Skip Navigation LinksHomeProgrammesBeauty & HairdressingNational Certificate in Beauty Services (Nail Technology)

National Certificate in Beauty Services (Nail Technology)

Level 3

With the National Certificate in Beauty Services (Nail Technology), you'll gain a qualification, the skills and the knowledge required to perform a range of nail services at a professional level within beauty therapy.

Student at the Wairarapa campus paints a client's nails
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Palmerston North, Wairarapa

Duration: 27 weeks, full-time

19 Feb 2018 - 24 Aug 2018

Domestic Fees:*
$4,526.50Scholarship info

Find out if you're eligible for fees-free study

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details.

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

This nail technician course will teach you how to perform manicures, pedicures, acrylic and gel nail application, nail sculpture, 3D nail art, the use of equipment, products and safe operating procedures.

You’ll get to practice these skills on real clients at UCOL’s purpose-built nail salon.

Here's a little 20 second snapshot:


 Career & Study Outcomes

You'll graduate as a qualified nail techician and bring a sense of professionalism to any workplace.

  • Making and maintaining appointments and records
  • Displaying products
  • Performing a variety of manicure services
  • Completing banking and payments procedures

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

 Course Information

  • First aid
  • The structure and functions of a nail, and anatomy and physiology relevant to nail services
  • The tools, equipment, products and safe operating procedures used in nail services
  • Conditions of the nail and surrounding skin
  • Micro-organisms in a beauty salon
  • Safe and professional practice in the salon environment
  • Manicures, pedicures, nail augmentations
  • Conducting in-depth client consultations
  • Client booking procedures and systems
  • Product display
  • Basic accounting concepts, banking, and payment procedures in the salon environment

 Industry Connections

Our Beauty and Hairdressing students have opportunities to be involved in some of the region's premier events including:
  • Miss Teen Manawatū
  • Miss Manawatū
  • Evento
  • Youth Underground

 Learning Facilities

Students will use the skills they have learned to practice on real clients at UCOL’s purpose-built nail salon.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 (including 10 Literacy Credits and 10 Numeracy Credits)


Equivalent academic achievement


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

English Language Proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5 with no band score lower than 5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Under 20 years of age

For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

The National Certificate in Beauty Services (Nail Technology) Level 3 comprises 82 credits.

Students need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in a salon, for example, eyesight and back. Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Programme Leader before the programme begins.

Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, and will comprise a weekly commitment of:
  • 20 hours of lecturer supported learning including practical and theory tutorials
  • 20 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent on research and study to complete your written assignments and time to further develop practical skills)
  • Classes run between the hours of 9am - 5pm Monday and Tuesday and 9am - 4pm on Wednesday.
Recogition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.

 Additional Costs

Required Textbook   
  • Milady's Standard Nail Technology 7th Edition, 2015 - A.R. Botero (Approximately $160)
Please go to www.textbooksRus.co.nz to order this book.  It will be delivered to the UCOL information Centre at no additional cost and can be collected from there at your convenience.

Required Kit
To be confirmed prior to course commencement.  Please allow $750.00 (including GST)

  • INM Student Kit $414.00
    • Professional black Nail Technician Bag with accessories
    • Handled Manicure Brush
    • INM Pink Leather 5pc Implement Kit
    • Tip Cutter
    • INM Elite Pro Stylist
    • INM Elite Pro Detailer
    • INM Striper Brush Marbel tool
    • Polish Display Wheel
    • INM Solo Shaper 100/00
    • INM Solo Shaper 150/150
    • INM Solo Shaper 180/180
    • INM Solo Shaper 240/240
    • INM Duet Foam Buff 100/180
    • INM Duet Foam Buff 180/280
    • INM Mirror Finish Nail Buff
    • INM catalogues and brochures
  • INM Acrylic Home Starter Pack $322.00
    • Mango Sanitizer
    • Dampen dish
    • ONL Primer
    • Prep Step Dehydrator
    • Premium Cuticle Oil
    • Liquid Monomer
    • OTD Cover Pink Powder
    • OTD Light Pink Powder
    • OTD Clear Powder
    • OTD White Powder
    • INM Natural Extract Tips 500 with glue
    • INM Duality Forms
One or two pairs of black, 3/4 or full-length pants $50.00
One pair of flat, black, enclosed shoes $50.00

Stationery (approximately $30)
  • Ring binder/s
  • Refill
  • Subject dividers
  • Pens/pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Pen drive


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.