Hairdressing Courses at Derby College

There’s nothing better than making people feel good about themselves. If you have an eye for style, creativity and a dedication to customer service, Derby College can put you on the pathway to a great career in the hair industry.

A future that’s looking good

Skilled hair stylists and barbers find rewarding roles in many settings – high street salons, holiday resorts, cruise ships, hospitals, film and television sets and fashion shoots.

Derby College caters for everyone from those just starting out in the industry to experienced professionals who want to perfect advanced techniques. Many salons work with us to train their apprentices too.

Is this you?

  • Good practical skills
  • Creativity
  • An awareness of fashion
  • A willingness to learn new techniques and methods
  • Customer service and people skills
  • The ability to make people feel relaxed
  • An understanding and tactful approach
  • Listening and communication skills
  • An interest in business and the ability to sell products
  • An awareness of health and safety issues

Getting into Hair

  • Full time at College There is a wide range of full-time Hair and Beauty courses offered at Derby College, with different starting points depending on your GCSE results.
  • Apprenticeships These are available through Derby College for roles in hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy. For some apprenticeships, you might need GCSEs or Functional Skills in English and Maths.
  • Higher education You could develop your career by completing higher qualifications, such as a foundation degree, HNC, HND or degree. These normally incorporate further specialist skills with training in salon management. There are also courses which combine hairdressing with fashion and makeup, aimed at those wishing to work in theatre, film and TV.
  • Jobs You can start work as a trainee hairdresser in a salon and learn on the job. To become a qualified beauty therapist, you would normally need to complete an advanced Beauty Therapy qualification. However, you can start working in a salon or spa as an assistant and study for qualifications on the job. As well as roles in high street salons, there are opportunities for skilled professionals to work in areas that include cruise ships, military bases, film and television sets, fashion shows, spas, health farms and holiday resorts.

Why choose Derby College?


  • You’ll learn in our SENSI training and commercial salons – high street standard facilities open to the public where you’ll gain hands-on experience of the profession.
  • We deliver practical training at its most exciting: you could devise visionary ideas for magazine shoots, style College events or even go abroad on a work experience exchange.
  • You can take part in major competitions to showcase your work to talent-spotters: our Students have a fantastic record in scooping top prizes.
  • Our dedicated, friendly staff have extensive experience and strong industry networks, and you’ll meet leading professionals who deliver regular demonstrations.
  • We offer real choice: you can study at either the Roundhouse or Ilkeston Campus and some of our part-time courses include both day-time and evening study options.

It takes a special combination of skills and excellent training to become a successful hairdresser or barber. In the first-class learning environment of Derby College, you’ll gain all the attributes that employers are seeking.


Derby College Course Listings - Hair


FT Introductory Diploma to Hairdressing - Level 1: Site The RoundHouse

FT Advanced Diploma in Hairdressing - Level 3: Site The RoundHouse

PT Apprenticeship - Hair Professional (Standard) - Level 2/3: Site Other

FT Diploma in Barbering - Level 3: Site The RoundHouse

PT Diploma in Barbering Level Two (standalone) : Site Other

PT Diploma in Hairdressing - Daytime - Level 2: Site The RoundHouse

PT Diploma in Hairdressing - Evening - Level 3: Site The RoundHouse

FT Diploma in Hairdressing - Level 2: Site The RoundHouse

PT Diploma in Hairdressing Level Three - standalone : Site Other

PT Diploma in Hairdressing Level Two - standalone : Site Other

FT Intermediate Diploma in Barbering - Level 2: Site The RoundHouse

PT Level 2 Apprenticeship: Barbering route (pathway from hair professional): Site Workplace

PT Level Three Advanced Standard Creative Hair Professional Apprenticeship: Site Other

Full Time Courses Full Time Courses Part Time Courses Part Time Courses

Maths and English

You need English and maths skills to get on in life. They will support your studies at the College, help with everyday tasks and pave the way to future career success.

If you don’t already have a grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths – or equivalent qualifications – you will continue studying these subjects as part of your course at Derby College.

We’ll support you all the way: working with you on the right programme of development throughout your time with us.

You might also be interested in ...

When you’ve completed your course, why not broaden your horizons further still at Derby College? Additional qualifications in subjects such as Retail and Customer Service are exciting choices. Or check out our courses in Business, Enterprise and Management if you would like to set up a venture of your own.

Take a 360 Degree Tour of our Hair and Beauty Facilities

Maths & English

Find out how Maths and English can benefit you.

Katie Weeds

Katie Weeds

A head start in becoming a salon owner

Former hair apprentice Katie Weeds opened her own salon within a year of qualifying via Derby College – at the age of just 19.

Now running the Katie Weeds 1853 Hair Design Studio in Belper, she had set her heart on launching a hairdressing business ever since taking a Saturday job in a salon. After leaving school, she started an apprenticeship with a local hairdresser and completed her NVQs in October 2014.

She praises the College’s training facilities and the supportive, encouraging staff. She also enjoyed interesting assignments such as creating styles for a 1960s avant-garde photo shoot.

Given her business success so far, Katie’s long-term plan is to open more salons and then franchise the Katie Weeds name.

Taking an apprenticeship gave me the hands-on training I needed to be able to qualify as a hair stylist and open my own salon. What I love most about my job is making people feel better about themselves.

Did you Know?

  • 250,000 people are employed in the hair and beauty sector
  • Spa holidays are growing in popularity: Derbyshire is a prime destination
  • The industry has a 6.2 billion turnover
  • 500 million people visit hair and beauty salons each year
  • Polls show that hairdressers and beauty therapists are among the happiest workers in the UK

Recent Vacancies

£12,000-£19,000 per year.
Providing cuts and colour

Make-up artist
£210 for a ten-hour day in TV
Perfecting styles for anyone appearing in front of an audience or camera

Beauty therapist
£13,000-£20,000 per year.
Carrying out face and body treatments

Salon manager
Up to £37,000 per year.
Responsible for all aspects of running the business

Site Information


Courses in this area are run at our Roundhouse campus and our Ilkeston campus.

About the Roundhouse »

About Ilkeston »

Useful Websites
The Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority offers information about careers
The Freelance Hair and Beauty Federation offers training on planning, setting up and managing a hairdressing business, as well as ongoing training and continuing personal development

Our SENSI stylists and therapists offer a range of hair, beauty and holistic treatments at competitive prices. Find Out More »


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