VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Nail Technology

Course Overview

This qualification is based on the national occupational standards for beauty therapy and includes all the required elements to work effectively as a nail technician. Learners must achieve all mandatory units which include:

  • Health and safety in the salon
  • Client care and consultation
  • Nail enhancements using light cured gel
  • Nail enhancements using liquid and powder
  • Electric filing for nails
  • Promote and sell products and services
  • Cosmetic science for nail enhancements
  • Design and apply nail art
  • Anatomy and physiology for nail services
  • Airbrush nail art
  • Gel polish for nails

Throughout this qualification, learners will develop their knowledge and understanding of relevant anatomy and physiology and health and safety. They will also develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to consult with clients and successfully promote and retail products. Learners will develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a wide range of nail enhancement treatments including application of light cured gel and liquid and powder to create a nail extension, electric filing, gel polish and nail art, whilst looking in greater depth at the science behind these services. In parallel, learners will develop their communication and customer service skills, their awareness of environmental sustainability and their commercial skills, all of which are valued highly by employers. Problem solving and research skills will also be developed.

In addition to completing mandatory units, learners are required to complete two optional units. A variety of optional units are available which include (this list is not exhaustive): contribute to the effective running of a business, spray tanning, working with colleagues in the beauty related industry, how to set up and run a new business, salon reception duties and managing a commercial column.


A top of the range Nail Tech kit is provided to every learner. Learners will be expected to replenish their kits and buy any additional products they use in excess. Learners who do not qualify for full cost funding will be required to pay a small fee for their kits.

Progression Opportunities

Nail Technician

Career opportunities as a make-up artist exist in a variety of contexts, including:

  • Working in commercial nail settings
  • Working on location within the beauty industry
  • Working freelance/ self-employed/ mobile/ home-based settings


This programme supports progression on to University. We have strong links with Universities which welcome our students onto their Degree Programmes.

CV Upgrade

The transferable skills you wil work on and devlop on this programme include:

  • Research and data analysis
  • Ability to work on your own initiative and as part of a team
  • Presentation and oral communication skills
  • Written communication skills, including report writing
  • Time management and planning
  • Effective problem-solving
  • Professionalism and customer focus
  • A good understanding of information technology

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