The HNC Hairdressing course is intended for hairdressers currently working in the profession who are seeking an advanced certificate in hairdressing. This course will provide you with the highest qualification currently held in hairdressing. The course is intended for experienced stylists or newly qualified stylists who want to further their studies. Higher National Qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HNC in Hairdressing (SCQF level 7) provides underpinning knowledge and skills required to work in the hairdressing industry. Learners will become competent in a range of cutting and colouring skills and techniques, and hair and scalp treatments, as well as in the use of social media which will enable them to seek employment in the hairdressing sector. All technical units build and expand your existing skills and knowledge as a stylist, giving you the opportunity to design and create looks based on current fashion. A specialised unit in hair and scalp allows you to develop a deeper understanding of hair loss and implications of conditions and how to treat. This is an invaluable tool for the current market of clientele suffering hair loss. Your course will be interactive using a variety of methods to ensure your learning and progression needs are met. Units are lecturer-led, however, we fully encourage you to take ownership of your own learning through designing looks, working with other college students, and organising charity events.

Course code





The course is part time, The learners will attend college five hours per week for 24 weeks and study at home 3 hours per week. The college will provide an industry standard ‘salon environment’ in which learners can perform practical activities that will simulate the real working environment and have access to equipment to study for the HNC Hairdressing.

Entry Requirements

SVQ 3 at SCQF level 6 in Hairdressing or equivalent 
Direct entrants with occupationally relevant skills and experience

Those with relevant work experience but without appropriate qualifications may be accepted for entry if the hairdressing department is satisfied that the learner has a reasonable expectation of successfully completing the group award.

You're expected to supply your own equipment and tools should be fit for purpose in all aspects of hairdressing. In addition, you should bring your own stationery. There is no specific dress code. However, you're expected to have a professional appearance.

Information and Interview Session Requirements

Learners will be required to attend a face to face interview or a interview on teams video to further discuss your application. 

You'll be invited for a group and/or individual interview where you can find out more about the course and tell us why you're interested in this subject area. 

Where COVID restrictions are in place we will invite you to either a video meeting or telephone discussion call.

Course Content

Classic and Creative Cutting
Principles of Colouring
Hair and Scalp Treatments
Social Media
Work Placement
Graded Unit 1


The HNC in Hairdressing is occupationally-specific and, by nature, highly practical. This means that assessments will focus on product evidence and direct observation of performance evidence. Learners should be encouraged to build portfolios which showcase the development of their skills and knowledge.


The HNC Hairdressing qualification is designed as a progression route for learners from the SVQ 3 at SCQF level 6 Hairdressing qualification or equivalent. It is suitable for direct entrants with occupationally relevant skills and experience. There are a number of progression routes from this award into qualifications such as the PDA Barbering Practice at SCQF level 7.

Career Prospects

The primary focus of the HNC is to provide industry-specific skills and knowledge to enable learners to gain employment in the hairdressing industry. On successful completion of the course you could operate your own business, apply for employment on-board cruise liners, lecturing posts in Further Education or as a Company Technician/Trainer.

Additional funding information

All students are liable for payment of their course fees, unless they make a successful application to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for full time fees or Part-Time Fee Waiver Grant (PTFG), are entitled to a SFC Fee Waiver, or their fees are to be paid by a third-party sponsor e.g. employer. It is the student’s responsibility to provide evidence of a successful application. If a student discovers they are ineligible for funding the student will become liable for unpaid fees Where students are self-financing, their course fees must be paid in full no later than 7 days prior to the course start date, unless an instalment plan has been agreed.

Students studying 15 credits will undertake 7 credits in year one costing £599 for 7 credits plus £103.75 registration free. Total £702.75. In year two you will study the remaining 8 credits at a cost of £685.

Students studying 12 credits will undertake 6 credits each year. Cost for 6 credits is £514 plus £103.75 registration fee in year one, and £514 for 6 credits in year two.

PAYMENT INSTALMENT PLANS Where students are self-funding the course fee must be paid in full no later than 7 days prior to the course start date unless they select one of the following payment options.

  • Where any net fee (after any applicable grant) is £300 or less the fee is payable in full no later than 7 days prior to the course start date.
  • Where any net fee is in excess of £300 up to £800 and the duration of the course exceeds 3 months - a 3-month instalment plan is available.
  • Where any net fee is in excess of £800 and the duration of the course exceeds 6 months – a 5-month instalment plan is available.
  • The 1 st instalment is due no later than 7 days prior to the course start date with the remaining instalments payable on a monthly basis thereafter. Any application to pay by instalments must be made to the Finance department (Tel 01387 734000) who have sole discretion on accepting any application for payment in this way.

Selling Points

The occupationally-specific HNC in Hairdressing is designed to provide you with a recognised qualification and skills to enable you to work effectively within the hairdressing industry.