Beauty Therapy HNC

Course code 113B

What is special about this course?

HNC Beauty Therapy aims at developing the underpinning knowledge, research, and skills to work in the beauty industry. This is a 1-year High level course, for those starting their journey in the beauty industry (with the relevant qualifications) or progressing from an appropriate SCQF Level 6 in Beauty Therapy.

You will be taught by industry professionals with a wide range of industrial experience who will provide you with the training required to develop a career in the beauty industry and impart essential knowledge to equip you for employment.

The qualification develops skills in a realistic working environment using contemporary salon equipment and will develop a proficiency in an array of salon treatments. 

You will practice on each other prior to completing assessments on external clients, which you will be expected to provide.

We encourage professionalism in salon appearance and enhance client skills, ensuring you are employable for beauty salons, spas, cruise liners or wish to pursue a career as a self-employed therapist. 

Special features

  • You will be required to purchase a uniform and kit and for your studies, details will be given on acceptance to the course.
  • You will be expected to follow a dress code whilst working in the salons.
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances
  • Those with no prior experience can, with the correct qualifications enter as direct entry students and units will be aimed at the essential salon treatments.
  • Those entering with an SCQF6 in Beauty therapy may have wider option choices and build on skills gained at SCQF 6/ NC Beauty care / SVQ/NVQ Level 3 Beauty therapy


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A Level at grade D or above
  • Preferably in English or a science related subject, plus
  • 3 National 5 qualifications or 3 Standard Grades 1, 2 or 3, or an SCQF Level 6 programme, or equivalent
  • Alternatively, NC Beauty Care, or SVQ3 Beauty Therapy
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis

Access routes

  • NC Beauty Care or SVQ L3 Beauty Therapy

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Beauty therapy: applied anatomy and physiology
  • Beauty therapy: face and body treatment packages
  • Beauty therapy: professional salon skills
  • Beauty therapy: graded unit 1

Optional subjects may include:

  • Beauty therapy: depilation
  • Beauty therapy: face and body electrotherapy
  • Beauty therapy: facial therapy treatments
  • Beauty therapy: hand, foot and nail therapies
  • Body massage treatments
  • Beauty therapy: contemporary aesthetic treatments
  • Beauty therapy: make up skills
  • Traditional head massage
  • Signature massage
  • Liquid and powder nail enhancements
  • Light curing gel nail enhancements
  • Eyelash enhancements
  • Eyebrow artistry
  • Spa treatments
  • Reflexology
  • Aromatherapy massage
  • Remedial massage
  • Beauty therapy: electrical epilation
  • Work placement

Option units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part- time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will study by way of face-to-face lectures, tutorials in the classroom and practical exercise in a salon environment, as well as online classes

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness
  • Perth

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,110 £7,110
Part-time (per HN credit) £474 £474

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,980 £8,775
Part-time (per HN credit) £532 £585

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

You will be expected to cover costs for uniform and kit (approximately £180-£205).

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion you will have the skills needed to work in beauty therapy in salons, hotels, cruise ships and other venues. 

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the HND Beauty Therapy.

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

I chose this course because I always wanted to learn more about the beauty industry. While my focus was on learning bridal make-up, I also enjoyed learning other practical aspects such as massage, reflexology, nails and facials. I am currently working in a spa and this qualification will help further my opportunities within the beauty industry.

My plans are to continue working in the spa to build up my experience; eventually I’d like to set up my own business, specialising in baby and pregnancy massage. 

Kerri studied Beauty therapy at UHI Perth. 

Apply for Beauty Therapy HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.