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2021-22 programs

2021-22 programming, including program delivery, may change as part of our ongoing response to COVID-19. Check for regular updates.


Enhance the beauty and well-being of others by learning all aspects of the hairstyling profession.

A stylist sprays hairspray on a client's freshly-cut hair in a salon setting.
NSCC graduate Thomas Melong works with a client in his Antigonish, Nova Scotia, salon.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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If you're artistic, use fashion as a creative outlet and have good manual dexterity, cosmetology may guide you to an exciting and fulfilling career where you can improve the quality of life for others.

Learn about:

  • Cutting, designing and styling hair
  • Colouring and lightening hair using a variety of techniques
  • Chemical curling and straightening hair
  • Using effective communication to perform client consultations
  • Business building through social media
  • Salon operations and management

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed between year 1 and 2. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • You participate in a work placement in a salon setting. Students are not guaranteed placements of their choice. Some evening/weekend shifts may be required.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • This program reflects the industry's professional training requirements and is recognized by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS).
  • This is the only program in the province offering the Men's Method course.
  • You learn from experienced instructors who are dedicated to ongoing professional development and maintain their involvement in provincial, national and international competitions, both as competitors and as judges.
  • Our cosmetology salons are set up to operate in the same manner as hairstyling salons. Your practical training begins on mannequins and progresses to salon clientele.
  • You have the opportunity to participate in Skills Nova Scotia, Skills Canada or Carnival of Beauty.

Other info

  • This program is not always offered at the same location each year. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.
  • You must purchase an approved shop kit within the first two weeks of the program start date. Campuses will provide information regarding the cost of the kit upon acceptance into the program.
  • To work in Nova Scotia, you're required to pass an examination administered by CANS, covering both practical and theoretical competencies. To be eligible to take the exam, you must have accumulated 1,500 hours under the direct supervision of a Master Hairdresser Instructor and have successfully completed all components of the program. Successful completion of the exam qualifies you for a Nova Scotia Cosmetologist Hairdressing license, which permits stylists to work independently.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Burridge Campus Yarmouth Full time In-class Waitlist
Marconi Campus Sydney Full time In-class Waitlist
Pictou Campus Stellarton Full time In-class Waitlist

September 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Annapolis Valley Campus Middleton Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements, including immunizations and completion of Emergency First Aid, CPR Level A. You must submit proof that you have completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services program requirements
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete. Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement.
  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates are eligible to write the Association's provincial exam to earn a license to practise in Nova Scotia.
  • Graduates will feel confident in their cosmetology skills, ready to pursue an entrepreneurial path or join a salon team.
  • Some graduates are employed with beauty supply companies as consultants or sales representatives.
  • Graduates have become platform artists and educators.

Future study options

  • Continue studies in:
    • Esthetics
    • Eyelash Technician
    • Make-up Artistry
    • Nail Technician
  • Red Seal certification is an option after receiving your Master Hairstylist License.
  • Continue your studies at university – this program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

COSM 1001 - Professional Image
This course deals with personal and professional health, physical presentation, human relations and professional attitude. The learner will develop and demonstrate positive professional attitude and will be evaluated on interactions with others, appropriate dress code and code of ethics.

COSM 1002 - Bacteriology/Infection Control
This course provides practice and theory in the study of microbes and methods of their control in the salon environment.

COSM 1009 - Hair Colouring/Lightening I
This course introduces the learner to the theoretical and procedural foundations of hair colouring.

COSM 1014 - Salon Operations and Entrepreneurship
This course introduces learners to the ownership operation of a salon. Learners gain practical experience in the salon lab. They explore the role of reception, inventory control and shop management as it relates to the daily operation of a salon. Learners will also explore key business concepts such as, accounting practices, entrepreneurship, marketing and management.

COSM 1016 - Chemical Texture Services I
This course allows the learner to study aspects of chemically rearranging the bonds of the hair for texture relating to permanent waving.

COSM 1034 - Hair and Scalp Structure and Care
In this course the learner will recognize and identify the basic components of the hair and its associated structures. They will be able to analyze the hair and scalp, recognize disorders and diseases and recommend treatment. This course also provides foundational theory relating to shampooing, finishing rinses, conditioners, and basic hair treatments.

COSM 1058 - Artistry of Hair Styling/Cutting I
This course challenges the learners to develop artistic and pleasing styles using appropriate techniques. The course introduces the basic principles of cutting mechanics. Learners will identify hair shaping tools, angles, elevation and cutting techniques as well as blowing drying, ironing, thermal styling, straightening and curling.

COSM 1060 - Cosmetology Skills Lab I
This course allows the learner to develop and practise skills related to the theory covered throughout the Cosmetology-Hairdressing program at an introductory level. Learners will demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting.

COSM 1202 - Human Relations for Cosmetology
This course will examine issues such as teamwork, problem solving and conflict resolution. Service learning and its benefits will also be explored.

COSM 1210 - Salon Accounts Manager
This course is designed to introduce the learner to salon management software used in maintaining client records. Learners will also be introduced to salon management software used to manage inventories and maintain the system.

COSM 1226 - Cosmetology Sciences
This course provides a foundation of scientific concepts that are related to the cosmetology profession. Learners will discuss the cell, body structures, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and electricity.

COSM 2009 - Hair Colouring/Lightening II
This course introduces the learner to strategies and promotes development of problem solving skills for accurate colour formulation. Emphasis will be placed on exploring colour formation strategies and de-colourizing techniques.

COSM 2016 - Chemical Texture Services II
This course allows the learner to study aspects of chemically rearranging the bonds of the hair for texture as it relates to chemical hair relaxing and soft curl perming.

COSM 2030 - Principles of Design
This course challenges the learner to develop an artistic and pleasing image for clients using philosophy of design and harmony between hairstyles and facial structures.

COSM 2055 - Artistry of Hair Styling/Cutting II
This course provides a deeper investigation of the basic principles of cutting including the importance of consultation practices and the use of hair shaping tools, angles, and elevation of cutting techniques and the importance of timings. Learners will practice techniques in finger waving, pin curls, and roller placements. Learners will explore traditional men's cutting through the Wahl Men's Method.

COSM 2065 - Work Experience
During this 100 hour work experience, the learner with the opportunity to assist and practice their skills under the direct supervision of a Master Cosmetologist. They will gain an understanding of the comprehensive skills required to become a successful Cosmetologist in today's competitive work force. The work experience must be completed in an approved, designated salon in Nova Scotia.

COSM 2066 - Cosmetology Skills Lab II
This course allows the learners to further develop and practice skills related to the theory covered throughout the Cosmetology – Hairdressing program with a goal of increasing competency and speed. Learners will demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting.

COSM 3019 - Advanced Hair Colouring
During this course, the learner will further develop problem-solving skills in colour formulations and corrections. The learner will also explore advanced colouring techniques.

COSM 3050 - License Preparation
This course prepares the learner for the theory and practical components of the provincial examinations administered by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia.

COSM 3058 - Artistry of Hair Styling/Cutting III
Artistry in hair styling gives the Cosmetologist the platform to demonstrate his/her creative side while also providing the opportunity for proficiency in hair styling. A more in depth study of cutting hair using principles of design will be included. This course will also introduce the learner to more in depth techniques using razor, and texturizing tools. The learner will be introduced to wig hair enhancement services and braiding

COSM 3065 - Cosmetology Skills Lab III
This course allows the learners to further develop and practice skills related to the theory covered throughout the Cosmetology - Hairdressing program with a goal of increasing competency and speed. Learners will demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting.

COSM 3066 - Cosmetology Skills Lab IV
This course allows the learners to further develop and practice skills to increase speed and competency in the Cosmetology program at an industry entry level. Learners will demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting.

COSM 3068 - Advanced Artistry of Hairstyling and Cutting
Advanced artistry gives the cosmetologist the confidence to enter the workforce armed with the skills and knowledge necessary to function as a professional in analyzing all cutting and finishing techniques that are current in a modern salon.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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