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Gain skills in a beauty and business environment

Our busy salons are open to the public and provide services for real clients. This allows you to apply your learning in real-life scenarios and ensures that you are qualified with experience in your pocket.

Showcase your talents in competitions

On our Beauty Therapy and Makeup Artistry courses, there are opportunities to take part in exciting competitions at a national level, including World Skills UK, VTCT competitions and The Skills Show.

Discover your passion and go far.

Beauty Therapy

Many jobs in beauty therapy revolve around the relationship with the client, delivering the right treatments and making sure they leave feeling and looking great.

You will look after people who visit the salon and gain important business skills, along with developing a range of techniques in cosmetic makeup, lash and brow treatments, manicures and pedicures and many other areas.

Makeup Artistry

Our Level 3 Makeup Artistry course has been designed to teach specific practical skills that are in demand such as media makeup, airbrushing, prosthetics and face and body art.

However, career routes are not just restricted traditional job roles. New job opportunities include those in rehabilitation and palliative care, drag queen consultancy, and other career pathways you may not have thought about yet!

Staff Profile: Stephanie Charlton

Staff Profile: Stephanie Charlton

Stephanie is originally from Newcastle where she worked in her family hair salon before studying to become a Lecturer in 2009.

She began teaching Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy at Abingdon & Witney College in 2013.

In 2017 Stephanie became a Teaching Skills Academy coach, and in 2021 she completed an advanced prosthetic make up course which is now embedded into the Level 3 Make Up Artistry course.

“Our hair, beauty and make up courses are all delivered by industry experts, all of whom have a vast subject knowledge and a great deal of experience.

Our department is a warm and friendly place to work and study and we offer students a nurturing environment in which to learn.

My subject area is also my hobby; something which I am very passionate about. Seeing my students display such a level of enthusiasm is the best feeling!”

Did you know?

There is a growing demand for beauty therapists to specialise in skin consultations, diagnostics, and treatments such as microdermabrasion.

Our Beauty students benefited from getting industry insight from experts at Dermalogica.

There are nearly 50 spas and wellness centres in Oxfordshire alone, offering plenty of choice for work experience and career routes!


Previous school:
John Mason School

There's a lot to learn here, but your confidence grows as you move on from practising with colleagues to working on real clients.

I'm benefitting from the more relaxed atmosphere and that I have more time to focus on one subject. You're given independence and flexibility around deadlines, as there's understanding if you have challenges in your life.

My plan is to do the Level 2 Hairdressing course to give me more options when I go on to Level 3, whether it's another course or an apprenticeship.


Previous school:
Didcot Girls School

Sammy joined Utopia Beauty Salon, based in Abingdon, in June 2015 after qualifying from the Level 3 course at the College, and has now been promoted to Head Therapist and Salon Manager.

Having worked in another salon for the past year before joining Utopia, Sammy was looking for something more local and they couldn't wait to snap her up.

Sammy was awarded Student of the Year for Level 2 Beauty Therapy in 2014, as well as Student of the Year for Level 3 Beauty Therapy in 2015, and also took part in the Beauty Therapy WorldSkills UK competition in 2015.

Her quiet yet bubbly nature sees her fit in just perfectly with the rest of the team, and makes for a fantastic therapist.


Previous school:
King Alfred's Academy

While studying at Abingdon & Witney College, I enjoyed meeting people who had the same interests as me and the same passions as me, and I know I've made friends for life on my courses.

My tutors were lovely and did all they could to make sure I passed with flying colours; when I came across any problems or challenges, it was explained and shown to me in a way I would understand.

Since leaving college, I have started at Swindon College studying media makeup further and working towards my HND and eventually my BA.

I would like in the future to be a fully-qualified makeup artist, and one of my career dreams would be to see my name in the credits at the end of a Marvel movie!

Your future career

Aesthetic Skin Therapist

Beauty/Makeup Blogger

Makeup Artist

Massage/Spa Therapist

Salon Manager

Product Developer