Cosmetology Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Cosmetology?

Cosmetology is the study and application of beauty treatments, including hairstyling, skincare, cosmetics, manicures/pedicures, and permanent or non-permanent hair removal.

A cosmetologist is an expert in applying these cosmetic procedures, therapies, and treatments to beautify one’s outer appearance and implementing cosmetic treatments to people’s hair, skin, and nails.

Beauty professionals employed in the cosmetology industry include hairstylists, barbers, and aestheticians, also called skin care specialists.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Cosmetology courses in the following subject areas:

  • Diploma in Cosmetology: Level 3 – Cover amazing topics such as how to give a good manicure, how to perform various beauty treatments, how to style hair, and how to advise clients on skincare.
  • Beauty Therapy – The Beauty Therapy course aims to enable the learner to develop the knowledge, skill, and competencies to work effectively as a beauty therapist.
  • ITEC Beauty Specialist Diploma – Study the theory of all treatments as well as the anatomy of the skin, hair, and nails.
  • ITEC Level 2 Beauty Specialist Skin and Eye Certificate Day Course – This Skin and Eye Certificate is for a candidate who wishes to gain a qualification to specialize in facial, skincare treatments, and eye enhancement.
  • ITEC Beauty Specialist with Trending Techniques Package -ITEC Beauty Specialist Diploma Includes Skincare & Eye Treatments, Makeup, Waxing, Manicure & Pedicure, and Professional Conduct & Business Awareness.
  • Diploma in Beauty Technician: Level 3 – Gain practical beauty therapy skills and knowledge, and study exciting beauty topics, like how to properly use makeup tools, how to give a manicure, how to style hair, how to create makeup kit, and how to give eyelash extensions.
  • Hairdressing: Beginners Course – A basic introduction to hairdressing to include cutting, coloring, up-styles, and achieving the perfect blow-dry. 
  • ITEC Pro Hairdressing Inc. Barbering – In this course students will learn everything needed to get them started as junior hairstylists. From shampoo and conditioning to cutting and styling and also color, hair extensions, and much more.

Studying Cosmetology in college

Many Cosmetology courses take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. This includes working backstage at amateur dramatic productions or working in a beauty or hair salon, plus any work placements or relevant unpaid work.

By job shadowing and carrying out work experience assisting a professional in the field you’ll gain valuable insight, develop your portfolio, build a network of contacts and demonstrate your commitment to the profession. Observation is one of the best ways to learn skills and techniques.

Career options

After completing a course in Cosmetology you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of beauty, hair, and skin treatments and techniques.

Employers include hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, spas, and resorts. A significant number of beauty specialists work on a self-employed basis, either as a sole trader or a freelancer, while some set up their salons or beauty spas. And if you are attracted to the glitz and glamour of the film or fashion world, then cosmetology might be the profession for you.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. A typical working day includes long and unsocial hours, and you’ll find that shifts and weekend work are common. Working on a film or television project means that you’ll need to be on set before filming commences and remain on set throughout filming to re-apply make-up.

Related jobs include:


Cosmetology Educator/ Instructor


Hair Stylist



Hair color specialist

Skincare consultant

Nail Technician

Makeup Artist

Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist

Skincare Specialist

Beauty Copywriter

Fashion Show Stylist

Editorial/ Advertising Stylist

Celebrity/ Personality Stylist

Platform Artist

Artistic Director for Salons or Brands

Salon Owner or Manager

Further study

After completing a course in Cosmetology you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as beauty therapy, hairdressing, media, and theatrical make-up.


What is the importance of cosmetology?

People enjoy getting pampered by a cosmetologist. These services can help eliminate stress, raise self-esteem and improve the health of hair and nails.

What skills could be helpful for a career in Cosmetology?

Possessing certain qualities can help in starting and maintaining a successful career in Cosmetology.

· People skills: An ability to interact well with others, and to be pleasant and friendly even under trying circumstances, can be invaluable.

· Think outside the box: Creativity and a willingness to adapt to new trends can be important.

· Be a good listener: People like to talk about themselves when they have time on their hands, such as when they’re sitting still while you tend to them. You’ll want to be able to provide appropriate feedback.

· Physical stamina: You’ll spend a lot of time on your feet.

· Tidiness: This doesn’t mean just your workstation. Personal tidiness is very important as well. Remember, you’re an example of your work.

Where can I study Cosmetology?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· The word “cosmetic” comes from the Greek word kosmos, which means “of this world or worldly.”

· There is much evidence in history that proves that a variety of concoctions were used by people to enhance their facial appearance. For instance, they used blood for cheeks and lips, lead, chalk powder, and even crocodile dung.

· Women used to pinch their cheeks to give themselves rosy cheeks before the invention of blush.

· The founder of Maybelline named the company after his sister Maybel who inspired him to create makeup products.

· When the term “natural ingredients” is used, it means they are extracted directly from plants or animal products.


Mariza Halliday

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  1. Kellie Wheatley 11th January 2024 at 12:19 am

    Hello, my name’s Kellie and I’d be interested in this course, just wondering how it’s done and how to sign up for it

  2. Nikima 9th February 2024 at 12:28 am

    I would like to do a cosmetic surgery

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