South Devon College

Inspiring our community through learning for all

Contact us on: 08000 380123

Nail Technologies

In the 5000 years since the first manicure was recorded, nail technology has evolved into a creative and rewarding industry and a timeless profession that enhances your chosen image.

As the industry continues to grow, so has the number of nail bars and clients who demand the perfect nails to complete the perfect look. Nail technology is an industry in its own right, recognised by employers and customers alike, with its own trade shows and professional publications. We offer the courses that you will need to begin your journey in this thriving career that will last you a lifetime.

To become a nail technician you will need to show creativity and patience, as well as an organised, professional approach and excellent customer service skills. If you have the passion to succeed, our dedicated staff members can help mould you into a skilled professional. With our guidance, you will flourish and develop manual dexterity and a passion for art and colour, as you learn the latest fashion trends and keep up to date with this ever-growing industry.

As a qualified nail technician you will have a wide range of career choices open to you; you could work from home, as a mobile technician, be self-employed, work in a nail bar or even be a media technician working across the globe. So enrol today, and prepare for a lifetime of learning and success in the nail industry.


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.


Charlotte Delaney: Nail Technologies student

I started on the Nail Technology Level 2 Diploma last year, and have learnt so much in my time at South Devon College. I'm producing excellent sets of nails, and I'm really looking forward to entering into competitions on the Level 3 Diploma and showing my work on a national scale - I can't wait to get started!


Shelly Lee: Nail Technologies lecturer

I'm the Programme Co-ordinator for Nail Technology, and have been at the College for 2 years now. I've worked in the industry for the past 20 years, and have also gained experience teaching and lecturing. I managed a salon in Wales, and was a trainer for a major international company based in Harvey Nicholls in London, where I trained Nail Technicians throughout the country. My main aim is to improve this already fantastic course, and bring real industry experience to our learners, ensuring that they are well prepared for employment and can transition into the working world.

We have 2 fulltime courses in Nail Technologies:

Nail Technology Enhancements - Level 2 Diploma

An exciting career is right at your fingertips, so why not achieve your goals with the Nail Technology Enhancements Level 2 Diploma? Whether it's in a trendy salon, behind the scenes at a vibrant fashion show, or at a media shoot, opportunities for nail professionals continue to flourish. You will learn both classic and creative techniques in nail design and application during this one year course which is the perfect way to begin your journey in this exciting career. Upon completion, you could consider a junior position in the industry or progress to the Nail Technology Level 3 Diploma.

What will I learn?

  • Provide and maintain Nail enhancements
  • Provide Nail art
  • Provide Manicure treatments
  • Provide Pedicure treatments
  • Lash and brow treatments
  • Apply make-up
Nail Technology Enhancements Level 2 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to be working towards achieving Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to be working towards achieving English at Level 1
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 3 GCSEs at grade D or above
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Nail Technology - Level 3 Diploma

The Nail Technology Level 3 Diploma is about more than just manicures and pedicures; it is the art and science of professional nails. Nail trends are influenced by fashion, music and film, and in this constantly evolving industry you will have the chance to transform hands into works of art. You will be encouraged to develop your artistic ability and let your imagination run wild, whilst creating both salon-friendly and competition nails. Upon completion, you will be well prepared to enter employment and embark on a career with a range of opportunities.

What will I learn?

  • Applying and maintaining nail enhancements
  • Airbrush design
  • Nail art and 3D techniques
  • Using electric files
  • Gel polish design
Nail Technology Level 3 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 2

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Apprenticeships with South Devon College

Could an Apprenticeship be the right path for you?

South Devon College is a leading provider of apprenticeships, offering nearly 40 different types of apprenticeships and we work with over 1000 apprentices and 500 employers a year. Our apprenticeship are the perfect option for you if you want to study towards a qualification and increase your employability whilst getting paid.

By working in your chosen trade or sector, you'll be developing vocational experience that employers look for and putting the skills you learn at the College into practice, giving you the ideal preparation for starting a career.

We offer a wide variety of apprenticeship frameworks, working at a range of levels across different industries and job roles, so we are confident that we can find the right course to help you achieve your goals. To find out more about South Devon College's apprenticeship programmes, click here:


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 Nail Technologies 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:


Beauty Therapist
Leisure Centre Manager