This course is offered as both a BA (Hons) and FdA. Students studying the FdA will have the option of progressing onto the final year of the BA (Hons) at the end of year 2.
The freelance hair and make-up industry requires artists who are able to work within a range of media settings. An understanding of each environment and its individual remit is a key component to your success. Whilst you may choose to specialise in future years within a particular field, it is essential to prove yourself and build a reputation within the industry first. Who knows where your career may lead?
Important factors alongside your skill-set are crucial in building your professional reputation. These include commitment, reliability and timekeeping skills as well as the ability to evaluate your work and train your eye to pick up detail. Your ability to communicate effectively with directors, crew, photographers and costume designers, to name a few, is key to your future success in this demanding yet exciting industry.
This course will train you to an advanced level in a wide variety of practical skills and give you the business knowledge you will need to promote yourself, build your business as a freelancer and manage your finances for a career in TV, film, photography and theatre. You will create a professional portfolio of work that will showcase your technical abilities to future employers.
Why should I choose this course?
- You will develop a range of specialist technical skills and assist in creating accurate hair and make-up styles for different periods in history.
- You will develop advanced skills in making and applying prosthetics and castings as well as how to create realistic wounds and special effects.
- As well as exploring fashion and catwalk make-up, we will also teach you to develop the skills required for you to set up and run your own freelance business.
- You will explore industry innovations and develop a critical awareness of film genres and design concepts surrounding postiche from a particular area.
- You will get the chance to work on your own research project, which is an ideal opportunity to showcase the technical skills you have gained and develop an industry specialism.
Kit / uniform
For practical activities, a uniform and kit will need to be purchased via UCB at a cost of approximately £400.
Our open days are designed to give you as much information as possible about UCB and the areas you are interested in studying. Come along and we may make you an offer on the day.
Specialist Hair & Media Make-up studios
Our teaching facilities and equipment are state-of-the-art, with two fully-equipped make-up studios, a specialist effects studio, a prosthetics studio as well as additional facilities at our nearby Richmond House site.
Teaching & assessment
Teaching is carried out by appropriately qualified and experienced staff and a typical teaching week will have up to 16 contact hours made up as follows:
- Large group teaching - 4 hours of lectures in lecture rooms
- Smaller group teaching - 9 hours of teaching in the make-up and/or special effects studios
- Tutorials - 3 hours being a mixture of personal, group and academic tutorials per week
In addition, you are expected to commit to approximately 20 hours a week of your own study time in preparation for teaching sessions and preparing for and completing assessment. UCB Online provides a 24 hour access to learning and support material.
Assessment is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your strengths in a number of ways and so a variety of assessment methods are used. As this is a highly vocationally based programme, there is a greater emphasis of assessment by way of coursework which may include some written work, portfolio work as well as practically based activities such as assessments of technical skills and/or presentations.
An estimated breakdown of the assessment for this course is as follows:
- Coursework - 67%
- Practical assessment - 28%
- Written examinations - 5%
Please note that the information provided above is indicative only and actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued to students at induction.
Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.
Specialist Hair and Media Make-up BA (Hons)
Tariff: A minimum of 96 UCAS Tariff points. It is desirable that one or more of the following qualifications is achieved - Level 3 Theatrical and Media Make-up Diploma, Level 3 Beauty Therapy or Hairdressing, A-level or BTEC Art and Design, Theatre Studies, History, Performing Arts, Media/Film Studies, Fashion, Photography and Costume Production.
Non-tariff: UCB accepts a wide range of Level 3 qualifications not currently on the UCAS Tariff. These can include a range of vocational Level 3 diplomas and EU qualifications. It is desirable that these qualifications are in a related subject area, as listed above. To find out if we accept your qualification for entry, please contact the Admissions Team directly.
Additional (September 2018 entry only): For all applicants (both Tariff and Non-Tariff) who are not studying one of the specific vocational course areas above, you are still eligible to apply. However, there will be an additional condition of entry, which will be the compulsory attendance onto our short blended learning programme.
Specialist Hair and Media Make-up FdA
Tariff: A minimum of 56 UCAS Tariff points. It is essential that one or more of the following qualifications is achieved - Level 3 Theatrical and Media Make-up Diploma, Level 3 Beauty Therapy or Hairdressing, A-level or BTEC Art and Design, Theatre Studies, History, Performing Arts, Media/Film Studies, Fashion, Photography and Costume Production.
Non-tariff: UCB accepts a wide range of Level 3 qualifications not currently on the UCAS Tariff. These can include a range of vocational Level 3 diplomas, NVQ qualifications and EU qualifications. It is essential that these qualifications are in a related subject area, as listed above. To find out if we accept your qualification for entry, please contact the Admissions Team directly.
Work based: We equally consider applicants who are currently in work or freelancing within the industry. To be eligible you must currently be in work demonstrating management or supervisory duties for the past 3 years in a relevant industry to the course you are applying for. A reference from your current line manager supporting your entry to higher education will be requested.
Freelance applicants who have been working in the industry must be registered as self-employed and have testimonials that we will assess.
For entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.
UCAS Tariff calculator
You can use our calculator below to convert your predicted/achieved grades into UCAS Tariff points. Please note that this calculator is for 2017/18 entry as entry for 2016/17 is now closed.
If your total predicted/achieved points do not meet those outlined above or your qualification(s) do not appear on the UCAS tariff please contact the admissions directly on 0121 604 1040 or email email@example.com.
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FdA students will study modules for years 1 and 2. Upon successful completion FdA students will have the option of progressing onto the final year.
Placement opportunities arise throughout the academic year and during vacations and at weekends.
The industry isn’t 9-5 and neither are the placement opportunities; so flexibility and willingness to take part are important
Whilst these placements are not mandatory, due to the nature of the industry they are highly recommended and will help you compile a portfolio of your work and experiences to show potential employers in the future.
UCB regularly receives a range of placement opportunities from employers and you will be notified of these via our Student Portal. As with any industry, making a good impression whilst on placement will enable you to network and develop your own contacts.
Our hired@UCB team will make sure that you are well-matched for your placement and support your progress throughout your work experience.
Prosthetics / special Effects
"The work experience I have been involved in has been amazing. So far I have worked in theatres, TV and on a film, which was really exciting."
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to move into a wide variety of areas within the specialist hair and media make-up sector. Graduates have also gone on to work in the fashion image industry, cosmetics or as a freelance hair and make-up artist.
Graduating with this degree will enable you to pursue a career path in:
- Photographic studios
- Catwalk fashion
hired@UCB is our new student and alumni support service designed to provide a single reference point for information, advice and guidance regarding opportunities to develop and demonstrate employability and enterprise skills.
Based on the 7th floor of our Summer Row campus, in newly refurbished facilities, the hired team comprises of specialist and qualified staff with knowledge and experience of:
- Careers advice and guidance
- Placements, work experience and volunteering
- Employer engagement
- Part-time and seasonal work
- Internships, apprenticeships and traineeships
- Graduate schemes and alumni support
- Unitemps – UCB's recruitment agency
Find out more about hired@UCB services.
Read what our current students and alumni love about UCB and how we helped them begin their career in industry.
Specialist Hair and Media Make-up
Specialist Hair and Media Make-up
Ellen D'Andrade Brown
Specialist Hair and Media Make-up