Beauty Therapy

By Aedín Dunne - Last update

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Do you have an interest in the beauty industry and like to work with people? Can you imagine yourself carrying out beauty treatments? Or opening your own salon? Beauty Therapy is an area where you can tick off all of these aspirations. 

What is beauty therapy?

Beauty therapy relates to provision and application of a wide range of different beauty treatments and cosmetic techniques. Beauty therapists perform non-medical face and body treatments while putting into practice skin biology, skin physiology and cosmetic chemistry. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland offer courses in the following courses in this area:

  • Beauty Therapy (PLC)
  • Beauty Therapy – Advanced
  • Beauty and Body Therapy (PLC)
  • Beauty and Body Therapy with Nail Technology (PLC)
  • Beauty Therapy and Makeup (PLC)
  • Beauty Therapy with Makeup Artistry and Spa Therapy (PLC)
  • Eyelash Extension and Beauty Therapy (PLC)
  • Beauty Therapy, Beauty Massage and Electrotherapy (PLC)

Studying Beauty Therapy in college

All courses in this area are PLC courses and are either Level 5 or Level 6. Courses will range from 1-2 years in length, depending on the exact course you choose. All courses will allow you to develop the relevant skills and knowledge needed to work in the area and to build a career in the beauty therapy area.

There are courses in Beauty Therapy and also Beauty Therapy – Advanced. While undergoing specialist training in an advanced course you will gain a thorough understanding of the area. Areas you may cover might include Swedish Massage, Body Electrical Treatments, Anatomy and Physiology, Body and Beauty Science, Indian Head Massage, Figure Diagnosis, Advanced Waxing, Nail Technology, Tanning and more. 

As beauty therapy is a very hands-on and practical area to work in, almost all courses will provide you with the opportunity to do work experience to apply your knowledge practically and become familiar with working with clients and in different salons or spas to understand the exact work and expectation of the role. 

There is also an option to take additional courses to continuously add to your original certificate and bring as much variety to your trade. 

Career Options

The area of beauty therapy incorporates a number of different treatments and tasks to be carried out. The most obvious option would be to be a beauty therapist but should you want to progress in your career and branch out into different areas you could add to you course or broaden your horizons with a beauty therapy course that is paired with another treatment such as eyelash extensions, for example. 

You could open your own salon and carry out multiple treatments as an entrepreneur/self employed. Similarly, it will help you gain experience in the beauty industry and lead to other roles within the industry such as examples of related jobs listed below. 

Skills and qualities in this area that are both helpful and important include strong communication skills, time management skills, organisation skills, interpersonal skills, respect for clients, confidentiality, pay attention to detail, friendly and professional, eager to learn and keep up to date with developing beauty therapy and treatments. 

Related Jobs

  • Beauty Therapist
  • Beautician
  • Hairdresser
  • Hair Stylist
  • Makeup artist 
  • Nail technician
  • Massage Therapist
  • Spa owner
  • Esthetician
  • Masseuse 

Further Study

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

Some courses may require interviews or portfolios upon applying and getting a space on particular courses. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • William Shakespeare was the first person to use the term ‘blush’ meaning ‘reddening of the face’ and now a popular make-up product. 
  • The word perfume comes from the Latin language and has the meaning ‘through smoke’.
  • Forbes reported that the beauty industry is roughly a $532 billion industry 


Student Grant Scheme 

Job description example

Working in Beauty Therapy 


Aedín Dunne

Personal Trainer


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