1 year full time

2024: February


2024: A$14,089*
* fee per semester

Application due dates:
We are currently accepting applications for this course.
Materials fee:


Gain high-level skills and become a trusted beauty expert with a Diploma of Beauty Therapy SHB50121 at Victoria University Polytechnic.

This beauty-therapy course will advance your beauty-treatment skills and prepare you for management positions in salons and spas.

Develop your knowledge of the theory and science behind beauty treatments and techniques, and gain extensive hands-on experience. You will complete a practical placement in a salon of your choice, as well as learning in our beauty salon and the classroom.

This course provides training in basic and advanced beauty therapy techniques and services including:

  • facial treatments
  • lash and brow treatments
  • manicures and pedicures
  • make-up
  • waxing
  • body massage and treatments
  • spa treatments
  • advice on and selling of retail skin care and cosmetic products.

You will also learn valuable and transferable business and management skills for running a beauty salon.

Everything you learn at Victoria University Polytechnic has direct links to the real world. You’ll develop practical skills through hands-on learning so you’re job-ready when you graduate.

In addition to your practical placement, you’ll get real-life work experience at Aura at VU, our City Campus student-run hair, beauty and massage salon.

This salon provides the ideal training environment, where you can practise your skills while providing a wide range of beauty services to the public. You’ll also gain valuable experience arranging bookings and greeting clients.

You’ll learn from expert trainers and work under their guidance.

VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.

Our students can attend Learning Hubs at one of five VU campuses. We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Our programs include:

  • workshops
  • drop-in sessions
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available for all students.

Victoria University Polytechnic hair, beauty and make-up students won seven awards at the 2019 Hair & Beauty Industry Association (HBIA) Awards. These awards provide an opportunity for industry leaders to recognise young achievers in the industry.

The Diploma of Beauty Therapy is offered at the VU City Campus, in the brand-new, sustainably-built, 32-level VU City Tower in the heart of the city.

Melbourne’s latest educational landmark showcases VU’s unique approach to learning: a single entrance opens the doors to opportunities across a range of emerging professional areas.

On the 19th floor, the student beauticians practise their skills, fully supervised in our clinic that is open to staff, students and the general public.

Course e-Brochure

Create a customised brochure in a few simple steps. Your brochure will include country-specific information.

Create an e-brochure

Students develop hands-on beauty therapy techniques at our City Campus.

Careers in beauty therapy

The beauty, massage and make-up industry is growing. The Diploma of Beauty Therapy SHB50121 is the highest level of qualification in the beauty industry. Job prospects are good, with employment for beauty therapists expected to grow (see Labour Market Insights).

As a qualified beauty therapist, you could find employment in spas and salons here or overseas. This qualification prepares you to manage your own beauty salon and employ staff. You could also work from home as a freelance beauty consultant.

Potential career options include:

  • salon beauty therapist
  • salon manager or owner
  • department store or pharmacy cosmetic consultant
  • spa therapist
  • health spa or resort manager
  • spa therapist on a cruise ship
  • beauty consultant for international cosmetic companies
  • freelance therapist or beauty consultant
  • cosmetic or beauty equipment sales representative
  • beauty editor or journalist
  • beauty educator.

Course structure

To be awarded SHB50121 Diploma of Beauty Therapy, a student must complete a total of Twenty-nine (29) units of competency, consisting of:

  • Twenty (20) core units, and;
  • Nine (9) elective units, of which:
  • One (1) unit from Group A: Infection control
  • all units from any one of Group B, C, or D:
  • Group B: Electrolysis/Diathermy
  • Group C: Relaxation Massage
  • Group D: Spa Treatments
  • remaining units from the list below, elsewhere in the SHB Training Package, or any other current training package or accredited course.  

Victoria University Polytechnic offers the following specialisations:
All units from Group D electives must be selected for award of the Diploma of Beauty Therapy (Spa Treatments).

VU Polytechnic delivers the electives listed in the ‘course structure and units’ below. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback.

VU Polytechnic delivers the electives listed in the ‘course structure and units’ below. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback. Alternative suitable electives are only available via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT).



Group A: Infection Control:

Group B: Electrolysis/Diathermy:

Electives of this group is not currently offered by VU Polytechnic.

Group C: Relaxation Massage:

Unit SHBBBOS009 and SHBBSPA007 are the only Elective of this group offered by VU Polytechnic.

Note, this unit is list below in Group D

Group D: Spa Treatments:

Group E: General Elective Units:

Imported Elective Units:

Alternate Elective Unit (domestic only):

Students who complete this course work relatively autonomously, and are accountable for personal outputs. Their work involves the self-directed application of knowledge and skills with substantial depth in some areas where judgement is required in planning and selecting appropriate equipment, services and techniques. Elective units allow specialisation in areas such as electrolysis/diathermy, relaxation massage or spa treatments.

Admission & pathways

Victoria University is committed to providing a transparent admissions process. Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Applicants for this course will need to have met the academic requirements and prerequisites for this course outlined below.

Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee entry into this course. Past academic performance may be considered.

Entry requirements

As part of the application process, applicants must:
* completion of an Australian Year 12 or equivalent. IELTS: Overall score of 5.5 (no band less than 5.0).
* complete a Pre-training Review (PTR)
* undertake a literacy and numeracy (LN) assessment to determine suitability for admission
* an interview may be required

Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.

Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.

On completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry into the following degree and in some cases receive credit for your study:

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

Find out more about our study pathways to VU

How to apply

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

We are currently accepting international applications, and we welcome you to apply for this course.

Click 'apply' to begin, and we will guide you through the application process.


If you have questions, please get in touch:

Information and fees listed above are for non-resident students. Fees are accurate at the time of viewing and will be subject to annual increases. Some courses require students to purchase equipment or clothing that they will need in the course. These equipment or clothing costs are not included in the course fees listed above – check your Letter of Offer for an estimate on non-tuition-fee-related expenses.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this course information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that course information is current with the Student Contact Centre.