Course details

New Zealand Certificate in Nail Technology
Domestic tuition $6,532 per year
International tuition $20,500
NZQF Level 4

About the course

Gain the skills to work in the glamorous world of beauty and manicures with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Nail Technology.

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Nail Technology will teach you how to perform manicures, pedicures, acrylic and gel nail application, nail sculpture and 3D nail art to a professional standard.
Practical experience
Regular client days are incorporated into the learning process at one of UCOL's nail salons in Palmerston North or Masterton, providing you with real industry experience, and honing your professionalism, relationship building skills and teamwork. 

Course Information

Professional Workplace Standards (15 Credits)
Develop an understanding of the knowledge and skills required to work as a professional nail technician. The course covers:

  • First aid
  • Health and safety
  • Professional standards and expectations
  • In-depth consultation and needs analysis for nail technology services

Nail Technology Science (20 Credits)
Acquire theoretical knowledge required to safely and independently offer nail technology services. The course covers:

  • The types of micro-organisms and methods of control within the nail salon
  • Contagious and non-contagious nail diseases and disorders, highlighting appropriate treatment plans and/or referral
  • The anatomy of bones and muscles of the lower arm and lower leg relevant to nail technology
  • The structure and function of the nail, relevant to nail technology
  • The chemistry of products used in relation to nail technology
Business Practice (15 Credits)
Develop the skills and knowledge required to successfully establish and operate a small nail technology business. The course covers:
  • Types of businesses
  • Business plans and start-up costs
  • Council regulations for setting up a small nail technology business
  • Employing staff
  • Tax requirements
  • Keeping financial records
  • Stock control and ordering
  • Market research
  • Understanding the market
  • Promoting a business
  • Leglislation relating to selling of goods and services
  • Customer service
  • Communication methods
  • Taking payments
  • Re-booking and retailing
  • Booking systems and technology
  • Cashing up/close of day procedures

Natural Nail Services (15 Credits) (20 Practicum Hours)
Learn to provide a range of natural nail services to meet industry expectations and standards. The course covers:

  • Anatomy related to natural nail services
  • Products, tools and equipment used for nail services
  • Massage techniques for hands and feet
  • Manicure and pedicure techniques and processes
  • Nail shapes
  • Nail and skin analysis
  • Gel polish theory and application methods
  • Consultation techniques
  • Hygiene, health and safety in relation to nail services
  • Client positioning
  • Treatment aftercare and home care recommendations and advice
  • Referring clients
  • Specialist treatment and nail enhancements

Nail Augmentation Acrylic Enhancements (20 Credits) (20 Practicum Hours)
Learn to work to industry professional standards with the liquid and powder acrylic enhancement materials. The course covers:

  • Tip and overlay enhancement services including in-depth consultation
  • Sculptured nail enhancement services to meet client expectations
  • Rebalance, repair and removal services to meet client expectations
  • Current and emerging industry trends in relation to liquid and powder acrylic nail services
Nail Augmentation Gel Enhancements (20 Credits) (20 Practicum Hours)
Learn to provide gel enhancement services to industry standards, inclusive of tips and overlays, sculptured nails and maintenance. 
Nail Art Services (15 Credits) (15 Practicum Hours)
Learn to design and provide custom nail art services, using a variety of art media, to meet industry requirements.

Entry requirements

Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 2


Equivalent academic achievement

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

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 score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. 

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

About the provider

UCOL in its many forms has been part of the community for more than a century. We are a proud example of a successful Institute of Technology and Polytechnic. We have a rich heritage and much to contribute to the future of vocational learning.

When you study with UCOL you’re much more than a number. We take the time to get to know you, to understand who you are. By sharing your strengths and what you want to achieve, we can truly help you get to where you want to be.

At UCOL, we’re here to support you all the way. Studying can be a challenge, we get that.

Study takes commitment, which, together with a learning style that suits you and the support you need, is a very powerful combination. At UCOL we encourage resilience and build self-confidence while you learn - providing our students with even greater opportunities.

As a student studying on or off campus, you can expect to learn skills and gain knowledge that sets you on your way. Gaining a qualification is a wonderful achievement that is earned, not given. We encourage you to stay in touch and make life-long learning a part of your journey. Ultimately, we want you to find your own place, whatever that may mean for you.

Our networks with local employers go beyond one-way exchanges, we value meaningful connections that are mutually beneficial. These relationships keep our education grounded, our programmes relevant, and job opportunities real. Our approach is truly collaborative.

UCOL graduates are well-rounded and possess the skills and values employers are looking. They are valued members of their local community. With campuses in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wairarapa and Horowhenua, and various delivery locations, we’re well known throughout the central and lower North Island.

Being close to our communities is a vital part of who we are. We strive to deepen connections and help our communities to grow and prosper. We aspire to build positive, meaningful relationships that benefit our students and graduates. That is why we exist.