Level 3 Diploma in Women’s Hairdressing


The VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Women’s Hairdressing is an occupational qualification for learners seeking a career as an employed and/or self-employed hairdresser/stylist. This qualification is based on Hairdressing National Occupational Standards (NOS) and is recognised by the UK’s lead hairdressing professional association (The Hairdressing Council) as being fit for purpose for preparing learners for a career as a senior hairdresser/stylist. Learners should hold a Level 2 qualification in hairdressing prior to undertaking this qualification.


This qualification forms part of a suite of VTCT hairdressing qualifications. At 422-502 guided learning hours (GLH), this qualification is larger than the VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing Studies. Whilst both qualifications qualify learners to become senior hairdressers/stylists, this qualification in Women’s Hairdressing requires learners to achieve more units and to develop a greater breadth of technical skills.

Hence, this qualification is most suitable for learners who wish to focus the majority of their Study Programme on hairdressing. In contrast, the Hairdressing Studies qualification is more suited to learners who wish to undertake a Level 3 hairdressing qualification alongside other smaller qualifications.


This qualification has been specifically designed for the 16-19 age group, builds on existing knowledge and understanding of hairdressing and will develop an enhanced repertoire of technical skills to prepare learners for employment as a senior hairdresser/stylist. Learners will have their hairdressing skills assessed in a real or realistic working environment.

The qualification includes all the required elements to work effectively as an advanced hairdresser/stylist including: health and safety; client consultation; advanced cutting; styling and colouring techniques and; selling products and services to clients. These units are all mandatory.

Learners will further develop their understanding and skills by selecting a number of optional specialist units which include: hair colour correction and specialist scalp services; bridal hairstyling; marketing for the hair and beauty sector; hair extension services; and relaxing African type hair – the full list of optional units is presented in the learner Record of Assessment book (RoA) (specification). This qualification’s structure provides learners with the flexibility to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills depending upon their designated career pathway as a senior hairdresser/stylist.


Learners who complete this qualification are eligible to become a State Registered Hairdresser (SRH) with The Hairdressing Council.

Career opportunities as an advanced hairdresser/senior stylist exist in a variety of contexts, including:

– Commercial salons
– Specialist African type hair salons
– Independent/self-employed/mobile/home-based settings
– Product manufacturing and training
– Television, film, theatre and media
– Armed services
– HM prison service
– Cruise liners
– Hospitals/care homes

Whilst this qualification’s primary purpose is to prepare learners for employment as a senior hairdresser/stylist, learners may choose to further develop their knowledge and skills by undertaking advanced specialist qualifications at Level 4, including:

– VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Salon Management
– VTCT Level 4 Diploma in Salon Management
– VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Specialist Hair and Scalp Services
– VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Hair Colour Correction
– VTCT Level 4 Award in Advanced Hair Styling