Course information

Study type Study Tier Start Date Duration Course Contact

Full Time

  • Advanced
7 September 202036 weeksDebbie Fruen

Entry Requirements

Minimum of 5 GCSEs grade 4/C or above normally including Maths and English language; grade 4/C or above in a relevant subject qualification is sometimes required

For progressing students, a minimum of Level 2 course in your chosen subject and English language and Maths at level 2. Progressing students without English or Maths at GCSE grade 4/C will be required to study these as part of their programme of study.

The Isle of Wight College has standard entry requirements for full-time college courses, depending on the level of the course to be studied.

There may be additional entry requirements for a small number of specialist courses. If this course is one of these specialist courses, additional entry requirements will be stated below.

Learners must be aged 18 or over.


As a society we are becoming more aware of the need to take better care of ourselves. As a result there is an increasing demand for professional therapists. Complementary therapists are concerned with improving peoples well being, either through offering body treatments or recommending home care and life style advice.

The course is designed for dedicated students who wish to obtain nationally recognised practitioners qualification awarded by VTCT, covering a range of complementary therapies. The course has been designed in a module format, which means a high level of attendance and commitment is essential for successful completion. Students attend College 2 days per week, plus at least 10 hours per week at home to complete practical case study work, exam revision and theory.

Case Studies

As part of the qualification learners are required to complete 190 case studies internally and externally from college:

  • 100 Reflexology treatments
  • 30 Body Massage treatments
  • 60 Aromatherapy treatments


The qualification gives the underpinning knowledge and practical skills required to carry out the technical services in aromatherapy, body massage, advanced massage techniques and reflexology.

Alongside practical elements, you will also study:

  • business planning for complementary therapies
  • principles and practice of complementary therapies
  • anatomy, physiology  and pathologies

The qualification is mapped to the national occupational standards by Skills for Health.

Professional Presentation

All students are required to:

  • Wear a course uniform (Purchased by yourself via the college)
  • Wear full black covered shoes
  • Have hair fully up and off the face for practical sessions
  • Wear no jewellery ( a wedding band can be worn)
  • Not have nail extensions or polish – short filed nails essential to carry out treatments
  • All piercings must be removed


The Complementary Therapy course contains both theoretical and practical classes. Within these sessions your progress is continually assessed against the national standards. You will gain the necessary experience working with clients in our commercial salons, including reception and management skills.

In addition to this task based learning, client case studies, assignments, role plays, practical treatments and Information Technology (IT) skills will be gathered into a portfolio of evidence. Your skills and knowledge is finally tested via externally and internally set written independent assessment papers and a range of practical skills assessments to commercial standards.

This course is examined through theory exams, practical assessments and 190 case studies that will be completed from home, so volunteers outside of college are required.

As an essential part of learning all students will be expected to receive and complete treatments (unless medically exempt) within the practical session from peers.


This course needs a high level of dedication, self-study and organisation skills, typical employment prospects in the holistic and complementary therapy Industry include:

  • Health care sector
  • Sports massage
  • Cruise ships
  • Health farms
  • Day spas
  • Holistic clinic
  • Leisure centre
  • Self employed practitioner


  • Team building exercises
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Salon International- London Excel

Study Programmes

All Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds at The Isle of Wight College are designed to include:

  • Work experience which is effective, relevant, and includes careers fairs, site visits, guest speakers and introduces you to the expectations of the real demands of work
  • Extended work experience/industry placement for Level 3 learners Over the course of your Level 3 study programme you may be expected to do between 36 – 415 hours of industry placement depending on the course you have chosen. All learners are expected, and encouraged, to do their best to find their own relevant, purposeful work experience which supports their career progression.
  • English and maths, where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade A* - C (9 - 4 using the new grades) in these subjects by age 16
  • Non-qualification activity, such as tutorials and work-related learning, to help further develop the personal skills relevant to your progression goals
  • A vocational experience which will form the substantial part of the programme

These four elements of the programme should combine to provide stretch and challenge for you helping to prepare you for progression to employment or further study.

Please refer to the 16 to 19 study programme document to learn more.

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