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Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
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Beauty and massage are careers that offer endless opportunities and can take you around the world!

Our hands-on and highly regarded programmes will give you the practical and theoretical skills needed to pursue a career in these industries. You will be taught in our modern salons and clinics and gain valuable industry knowledge by operating clinic and salon days with real clients. Enjoy the chance to make industry contacts and create opportunities that can lead to employment or apprenticeships through local competitions and expos. Our qualified and experienced tutors are industry professionals who will provide you with industry-relevant skills as well as individual attention and support for your learning so you’ll get the most out of your study.


Beauty therapy roles are varied, creative and in demand. Employers are seeking trained therapists with the ability to walk into a new job and to work with clients straight away. Our top quality facilities and programmes are recognised as some of the best in the industry. International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) qualifications are optional in our Level 4 Certificate and Level 5 Diploma and if you choose to complete the exam, your qualifications will be recognised by employers and clients internationally.

Our part-time Certificate in Beauty Skills (Introductory) (Level 2) is a great way to begin your study towards a career in beauty or hairdressing. It enables you to develop basic skills and knowledge of beauty treatments and graduates can seek employment as a cosmetic counter consultant, beauty or cosmetic sales representative or beauty salon receptionist.

During the Certificate in Beauty Therapy (Level 4), you will have the chance to work with real clients, manage bookings and get direct feedback. At the end of this programme, you will meet the requirements to become a Registered New Zealand Beauty Therapist.

The Diploma in Beauty Therapies and Epilation (Level 5) will then enable you to become a leader in beauty therapy. Graduates can seek employment in senior roles with greater responsibilities or even think about managing or owning their own beauty clinic. Alternatively, you could pathway into our massage programmes to expand your skillset.

Salaries for beauty therapists vary depending on what type of work you do and the hours that you work. Click here for more information and the role of a beauty therapist.

Massage Therapy

If you’re passionate about developing a career in healthcare, then massage therapy is a great option. Our Certificate in Stress Management and Spa Therapies (Level 5) will enable you to train as a wellness and relaxation massage therapist. Graduates can work in self-employment, or as employees within the spa industry including working on cruise ships or in resorts.

Our Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage (Level 6) prepares you to work as a remedial massage therapist helping clients recover from pain, rehabilitate from injuries or improve sporting performance. Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with Massage New Zealand as Registered Massage Therapists and often work alongside doctors, physios and other healthcare providers. Upon successful completion of this qualification, you can achieve advanced standing and may wish to progress into the second year of our highly regarded Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Activity, Health and Wellness).

Our massage programmes are highly regarded within the South Island massage industry and are taught through a blend of online learning, practical block courses held approximately every three weeks on campus, and clinical experience in the Polytechnic’s Massage Therapy Clinic under the supervision of experienced massage therapists.  

Contact Us
Attention: Helen White

Po Box 943, Dunedin 7628
Phone: 03 471 7628

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You’ll be qualified to work anywhere, for yourself or for someone else, new places, new clients, everyday will be different.



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