Complementary Therapies HNC

UCAS code 103B

What is special about this course?

This HNC Complementary Therapies course will teach you skills from a range of practical physical therapies, the theory behind them and the interpersonal skills needed to work in an area that is complementary to conventional health care.

If you are a warm and caring person with an interest in helping people to relax, to feel good and to be healthy, then this could be the course for you.

You will study at Moray College UHI in Elgin.

Special features

  • You will gain the diverse skills required to become an effective and safe therapist in the health sector, and fitness and leisure industries
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above
  • For both of the above, Biology, Chemistry or English is preferred but not essential
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply
  • You may also be required to attend an interview

Access routes

  • An appropriate NQ level award at SCQF 5 or 6, or
  • An SVQ/NVQ level 3, or
  • NC Wellness therapies, SVQ Beauty Therapy Level 3, and City and Guilds Complementary Therapies at Level 3 are preferred

SWAP Access courses

If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Human anatomy and physiology for beauty and complementary therapists
  • Body massage
  • Complementary therapy: professional issues in practice
  • Complementary therapy: health and safety legislation
  • Perspectives of health
  • Complementary therapies: clinic practice
  • Complementary therapies: graded unit 1

Optional subjects include:

  • Reflexology
  • Aromatherapy massage
  • Traditional head massage
  • Research and methodology

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We continue to review government guidance and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will be delivered online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and practical sessions will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, probably during semester two (from January 2021). Where this is not possible alternative options will be available.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will study through a combination of traditional classroom-based lectures and tutorials, practical demonstrations and skill sessions, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Moray College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Note: The Scottish Government set this fee which has not yet been confirmed for 2021-22 so may be subject to change.

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,915
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £461

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £7,020 £7,230
Part-time (per HN credit) £468 £482

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you will be able to take advantage of a range of employment opportunities in: the health sector; clinics; beauty industry; the health, fitness and leisure industry; and self-employment.

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the HND Complementary Therapies

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

After a career within financial services, I decided to put my mental health first and made the decision to re-train in helping others to deal with mental health issues. The course has given me the confidence to start my own practice, The Blue Fairy Complementary Therapies in Inverness, and I haven’t looked back since.

It's never too late to re-train and follow your dream. As a mature student it was a shock to the system to go back into education but it has been worth it. My study experience has been rewarding, valuable and fulfilling.

Shoina Smith completed the HNC Complementary Therapies at our Moray College UHI campus in 2018

Apply for Complementary Therapies HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.