Beauty & Massage Therapies (Level 3)

Retail and Commercial Enterprise

Retail and Commercial Enterprise
Retail and Commercial Enterprise

What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Beauty & Massage Therapies (Level 3)
Code L3Bt
Qualification Type Other Regulated/Accredited Qualification
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


The VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Massage Therapies is a technical level qualification aimed at 16-18 learners who are in a full-time Level 3 education programme and wish to pursue a career as an employed and/or self-employed massage therapist. This qualification has been developed collaboratively with employers, professional associations and key stakeholders in the massage therapy sector. Because of this, the knowledge, skills and competencies gained will provide the best possible opportunity for progression into employment. There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification although it is likely that learners will hold a Level 2 beauty therapy or equivalent qualification.


This qualification is based on the national occupational standards for massage therapy and includes all the required elements to work effectively as a massage therapist. Learners must achieve all mandatory units which include:

  • Health and safety in the salon
  • Client care and consultation
  • History and origins of massage therapies
  • Swedish massage
  • Stone therapy
  • Indian head massage
  • Anatomy and physiology for the face and body systems
  • Promote and sell products and services
  • Contribute to the effective running of a business

This qualification will develop learners' knowledge and understanding of relevant anatomy and physiology, health and safety, the history and origins of massage therapies and how to effectively contribute to the overall running of a business. Learners will also develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to consult with clients, successfully promote and retail products, whilst also providing a variety of massage therapies. In parallel, learners will develop their 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.

How will it be delivered?

This qualification is one of two VTCT technical level qualifications in massage therapies. In addition to this qualification is the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Massage Therapies; both qualify learners to become massage therapists. At 370 guided learning hours (GLH), the Diploma is most suitable for learners who continue, as part of their programme of study to work towards achieving Level 2 English and maths, or those undertaking another qualification in parallel. The Extended Diploma at 475 to 525 GLH is far larger and most suited to learners who have achieved English and maths at Level 2 and wish to focus the majority of their programme on massage therapies, whereby they will develop a broader range of technical skills. Learners may wish to progress from the Diploma to the Extended Diploma. As a service-sector qualification, vocational subjects which may complement this qualification include, customer service, business studies and management, marketing, retail, fashion and photography. Academic subjects that may complement this qualification include maths, english, art and design, design and technology and science.

Assessment - to be awarded this qualification, learners must successfully achieve the following assessments:

  • Externally set and internally marked graded practical assessments (50% of qualification grade
  • Externally set and marked examinations (30% of qualification grade)
  • Externally set and internally marked graded synoptic assessment (20% of qualification grade)

Grading Mandatory units in this qualification are graded Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction The overall qualification is graded Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction/Distinction*

Entry requirements

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

Your next steps...

Learners who achieve this qualification are eligible to become members of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) or Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). As a massage therapist, learners could progress directly into employment in a variety of contexts, which include: commercial salons destination/day spas massage clinics independent/self-employed/mobile/home-based settings cruise liners airlines or hotel chains care homes Whilst the primary purpose of this qualification is to prepare learners for employment, learners may choose to develop their knowledge and skills further by completing a specialist qualification at Level 4 in one or more of the following areas: salon management holistic therapies sports massage