Emily Tallon is studying a Beauty Therapy Level 2 course at Activate Learning at City of Oxford College.
After Emily finished her GCSEs, she looked around at various colleges in the hope of studying a physiotherapy or beauty therapy course. After attending an Open Event at City of Oxford College, she was really impressed by the facilities and so her mind was made up to study Beauty Therapy.
Emily is currently enjoying the diversity of the subject and is studying human physiology. In particular, she is currently looking at the musculature of the body to benefit her massage techniques, as well as the composition of hair and nails to aid her understanding of the effects of beauty treatments. She says about the topic that, “We learn about all the muscles and bones in the body, for massage, and all about the different layers of the skin. We have been learning about the different layers of the nails…everything. It is really interesting. I never thought we’d need that in Beauty Therapy but it’s actually really important. When we are working on nails, for example, it’s easier to understand how to work on the nail if we understand the anatomy side of it. It’s good for the customer as well, as we can answer any questions they might have about their nails.”
The stand out feature of the course for Emily is the work experience. Studying in industry-standard salons on campus, applying her knowledge through practical exercises and then working in real salons on work experience has given her a real understanding of what the industry is really like. She said of the experience that, “Instead of just being in college and learning the treatments, we are out there in real salons, getting to know the customers.”
As well as the practical aspects of the course taking her learning to another level, she has been impressed with the support she receives from the teachers and the class sizes. “We’re quite a small group; there are only about 12/13 of us, so we’re quite close and comfortable with each other, whereas at school it was harder to study in a larger group.”
Ultimately, for Emily, the step into college has been about finding independence and taking responsibility for her own learning as well as engaging more with the teaching staff. She mentions that her tutors are open and friendly and that she feels free to email them about her work and receive a response.
After completing her Level 2 studies, Emily will continue on with Activate Learning and study a Level 3 in Beauty Therapy, in which she hopes to specialise in massage.