Earlier in 2023, the government announced it would be introducing a new aesthetic licencing scheme for non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England. 

This upcoming change in the law means all beauty therapists and aestheticians who perform cosmetic therapies (such as microneedling, chemical peels or other skincare treatments) will now need to hold an accredited qualification by an official regulator, in order to practise legally. 

If the above applies to you, we’re pretty sure you have questions. Scroll down to find out everything you need to know and how our School of Hair, Beauty and Media Makeup can help.

What is a cosmetic procedure?

A cosmetic procedure is any procedure carried out for aesthetic skincare purposes by someone other than a surgeon or dentist. This may involve: 

  • The injection or application of a substance
  • The insertion of needles into the skin
  • The placing of threads under the skin
  • The application of light, electricity, cold or heat therapy

Who does the aesthetic regulation change apply to?

The new licencing scheme will apply to adults aged 19+ who don’t have formal training in beauty therapy. You may currently work in the industry or this might be something you’re aspiring to. Either way, you will need a certificate that shows you are up-to-date on the latest techniques and can provide your clients with the best possible care.

What type of aesthetics course should I do?

It’s best to pick a beauty and aesthetics course that’s been designed with the new legislation in mind – basically, one that teaches the fundamentals of aesthetics and customer care. This is because the beauty industry – and aesthetics in particular – is constantly evolving, so it’s important to find a course that’s up to date on the latest trends and techniques. 

Opting for a course like our new Certificate in Access to Aesthetic Therapies Level 3, for example, will cover the essentials you need for professional practice and set you up for further training at an advanced level.

What will I learn on the Certificate in Access to Aesthetic Therapies Level 3 course?

Our Access to Aesthetic Therapies certificate is a bridging qualification that takes the basics of beauty therapy and compiles them into a single, fast-track course.

As well as learning about safe facial treatment practices and how to analyse different skin types, you will also develop an understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathology, electrical science and relevant health and safety requirements. Another key focus is customer care, equipping you with the knowledge and skills to consult with clients and provide specific aftercare advice.

Best of all, this course is designed to help you climb up the beauty industry ladder and can be followed by additional study in skin peeling, skin needling, ultrasound, dermaplaning or skin micropigmentation, to name a few.

When will the course start and how long will it last for?

The Access to Aesthetic Therapies course will run for 20 weeks, with five hours of study per week. Once you have been accepted on the course, the School of Hair, Beauty and Media Makeup will email you to make you aware of the start date and anything else you need to know.


A beauty salon where students train to be licenced professionals

Access to Aesthetics students train in a professional salon at our Printworks campus

What are the entry requirements?

Due to the fast-track nature of this course, the following is also preferred, but will be considered on a case by case basis:

  • Underlying knowledge of anatomy and/or physiology
  • Prior experience in beauty therapy

Is there a course fee?

A fee of £1499.99 is required for this course and can either be paid upfront or via a payment plan. To discuss this in further detail, please email Joanne Scott at joanne.scott@leedscitycollege.ac.uk .

To find out if you are eligible for additional support, including study, travel or childcare costs, please visit our Financial and Welfare Support page.

Where can I find further information?

To read about the Access to Aesthetic Therapies Level 3 qualification in more detail, you can visit the VTCT website where you will find information about the course structure and downloadable versions of the course materials.

How do I apply?

To express your interest in this course, please Joanne Scott at joanne.scott@leedscitycollege.ac.uk who will inform you about the next step.

Leeds City College