Professional Esthetics

Esthetics and Spa Therapy

  • Program Length 
    8 Months
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 
    Parksville Qualicum

The Esthetics and Spa Therapy Certificate Program

The Vancouver Island University Esthetics and Spa Therapy Program is offered annually at the Parksville and Qualicum Center. This 810-hour (8-month) program is delivered on a full-time basis, four days a week, Tuesday to Friday, 9 am to 4:15 pm.

Under the guidance of well trained and experienced instructors, students in this program will develop a thorough understanding of both theoretical and practical components associated with the Esthetics and Spa Therapy profession. The theoretical component of this program is taught in-person and online using a variety of teaching and learning activities and methods. These approaches aim to ensure students develop a full understanding of the theoretical knowledge necessary to perform a wide variety of services on the general public. Students develop their technical skills through practical hands-on training in the Student Spa Clinic under the guidance of highly trained and skilled instructors. The Student Spa Clinic provides a unique opportunity for students to practice and hone their skills in a real spa environment while learning how to establish relationships with real clients. Students are guided in the development of skills, abilities, and product knowledge in order to offer excellent service to clients upon graduation.

Upon successful completion and graduation from the program, students will have industry level skills to work as a professional esthetician in any of the following settings or capacities:

  • Day spa 
  • Resorts, destination and cruise ship spas
  • Hair salons 
  • Private business
  • Performing arts 
  • Industry sales and promotion.

Esthetics and Spa Therapy Certificate Program topics include:

  • Career Essentials
  • Microbiology, Health and Hygiene
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Skin Physiology
  • Colour Theory
  • Client Care
  • Facials
  • Natural Manicures
  • Natural Pedicures
  • Lash and Brow Tinting
  • Day and Night Make-up Applications
  • Relaxation Massage 
  • Hair removal
  • Body Treatments

Year 1


ESPA 101T - (Career Essentials)


ESPA 102T - (Microbiology: Health and Hygiene)


ESPA 103T - (Anatomy and Physiology)


ESPA 104T - (Skin Physiology)


ESPA 105T - (Esthetic Services and Treatments)


ESPA 106T - (Spa Body Services and Treatments)


ESPA 107T - (The Art and Science of Make-Up and Non-Surgical Enhancements)


ESPA 108T - (Experiential Learning: Clinic and Spa Module Phase 1)


ESPA 109T - (Experiential Learning: Clinic and Spa Module Phase 2)


ESPA 110T - (Experiential Learning: Clinic and Spa Module Phase 3)


Total Credits


Students are enrolled in all courses in the fall

  • Grade 12, or equivalent, or mature student status.
  • Minimum of 17 years of age.
  • Successful completion of a Personal Profile.
  • Students may be interviewed by program staff and industry.

Notes on Admission

  • Good hand-eye coordination.
  • Physically fit and able to stand all day.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees per Program




Student Activity Fee


VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $17.68 per month)


Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year)





The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Location
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Sep 3, 2024
Next Intake(s)

The Esthetics and Spa Therapy program has one intake each Fall

Application Fee
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Alana Gaetz, interim
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2071

Chair Contact

Name: Lesley Osborne
Phone: 250.248.2096 ext. 3236

Further information on this program can be found on the Department website.

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.