Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Diploma in Beauty Therapy (Level 5)*



One year, full-time

On campus 

until start date (Applications will open in mid-2019 for our 2020 intake)

Take your beauty skills to the next level with this advanced, practical programme. 

Graduates of this Diploma could find employment as a Beauty Therapist, Spa Therapist, Skin Therapist, Electrologist, Resort Therapist working on a cruise liner or could work within beauty retail. Alternatively, you could establish and run your own beauty therapy business.     

During this programme, you will learn how to apply advanced skincare techniques, advanced hair removal techniques and be introduced to spa body treatments. 

Practical, hands-on learning in our purpose-built, clinic setting will enable you to gain experience and confidence.  

*subject to final approval 

Entry requirements
  • The New Zealand Certificate in Beauty Therapy (Level 4) or equivalent skills and knowledge, experience and/or qualifications. 
  • A First Aid Certificate (US 6400, 6401 and 6402, or equivalent). 
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study. 

All students (international and domestic) for whom English is not a first language:

  • must demonstrate English Language skills with an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score lower than 5.0 OR
  • must provide acceptable alternative evidence of English language proficiency depending on the visa decline rate of the country you are from. See here for acceptable evidence and visa decline rates by country.

All scores must be achieved in a single test completed in the preceding two years. You cannot combine scores from multiple tests. If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance you are not required to provide evidence of English Language skills. 

Additional documentation 

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate). 

Selection criteria

Applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis until the programme has reached full capacity. 

Additional costs 

You will be required to wear a uniform that consists of black trousers, black shoes and a black top. 

You will study

Beauty Therapy Science (15 credits)

  • Further anatomy and physiology study, along with an introduction to basic cosmetic chemistry 

Advanced Hair Removal (20 credits)

  • Techniques and trends including electrical epilation 

Electrical Facial Therapy (15 credits)

  • Applying practical techniques suitable for client's needs whilst learning about current trends in relation to the industry 

Advanced Skin Care (20 credits)

  • Applying practical techniques suitable for client's needs whilst learning about current trends in relation to the industry

Electrical Body Therapy (20 credits)

  • Learning to apply these to meet the client's needs 

Spa and Massage Therapy (10 credits)

  • Learning to apply these to meet the client's needs 

Applied Beauty Therapy Practice (Clinic) (20 credits)

  • Be introduced to business management and apply all the techniques covered during the programme in a simulated salon environment. 
Your workload

This full-time programme will involve approximately 18 hours in class and 18 hours in self-directed study per week.

Further study options 

Further training pathways could be in specific skin therapies, aromatherapy, advanced massage techniques and business management. 

Useful resources/links
Student loans and allowances 

Full-time domestic students of this programme are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on age and financial circurmstances). Please visit the Studylink website for more information or phone 0800 88 99 00. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful.  


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.

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