Free course, excluding materials

This one-year course is an ideal introduction for students who may not yet have relevant qualifications but want to work towards developing a career in either beauty therapy or hairdressing. Opus Salon is a working salon based in and run by Totton College. Here, students can learn in a realistic working environment, develop customer service and work towards treating clients to a commercial standard under the supervision of a tutor.

Age groups


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Entry requirements

No formal qualifications are required but a good standard of written and spoken English and a genuine interest in hair and beauty is essential. If you don’t have GCSE English and maths, you will also study towards these qualifications.

Course content

This introduction to the hair and beauty sector includes a broad range of services and treatments, reception duties and health and safety. Beauty therapy treatments include skin care, make-up, nail art, manicure and pedicure, while shampooing and conditioning, hairstyling, plaiting and twisting and temporary colouring are covered in hairdressing. You will also be taught about the anatomy and physiology of the hair and skin as well as the science behind each technical service.

You will cover a range of units in order to develop an understanding of the hair and beauty sector, including comparisons between the types of businesses and the clients each attracts, understanding the importance of personal presentation in a salon environment and working as part of a team.

Work experience

All Totton College students have the benefit of undertaking at least 30 hours of relevant work experience to support their studies, gain experience and potentially develop contacts with future employers. Our careers team is available to help students secure work placements.


You will be assessed through written assignments as well as practical assessments.

Financial commitments

A uniform, which will need to be worn for all practical sessions, and a kit containing all equipment will be required. These can be purchased through Totton College.

Enrichment opportunities

Our students benefit from a range of extra-curricular activities and can get involved in charity and community projects. All students have the opportunity to get involved in Opus Salon’s annual showcase.

Where it can take you

The majority of our students move on to study Level 2 Hairdressing or Level 2 Beauty Therapy, while some opt to take an apprenticeship. Achieving Level 2 or progressing on to a Level 3 qualification can both lead to a career in a number of areas including salons, health clubs, spas, hotels or within the cruise industry.

What our students say

“I started with a Level 1 course and worked my way through to Level 3 before setting up my own business. If I hadn’t gone to Totton College I wouldn’t be as successful as I am now.”
Rebecca Grace Kennel, self-employed beauty therapist, and wig technician at LEGOLAND Windsor

Contact a tutor

Mary Howard

Tel: 023 8087 4874

Email us

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