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings, salon practicals, timetable set by your lecturer.
Industry Experience
2 hrs

Practicum, work experience or internship in a hair salon.
Study Time
14 hrs

Study in your own time.

You can also choose to study part-time, or possibly by paper. Talk to us about your options with this programme.

 Career & Study Outcomes

On completion of this qualification gain entry into New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Emerging Stylist). You'll also be able to work as a salon assistant undertaking the following duties:

  • Confidently communicate with colleagues and clients
  • Follow instructions and ensure observation of technical skills is respectful of the client experience 
  • Undertake limited reception duties, including appointment making, home hair care sales and maintenance of retail product displays
  • Provide limited support services that contribute to the client journey through the salon
  • Perform a limited scope consultation, including hair and scalp analysis
  • Perform elementary styling tasks, including blow drying, moulding, setting and long hair-ups
  • Safely hold scissors, follow a pre-cut guide, comb and project the hair and maintain even tension on a mannequin
  • Mix, apply and remove a limited range of colour treatments as directed
  • Understand the process and basic principles when neutralising chemical reformation services 
  • Meet the personal health and presentation requirements of the salon environment, and self-style in ways that promote current trends in fashion
  • Follow workplace health, safety, hygiene and environmental policies, identify and report potential hazards to minimise the impact of workplace activities on the environment

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Hairdressers and Barbers.

Education pathway

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

From 2023, UCOL and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga. So, if you join UCOL in 2023, you will be awarded Te Pūkenga certification. And, if you are a current learner graduating in 2023, you will be awarded a co-branded certificate.

This programme comprises 120 Credits.

Introduction to Salon Operations (15 Credits)
Learn about how a salon operates, expectations, requirements and customer service. The course will cover employment; environmental considerations/sustainability (sources of waste, management of waste, harmful substances and carbon footprint); customer service; fashion identity; self presentation; and health and hygiene.

Introduction to Salon Knowledge and Skills (15 Credits)
Learn to work effectively in a salon environment. The course will cover effective and professional communication; workplace relationships; hair products; hair fashion over time; measurement and calculations used in a salon; and time management.

Introduction to Hair and Scalp Treatments (15 Credits)
Learn about the science of hair, scalp, hair products, chemicals and colour; and develop practical treatment skills under supervision. The course will cover trichology (study of the hair and scalp); shampoo service; hair and scalp treatments; fundamentals of hair colouring; and the neutralising process.

Introduction to Basic Styling (15 Credits)
Learn a range of basic hair styling techniques. The course covers pincurling hair; moulding and scaling hair; dressing long hair; and salon equipment and hand-held tools.

Salon Systems and Processes (15 Credits)
Gain experience of working with salon systems and processes; and build your knowledge of the expected professional behaviours and legal requirements for the salon environment.

Professional Salon Support Practice (15 Credits)
Extend your knowledge of health, wellbeing and safety in the salon; undertake basic first aid training, and learn how to create your own professional portfolio.

Basic Hair Cutting and Colouring Skills (15 Credits)
Build your knowledge of hair cutting and colouring; and practice basic hair cutting and colouring skills.

Wet to Dry Styling (15 Credits)
Build your knowledge of wet to dry hair styling, and practice your skills.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

Regional hairdressing competitions

 Learning Facilities

Fully equipped hairdressing and beauty salon, classrooms and computer labs.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

This programme has open entry.

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5 with no band score less than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.

Under 20 years of age
In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

 Advice & Guidance

The New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) is suitable for learners who may have no prior knowledge or experience in support services for hairdressing salons and clients. You must complete 50 hours of work experience as part of the programme.

It is the first in a suite of qualifications that provide alternative pathways to recognition as a professional hairstylist.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form).

 Additional Costs

The following are the course-related costs for New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support).


  • Two pairs of black or natural colour stockings  $20
  • One black top (chiffon type material) worn with a black singlet $50
  • One pair of industry standard shoes (no laces permitted in the salon unless covered toe and leather) $80
  • Black under top $15

Stationery approximately $62

  • Ring binder/s
  • Refill
  • Subject dividers
  • Pens/pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Memory stick

Hairdressing tools and equipment kit (approximately $514.42)

Note that students are responsible for providing models for practical sessions and all practical assessments. 


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.