The art of beauty and aesthesis is now being recognised as a bachelor degree, with the Australasian College Broadway introducing a Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics).
Founder and Chairman of the College, Maureen Houssein-Mustafa OAM noticed the rapid boom in technology overriding current educational standards within the aesthetics industry. She noted that this is challenging the reputation of the industry through lack of consistent standards in practices. With consumer demand for appearance enhancement and anti-ageing procedures continuing to increase world-wide and the major breakthroughs and advancements in technology and products over the last five years, Maureen saw the need for advanced education.
She harnessed a team of leading experts from academia and the industry, to advocate and deliver a new Degree program that is both academically strong and coupled with rigorous and complete practical application of skills in both existing and emerging technologies. The objective for Maureen was to bring a new level of credibility to a rapidly changing industry.
The Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics) can be achieved within a three year, fulltime study period, while part-time students will need six years. The degree will be launched in March 2014 but enrolments are now open by contacting the Australasian College Broadway.
Question: What inspired you to offer a Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics)?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: This degree was developed in response to industry demand for a higher and more specialised qualification as consumers move from traditional beauty salons to cosmetic clinics, dermal therapy clinics and medispas. It provides the benchmark for the aesthetics industry underpinned by rigorous science and practical training.
It represents a tangible move towards professionalising the beauty sector as consumers move from traditional salon beauty treatments to higher end dermal, cosmetic surgical and non-surgical interventions.
The degree has a focus on not just treatments, but a more holistic approach to wellness and anti-aging. The curriculum has been developed by a team of leading academics, educationalists, scientists and medical experts in the cosmetic, dermatology and nursing care.
Clients are demanding specialised and more personalised treatments involving science, improved technologies and equipment. This is a rapidly changing area and keeping up with advances is key.
Consumers are taking more control of their decisions and undertaking research to improve their understanding of anti-aging treatments. Attention to wellness is a global phenomenon with an increasing focus on proactive preventative care rather than reactive, superficial and short term treatments.
Question: Why do our young beauticians need an advanced education?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: Increasingly sophisticated science, technology and equipment means that students will require a higher levels of skill to understand the application of new procedures and treatments.
There is a need to have greater science-based knowledge around the physiology of the skin and body to a much deeper level to apply the correct treatment in each client's case. It's all about personalised treatment for clients.
The rapid rate of change means that professionals need to be better equipped to meet client's demands for the latest treatments.
Increasing aestheticians will be working as part of a team in cosmetic or dermal clinics working alongside doctors, nurses and other medical and para medical professionals.
In a marketplace with little regulation there is increased risk associated with use of laser technologies by practitioners with little or no formal training. Our graduates will have science based knowledge of laser as well as rigorous practical experience over the 3 year program.
This degree provides a distinct education pathway for Beauty Therapy students wanting to increase their knowledge and understanding of the aesthetics industry. Our graduates will have a comprehensive understanding of the science behind their treatments whether it's laser (for tattoo removal, cosmetic tattooing, vascular treatment, scar minimising, hair removal, pigmentation) or advanced dermal care involving microdermabrasion, skin needling, skin tightening, body sculpting as well as pre and post-operative care.
Question: What will these qualifications give students over mainstream beauty courses?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: The qualifications with give students a 3-year Applied Health Science degree with a minimum 300 hours of practical application - there is no other program that offers this and it is what makes our program unique. The diploma is an 18-month vocational course versus a 3-year degree. This is a rigorous health science based degree underpinned by hands-on practical clinical sessions that will ensure our graduates are ready for work from day one.
This degree will suit practitioners that are already experienced in the beauty sector and want to upskill to take their career to the next level. It will appeal to nurses who may have general nursing training but want to specialise in dermal care. It will also appeal to school leavers interested in a career in aesthetics, as well as their parents who may want their children to get a degree.
Graduates will be equipped for employment in the areas of applied health care, aesthetics and dermal therapy centres, health and well-being and anti-aging industries, the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, and patient care support in perioperative management for cosmetic and medical practitioners. Graduates can choose to work as part of a team in the private or public sector or be self-employed and manage their own practice.
Question: How does the Australasian College Broadway courses differ from TAFE beauty courses?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: Through our clinics our students are interacting with clients from the beginning of their course, treating real clients in a supervised and commercially operating environment. Real paying clients in a real working clinic.
Question: How will these qualifications benefit beauticians entering the work force?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: A science based 3-year degree that focuses on clinical aesthetics practice will out rank an 18 month diploma every time. Our graduates will have comprehensive science based knowledge and a much deeper understanding of the science behind the treatment. They are more likely to know how best to treat clients with a more holistic approach drawing on an understanding of nutrition, endocrinology, dermal therapy and the like.
Question: What is involved in a Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics)?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: Human Biosciences (biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, histology, and the effects of stress and ageing)
Applied Health Science (addresses ethical and professional standards and practices, the biology of wellness, stress and ageing, nutrition, and the role of therapeutic interventions in aesthetics.)
Health Communication and Management (professional communication, practice management, critical thinking, evidence based research and the psychology of clinical aesthetics.)
Clinical Aesthetics Practice (practice which provides opportunities to integrate and consolidate health science theory and practice in a supervised clinical environment.)
Question: Can you talk us through the appearance enhancement and anti-ageing procedures taught in the Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics)?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: Students will be exposed to the latest in technology and product ingredients across a wide spectrum that will give a solid basis to formulate specific outcomes for each client. This includes:
Scientific understanding of effective evidence based use of all the light-based technology such as Intense Pulsed Light and Laser.
A grounding in skin biology and histology which gives better application of targeted use of cosmetic ingredients for more precise effectiveness than is possible with beauty therapy knowledge.
A greater medical based knowledge bank which allows the graduate to effectively work in the health care field alongside medical practitioners to make their treatments last longer with better outcomes.
Question: What major breakthroughs and advancements in technology and products over the last five year have you seen?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: Some of the biggest breakthroughs include:
The rise of -cosmeceuticals', where the line between cosmetic and pharmaceutical becomes more blurred.
The rapid advancement of ingredients as precursors – using ingredients that can stimulate hormonal production or using amino acids that can generate protein
Electronics have made treatment more effective, longer lasting and with less -down time', but the array of equipment is confusing and it requires strong scientific knowledge.
Question: How many years will it take to complete a Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics)?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: 3 years full time and 6 years part time.
Question: Does work experience still feature in the Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics)?
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa: Very much so and this is our point of difference in the marketplace. The degree demands simulated practice and clinic practicums, in fact our students will complete more than 300 hours of supervised practical training within a clinic or simulated clinic environment as part of the Clinical Aesthetics Practice subject. No other course offers this level on hands on experience.
Interview by Brooke Hunter