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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any further questions about Professional Non-Surgical Aesthetic Practice, please speak to our Postgraduate Team.


Do I need experience in non-surgical aesthetic practice or to have attended any other Botulinum Toxin or Dermal filler training before I start the course?

No, you do not need any prior aesthetic experience, you must have had two years or more professional experience as a nurse, doctor or dentist.

Would I have to attend a training course prior to entry?

No, the PG Cert provides up to 40 hours clinical practice in module 2 within the cost.

What happens if I need more than 40 hours to complete my competencies?

You have up to 40 hours of practice-based learning to achieve the identified practice proficiencies included in the PG Cert fee Should you require additional practice-based learning experience, this will be provided, where necessary, up to a maximum of 80 hours, at an additional cost per session to the student to be paid in advance of the supervised practice. If you have not been able to achieve the required level of proficiency within 80 hours then you will be deemed to have failed the module, as it requires a pass in both the academic assessment (exam) and practice-based assessment through achievement of all identified proficiencies.

How does the 40 hours clinical aspect of the course work? Is it set periods over a set number of weeks and would this be with a practitioner local to myself?

The 40 hours practice is attached to module 2, the practice educator Linda Mather will assign a mentor within your locality as near as geographically possible. Between your mentor and you, the 40 hours will be negotiated, it may be full days or hours, different days, whatever works for the both of you.

I understand there would be some attendance at University. Would this be on a regular basis?

PG Cert:

  • Module 1 beginning in September has an introductory day (date to be confirmed) and then a follow up day 7 - 8 weeks later. The rest of the educational material is accessed online.
  • Module 2 beginning in January has an online introductory lecture and then one full day contact in March (Dates to be confirmed). The rest of the educational material is accessed online.

PG Dip:

  • Module 1 - Mentorship. This module either can be delivered remotely using the online materials or as taught sessions dependant on student preference. Delivery schedule September - November.
  • Module 2 - Setting up a Health Related Business. Mostly online with two contact days. Delivery schedule January - March.
  • Module 3 - Research Approaches. Majority online with possible one days contact time (TBC). Delivery schedule April - June.

MSc Dissertation:

  • Delivery schedule year long. Contact days at the start of the year with 12 hours supervision with an individual supervisor - This can be arranged face-to-face or remotely.

What are the entry requirements of the course?

Re-entry requirements - Evidence of Level 6 studies in the past five years + 120 credits or equivalent at Level 5. Plus two years post registration experience.

Can anyone on part of the NMC register to apply?

No, currently the course is only validated for registered nurses who hold Part 1 of the NMC register so unfortunately we would not be able to accept applications on Part 2 or 3 of the NMC register.

Does the programme meet the current Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) requirements?

Yes, completing the first year (PG Cert) will give you qualification to practice offering Botulinum Toxins and non-permanent dermal fillers. After consulting with a range of professionals in this field, we were advised that these two types of treatment were the most common. The JCCP standards require that the education for these must be provided at Level 7 (Masters) and that all practitioners wanting to register with the JCCP must hold a Level 7 accredited qualification.

Can I accredit prior learning (RPL)?

In the PG Cert programme, we are unable to recognise prior learning from previous courses as there was a wide range of variability and educational level.

Can I accredit prior experiential learning (APEL)?

Whist we are unable to accredit prior learning, there may be a possibility that we could offer Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

The university regulations state that the maximum amount of accreditation is:

  • PG Cert Awards: students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits (L7) at Northumbria;
  • Other PGT Awards: students are required to complete a minimum of 60 credits (L7) at Northumbria

The PG Cert in Professional Non-Surgical Aesthetic Practice comprises of two modules. A 20 credit theoretical module and 40 credit theoretical / clinical practice module. As the 40 credit module is both theoretical and clinical which includes proficiencies we are unable to offer the APEL, however the first theoretical modules could potentially be taken as APEL.

This would still require assessment (submission of a three page annotated CV of experience followed by a VIVA demonstrating how you have achieved the module learning outcomes via prior experience), however there are a few important factors to consider:

  • There would be no change to the overall cost of the PG Cert as you are awarded 20 credits at Level 7 if you successfully pass the module undertaken via APEL
  • Should you fail the APEL, then there would be a requirement to complete the taught module prior to the theoretical / clinical practice module. This would incur an additional cost for re-registration for the first module
  • There would be minimal academic support and no access to the online learning package to prepare your CV
  • If considering the full MSc qualification, taking the APEL could affect the classification of the final award (APEL is not graded it is either a pass or fail)

RPL within PG Dip advise to be given on individual cases.

We are unable to offer RPL for the final MSc year as a standalone award.

Do I need to complete the full MSc to practice?

Whilst our course at Northumbria enables registration for or progression to a full Masters, you are not required to have a full Masters award to meet the JCCP requirements. The first year (PG Cert) would assure your proficiency to provide aesthetic treatments with toxins and fillers.

Is this qualification recognised in Scotland?

Currently Scotland has not published educational standards related to aesthetics. Health Improvement Scotland has published standards related to premises for aesthetic practice. They are included within this programme.

Do students have to complete all 3 years of the programme?

This will depend on which route you choose to take. If you take the:

  • Linked award route: You can step off at the end of the PG Cert, PG Dip or complete all three years. Please be aware that these are incremental awards and one must be successfully completed prior to moving up to the next one
  • MSc: If you sign up initially for the MSc you will be expected to complete the three years

What are the course fees?

Course fees are available on the web page. Please note: The total fee cannot be spread equally over the three years. Year 1 must be paid in full if taking the MSc route.

When would the course fees need to be paid?

There are a number of options but all conversations regarding fees must be direct with Student Finance. Once students have started the programme they are normally invoiced for the fees.

  • One lump sum
  • Instalments (prior arrangements made with Student Support and Wellbeing and Student Finance. It is the student's responsibility to contact student finance to arrange a payment plan if required).

Does the programme qualify for the Postgraduate student loan?

In some cases, yes - this would depend on the route chosen by the student (the linked award route is not eligible) and their personal circumstances. This decision will be made by Student Finance England. It is the student's responsibility to contact them and arrange.

Does the course give me the eligibility criteria for the Independent Nurse Prescribing course?

Completing the first year of the programme (PG Cert) will give you the one year experience and required underpinning knowledge of aesthetics required to meet the criteria for accessing the INP programme.

You must also have:

  • Access to and support of an independent medical prescriber to supervise you during the programme
  • The medical prescriber must be live on the GMC register with no restrictions on their practice
  • Supervision required is 78 hours, which may be direct or using touch points only, but must be sufficient to enable the prescriber to assure themselves of your proficiency against the required competencies
  • The medical prescriber must be working in the same field of practice (aesthetics) so that they have direct experience of prescribing the range of products used, and drugs to deal with emergency situations / side effects / complications following aesthetic procedures
  • The medical proescriber must agree to be accountable for the assessment of aesthetics prescribing proficiency
  • NMC demand evidence of a valid DBS

Please see the NMP webpage for further information.


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