Course Title               Hairdressing


Level                           National 4



Course Description


This course provides a broad, experiential introduction to hairdressing.  The focus is on experiencing the salon environment to learn about the different roles and responsibilities in hairdressing and begin to develop vocational skills and knowledge.  Practical experience of general salon duties to support stylists and assisting with customer care is included.  Specific skills involved in shampooing, conditioning and blow-drying hair are developed and the creative side of hairdressing are also explored, with pupils having the opportunity to experiment with style ideas.  The course content places emphasises throughout all Units on the employability skills and attitudes which will help prepare students for the workplace.


The course consists of four Mandatory Units.  The Units are:


  • Salon Awareness (40 hours)

Students will develop an awareness of the various roles, responsibilities and career opportunities in hairdressing.  They will also learn about health and safety in the salon and the demands of a trainee hairdresser.

  • Working in the Salon (40 hours)

Students will learn to carry out practical tasks in customer care, reception and maintaining a safe and hygienic work area.  They will also learn more specific skills in shampooing and blow-drying techniques.  This will be done in a realistic context, with emphasis on developing general employability skills such as following instructions carefully, seeking feedback and using this to improve skills.

  • Employability Skills (40 hours)

Students will have the opportunity in this Unit to consider the general skills and attitudes identified by employers as important in hairdressing.  They will evaluate their own performance in these skills in a range of practical activities.  They will plan and set goals for improvement in order to enhance their employability profile.

  • Creativity (40 hours)

Students will explore and develop their own ideas and interpretations of current trends.  They will plan the resources and support they will need to create their own style on a mannequin head.  This will help build confidence, skills and a sence of the importance of creativity in hairdressing.




Assessment will be based on a range of practical activities carried out in the salon environment.  Performance evidence will be supported by tutor observation checklists.  Pupils will also complete self-assessment reviews and gather specific information in a folio.

Each Unit will be supported by a NAB (National Assessment Bank item) which will provide an assessment package and will exemplify the National standard.




This course may provide students with opportunities to progress to:


  • An NPA / NQs in Hairdressing
  • A full-time National Certificate Course in Hairdressing in Further Education

Suitable training/Employment.






Course Title               Cosmetology


Level                           National 4 and 5



Course Description


This group award relates to skills and knowledge required for students who may wish to learn Beauty and Make Up Artistry.  The course allows students to sample these disciplines in a meaningful way, while gaining a recognised National Qualification.

In this course students will learn about working with others, product awareness, assisting in a workplace, health and safety, career options and working with customers and colleagues.  The sixth unit develops Make Up Artistry specifically.  The course consists of six mandatory units.


The six Mandatory units are:


  • Working with Customers and Colleagues (40 hours)

In this unit students will learn to meet the given standard for appearance and behaviour, to greet and communicate with customers politely and clearly, even when working under pressure.  Students will also learn to respond to customers enquiries and questions and assist them to obtain the information they require, seeking help from colleagues where appropriate.  Students will require to work with both adults and children.


  • Product Awareness (20 hours)

In this unit students will gain knowledge of the product range which is used in learning practical skills.  The knowledge and skills needed for the use of products, safe and economical use, storage, handling and disposal are taught in the workplace environment of the Salon.


  • Career Options and Choices (20 hours)

This unit is focused on the students gaining awareness of potential career options and choices within the beauty industry.  Students will explore typical job roles and staffing structures within the beauty and Make Up Artistry sector.


  • Health and Safety (20 hours)

In this unit students will develop an understanding of roles and responsibilities with regard to Health and safety in the workplace.  The teaching in this unit introduces current legislation, first aid procedures, safety equipment, fire regulations and specific organizational procedures for Health and Safety.


  • Prepare and Assist in a Workplace (20 hours)

This is a practical unit where students will learn how to prepare and work to clear a selected area in the Salon, following basic hygiene proceduresThe practical work is carried out in relation to specific treatments in Beauty, Make Up Artistry and related industries.




  • Make Up Artistry (40 hours)

This unit is designed to enable students to develop make up artist skills and techniques.  Students learn to produce and present a portfolio relating to practical skills in make up artistry and to prepare and select appropriate materials and products for specified make up.






All units are delivered in Islay High School’s Beauty Salon by specialist staff.  Assessment is based on a range of practical activities, supported by observation checklists and student self assessments.  Each unit is supported by NAB (National Assessment Bank) items which provide an assessment package and will exemplify the national standard.




This course may provide progression to:

  • SVQ’s in Beauty and Make Up Artistry
  • Programmes in Further Education colleges

Other suitable training or employment






Faculty                       Vocational Education


Course Title               Beauty


Level                           Higher


The Course

The Course provides a broad, experiential introduction to beauty. The focus is on experiencing the salon environment and on the development of vocational skills, knowledge and understanding. Practical experience of communication and customer care skills is included. Emphasis throughout all Units is on the employability skills and attitudes which will help to prepare candidates for the workplace. These are detailed in the employability skills profile in this Course Specification.

·         Beauty: Facial Techniques
Candidates will learn about the structure and function of the skin, facial bones and muscles, skin types and common skin conditions. They will also learn how to analyse the skin before selecting appropriate products to reflect the client’s skin type and condition; and will develop the practical skills of cleansing, toning and moisturising the skin and basic face massage. Massage techniques and demonstrating dexterity when applying these are areas which will be included.

·         Beauty: Facial Treatment Packages
: Candidates will learn about the structure and function of the skin, skin types and common skin conditions. They will also learn how to analyse the skin before selecting an appropriate treatment package and products which meets the clients needs; as well as develop the practical skills of cleansing, toning, skin warming, exfoliation, masque application and removal and moisturising.

·         Beauty: Nail Finishes:  Students will learn about the nail structure and bones of the hand and arm. They will develop practical skills of shaping nails, improving the appearance of cuticles, nail painting and basic hand massage. Candidates will also have the opportunity to review their employability skills profile.

·         Beauty: Creative Current Make-Up Trends
: This Unit focuses on an awareness of the ever changing face of make-up fashion trends and the expression of creativity. Candidates will explore and identify current make-up trends from a variety of sources. They will interpret these, then plan and prepare to create a current make-up 'look'. Candidates will develop practical skills in make-up application, then create and present a ‘look’ which reflects a current make-up trend identified on a client.

This Course or its Units may provide progression to:

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Beauty Therapy

·         Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Beauty Therapy

·         Higher National Diploma (HND) in Beauty Therapy

·         further education

·         training/employment