Victoria University introduces Associate Degree in Dermal Therapies

Victoria University has introduced what it says is Australia’s first Associate Degree in Dermal Therapies.

The pilot distance education program is delivered online over two years, with additional short blocks of face-to-face instruction.

Course co-ordinator Frank Perri said the associate degree is aimed at students with at least two years’ industry experience who have completed a diploma in beauty therapies.

“It’s the first of its kind, an associate degree that provides instruction in the use of some newer paramedical treatments such as laser treatment and intense pulse light (IPL). There are also units on the regulatory framework, business models and anatomy and physiology,” he said.

“It’s pitched at a slightly different group to the full degree program, introduced in 1999. We aim to attract a broad range of students including those who might be sales managers or specialists in one kind of treatment who need to have a solid background in the full range of treatments and the business models used in their delivery.”

According to the university’s website, the course provides a further pathway of study for graduates of the Diploma of Beauty Therapy with at least one year of industry work experience. The website states: “The three-semester online course will build on the theoretical knowledge gained at diploma level and enhance it to give students a more scientific understanding of some of the newer technologies in the industry. Students will gain a limited amount of clinical and practical experience via a small amount of burst mode study in Melbourne. Units will include anatomy and physiology, skin disorders, psychology, research and scientific methodology, laser / IPL theory, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and others. This online program will also be a pathway to the more advanced Bachelor of Health Science (Dermal Therapies).” 

Last week, 11 students from across Australia were inducted into the course.

One student, David Adamson, has a clinic offering IPL in Sydney’s Broadway. Previously working in the construction industry, Adamson said he was attracted by the technological breakthroughs that use the new pulsating light treatments. “The associate degree is a chance to improve my qualifications in the field,” he said.

Another Sydney student, Donya Sobh, is a former licensed conveyancer who put her law degree on hold to become a beautician a few years ago.

“I was appalled to learn how unregulated the [beauty] industry is. Almost anyone can pick up a laser and start hair removal. It’s inevitable that this will change with greater regulation and it’s important that we have courses like this one so practitioners can be properly trained and recognised,” she said.

Welcoming students to the course, Victoria University’s Director of TAFE and newly appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr Anne Jones, said the course was an example of the increasingly fluid boundaries between vocational and higher education at the university.

“We are starting to see a future in which tertiary courses combine high-level skills and knowledge development; a time when the distinction between the two levels becomes blurred,” she said.

The university will introduce three more associate degrees this year, all aimed at students working in their selected fields. The courses cover the fields of enterprise skills, aged care management and logistics.

Leave a Reply

Back to top