New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Level 3)

Want to be a hairdresser? This is the perfect first step. You’ll learn a wide range of basic techniques from experienced hairdressers in a real salon setting. This programme is ideal for those wanting to gain confidence and to learn foundational skills in a low-pressure environment.

About the programme

Hairdressing is an exciting and creative career that allows you to express yourself!

Hairdressing skills are highly transferable and always needed, so you can get a job anywhere in the world.

Our passionate tutors have a rapport with the industry and this connection and involvement with local businesses has resulted in students gaining employment and apprenticeships.

Our training salon is set up to represent a real-world working salon. This will enable you to gain hands-on experience with clients and to build your skills and knowledge in a supportive and realistic environment. This will be further added to during your off-site work experience.

We have regular visits from industry professionals ensuring you are up-to-date with current information about hairdressing technologies, trends and products. These visits also give an insight into the qualities and skills that potential employers are seeking.


Course name When you successfully finish this course, you'll be able to:
Professional Identity

Explain the roles, responsibilities, and attributes of a professional in the hairdressing industry. 

Complete a hair service which reflects your own professional identity.

Salon Discovery

Use systems to complete client bookings in a hairdressing salon. 

Discuss policy and practices within salon services. 

Communicate with diverse clients in a professional context.

The Art of Hair Design

Complete the consultation process to inform design decisions in a hairdressing context.

Apply design principles to long and short hairstyles to an industry standard.

Recommend products and home haircare for clients.

Reformation Basics

Explain reformation processes relevant to a hairdressing context. 

Follow instructions in a hairdressing context. 

Assist with chemical reformation services in a hairdressing context.

Introduction to Sculpture

Describe the principles and practices of haircutting. 

Explain culturally-safe behaviours and professional practices in a hairdressing context. 

Apply technical haircutting skills to a hairdressing industry standard.

Colour Basics

Explain colour and decolouring processes relevant to a hairdressing context. 

Complete colouring services to an industry standard under supervision. 

Client Journey

Demonstrate professional behaviour and skills to hairdressing industry standards during the client's journey. 

Reflect on professional behaviour and skills required to meet hairdressing industry standards during a client's journey. 

Grand Finale

Design a collection of hair styles in response to a theme.

Present a collection of hair styles to a professional standard.

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.