Hairdressing (Level 3)

Retail and Commercial Enterprise

Retail and Commercial Enterprise
Retail and Commercial Enterprise

What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Hairdressing (Level 3)
Code L3Ha
Qualification Type Other Regulated/Accredited Qualification
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


The VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing is a Technical Qualification aimed at learners aged 16-19 who require a full-time Level 3 education programme and wish to pursue a career as an employed and/or self-employed junior hairdresser/hairstylist. There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification but in order to optimise their chances of success, a learner will ideally hold a Level 2 qualification or equivalent in hairdressing. Learners who complete this qualification are eligible to become a graduate State Registered Hairdresser (SRH) with The Hairdressing Council. This qualification has been developed collaboratively with employers, professional associations and key stakeholders in the hairdressing sector. Because of this, the knowledge, skills and competences gained will provide the best possible opportunity for progression into employment. This qualification is formally supported by the following organisations: The Hairdressing Council National Hairdressers Federation


This qualification is based on the national occupational standards for hairdressing and includes all the required elements to work effectively as a senior hairdresser/hairstylist. Learners must achieve all mandatory units which include: -

  • Health and safety in the salon
  • Hairdressing consultation
  • Hair cutting services
  • Hair colouring services
  • Setting and dressing services
  • Blow-drying and finishing services

Throughout this qualification, you will develop their knowledge and understanding of relevant anatomy and physiology and health and safety. You will also develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to consult with clients, provide a range of cutting and colouring services, and set, dress and finish hair. In parallel, you will develop your communication and customer service skills, their awareness of environmental sustainability and their commercial skills, all of which are valued highly by employers. Problem solving and research skills will also be developed. In additional to completing mandatory units, learners are required to complete one optional unit. A variety of optional units are available which include (this list is not exhaustive): colour correction services, hair and scalp treatments, hair extension services, men's cutting services, occasion hair services, managing a commercial column and social media marketing.

How will it be delivered?

Learners must complete the assessment requirements below for mandatory units:

Service Portfolio

Learners must produce a formative service portfolio that includes evidence of practical service carried out with proficiency. Whilst the pre-requisite portfolio does not contribute to the qualification grade, it serves as a valuable assessment for learning tool to prepare learners for summative assessments.

Graded Practical Assessment

Learners must carry out a complete service on a client. The service will be observed, marked and graded at either Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction by centre assessors. Graded practical assessment must take place in a real or realistic working environment. These account for 50% of the overall qualification grade.

External Examinations

External examinations will test knowledge and understanding from across the whole vocational area of the mandatory units. They are set and marked by VTCT and will contribute to the overall qualification grade. This accounts for 30% of the overall qualification grade.

Graded Synoptic Assessment

Learners will be required to undertake a graded synoptic assessment during which they will carry out a range of services from across all the mandatory units. Assessment coverage may vary each year and all services will be covered over time. VTCT will set the brief and grading descriptors, although the assessment will be marked and graded by centre staff and externally quality assured by VTCT. The graded synoptic assessment will contribute to the overall grade of the qualification. This accounts for 20% of the overall qualification grade.

The external examinations and the graded synoptic assessment should be carried out in the final third of the learners completion period of learning. Each mandatory unit will attract an overall grade of either Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Entry requirements

At least 5 GCSE Grades 9 - 4 to include English or Maths.

Your next steps...

Career opportunities as a hairdresser/stylist exist in a variety of contexts, including: Commercial hair 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 Whilst this qualification's primary purpose is to prepare learners for employment as a hairdresser/stylist, learners may choose to further develop their knowledge further by completing a specialist qualification at Level 4 in one of more of the following areas: salon management, hair colour correction, specialist hair and scalp services, advanced hair styling.