South Devon College

Inspiring our community through learning for all

Contact us on: 08000 380123


Studying Hairdressing at South Devon College is the perfect way to begin your journey in an exciting career, where you will meet interesting people everyday and use your creative flair to inspire them and help them feel their best.

Our courses cater to all levels of experience, so whatever your goals, you can achieve them with South Devon College. After completing your studies you will have developed the expertise to not only work in a salon, but to consider one day running your own business. One of the key benefits of studying at South Devon College is working in our fully-equipped, hairdressing salons, which are open to the public. This provides you with fantastic experience of working in a live environment, as you deal with clients on a regular basis.

You will be supported by our enthusiastic and dedicated staff who have a wealth of industry experience. All of our staff members still have strong links in the industry, which means that you will be learning the latest trends and techniques and can transition effectively into employment.

Being a part of our Hairdressing provision will give you the opportunity to participate in a variety of enrichment activities, where you will take part in organised visits and hear guest speakers from all areas of the Hairdressing sector. You will benefit from the knowledge and experience of leading professionals, as you develop into a skilled hairdresser and look forward to a successful career in this dynamic profession.

Why South Devon College?

South Devon College is an outstanding place to learn, and the perfect place for your education and development. In 2014, we were delighted to be recognised as the top Further Education and Tertiary College in England, in results published by the Skills Funding Agency for 2012-13. We were also graded as 'Outstanding' in our most recent Ofsted inspection.

We are proud to promote a culture of success within the College, with fantastic results across the entirety of our provision. With an exceptional learning environment and our inspirational teaching team, we know that together, you will enjoy the same success in your studies and achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

Personalised Learning Programmes

Every student at South Devon College has a Personalised Learning Programme; a custom plan tailored to you as an individual that ensures you gain the academic, vocational and employability skills necessary to achieve your goals and find employment upon the completion of your studies.

Kayleigh Barker: Hairdressing student

I studied Hairdressing at South Devon College and gained important skills that have helped me find employment. I now work in Aston & Clarke's salon, where I already have a small selection of clients and experience in shampooing, colouring, cuts and reception duties. I'm now looking forward to continuing to develop my skills and build up a regular client base.

Lisa Dickerson: Hairdressing lecturer

Lisa is a Lecturer within the Hairdressing department. Having gained substantial knowledge within the industry by owning and operating a variety of businesses within the Hair and Beauty sector, Lisa has also worked as a Colour Technician for a well-known Colour company, covering the South West region. Lisa completed her PGCE and was successful in gaining employment at South Devon College.

We have 2 fulltime courses in Hairdressing:

Hairdressing - Level 1 Diploma

This Hairdressing course provides you with the essential knowledge and skills that will help you build confidence when you first enter the hairdressing industry and is an ideal stepping stone towards further qualifications. By studying with South Devon College, you will be a part of our extremely knowledgeable and professional team, who provide hairdressing services to members of the public within a specialised training environment. You will be supported by highly motivated and experienced tutors, learning through a mix of theoretical and practical sessions that cover all aspects of hairdressing and hair styling. Upon completion you will have an excellent foundation for employment or future study.

What will I learn?

  • Shampooing & Conditioning
  • Health & Safety
  • Presenting a Professional Image
  • Promote products and services to clients in a salon
  • Plaiting & Twisting
  • Art of Dressing Hair
  • Temporary Colour
  • Create a Hair & Beauty image
  • Salon Reception Duties
  • Introduction to the Hair & Beauty Sector
Hairdressing Level 1 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 1
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus
  • Newton Abbot Campus

Hairdressing - Level 2 Diploma

This exciting one year Hairdressing course is a great way of developing your existing knowledge and gaining the advanced skills needed to embark on your career within the hairdressing industry. You will learn cutting, colouring and styling skills, as you work on real clients within our busy commercial salons. You will attend the College for 3 days a week to learn, train and be assessed on a range of units, and will be required to find a salon placement 1 day a week to enhance your learning experience and employability. You will also have opportunities to attend national hair shows which will support your development further. Upon completion, you will have an excellent foundation for employment or future study.

What will I learn?

  • Shampooing, conditioning and treating both hair and scalp
  • Advising and consulting with clients
  • Colour and lighten hair
  • The art of dressing hair
  • Create an Image based on a theme
  • Cutting using basic techniques
  • Working in the Hair Industry
Hairdressing Level 2 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 1
  • You must have completed an appropriate vocational qualification at Level 1
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus
  • Newton Abbot Campus

Apprenticeships with South Devon College


Hairdressing careers may take place in a variety of locations including working in hairdressing salons, spas, hospitals, care homes, prisons, department stores, hotels, airlines and holiday resorts. Many apprenticeship graduates go on to establish and run their own businesses or develop a client base as freelance hairstylist.

In common with most sectors dominated by small and micro-businesses, there is a relatively high turnover of staff in the hairdressing industry. The Skills Foresight Report for 2007 indicates that the annual staff turnover for the hairdressing industry is 29%. The female dominated aspect and the young age profile (83% aged under 26) of the workforce inevitably means that women leave the industry to start a family. However, most return to the sector aged between 35-44. In addition to this, a high number of people leave to become self employed and open their own businesses. Therefore, new apprentices are always required for new businesses, for staff replacement and for succession planning purposes. Depending on the pathway followed and the level achieved, learners completing an apprenticeship will undertake roles such as: Junior Hairdresser/Stylist for Intermediate Level and Hairdresser or Stylist at Advanced Level.

My future with South Devon College

Careers: I want to be...

Our courses at South Devon College have been designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge employers seek, enabling you to find employment and take the first steps towards a successful career. Our Hairdressing courses will help you gain employment in the following industries:

Work with my hands

If you want to work with your hands, outside of an office and getting involved in the thick of the action, then we have the course for you. Whether you want to build, create or change, our courses will lead to a rewarding career as:

Make-up Artist