Welcome to our Department of Creative Industries
Thank you for taking the time to come and check out what we offer at University College Birmingham, the highest ranking university in the region as voted for by students at the 2023 Whatuni Student Choice Awards. Our student support is award-winning too, as is our provision for international students.
If you are looking at joining us to carve out a career in the creative industries, here is a glimpse into our student and staff community - and the enrichment we offer - to see if we are the right choice for you.
Welcome from Chelsey McNeil
Welcome to the Department of Creative Industries.
Our creative courses offer a range of exciting opportunities to prepare you for onward employment and future study, including guest speaker events, work placements, competitions, trips and more!
All our teams have impressive industry backgrounds and engage in ongoing professional development to ensure a high standard of education is delivered. We maintain our strong links with industry professionals to continuously develop our curriculums to reflect sector requirements and support student career progression.
Our graduates work in hairdressing, beauty therapy, film, TV, theatre, education and marketing, and have woked for companies such as Este Medical, Destination Sk:n, Kat and Co and Mesoestetic. Business entrepreneurship is also a popular pathway, with many students going on to manage and own aesthetic clinics - the opportunities are endless! We look forward to seeing you in September.
Chelsey has 14 years’ experience and has worked on well-known productions including Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and Bridgerton.
“This really is a university where you will not only receive a high quality teaching and learning experience, but support at the very highest level. We pride ourselves on our industry connections to give you the best opportunities to gain the graduate advantage."
Prosthetics students create disaster scenarios for regional police training
A crime scene was brought to life when students from University College Birmingham were called on to assist West Mi…Read more
Creative students win powerful support package to get businesses going
A group of final year students from University College Birmingham has won a powerful package of business start-up suppor…Read more
Specialist make-up student shares experiences with Prince and Princess of Wales
A University College Birmingham student aspiring to make her mark in the TV and film industry had the incredibl…Read more
Creative student team gets Commonwealth Games athletes ready for the cameras
From flag nail art and make-up to barbering and Afro braiding, a creative team of University College Birmingham st…Read more
International winner and Uni of the Year runner-up in student choice awards
University College Birmingham has won the International award and was crowned University of the Year runner-up in t…Read more
Stellar scores across the board in leading postgraduate student experience survey
Postgraduate students have given University College Birmingham an overwhelming thumbs-up in a major survey of…Read more
University conference showcases innovative teaching for next generation
From roaming robots to cutting-edge cameras and virtual reality, lecturers at University College Birmingham have been…Read more
Recent guest speakers
Kerry Blue – 'Hair Has No Gender'
Tim Milward – Backface: Developing an understanding of 3D scanning and printing and application within prosthetics
Lee Cocker – Digital marketing, branding and social media in business
Dr Vincent Wong – Gender fluidity in aesthetics
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Recent guest speakers (cont'd)
Raven Dixon-Biggs (pictured) – Racial awareness and inclusivity in hair, make-up and beauty
Penny Turvey – Working with transgender clients
SkinAid – Product training for regenerative aesthetics module
Health and Hormone Support – Menopause
SKCIN: National skin cancer charity – skin cancer awareness
L’Oreal – Industry awareness
Undergraduate Aesthetic Practitioner students visited the Mesoestetic laboratory in Barcelona, gaining insight into product development through various demonstrations and building industry connections to help prepare for employment. Other recent trips include Aesthetic Medicine Live at Olympia in London and Hair and Media Make-up students going behind the scenes at Harry Potter World.
Beyond the classroom
At University College Birmingham, we offer education and training that goes far beyond everyday classes and lectures. We are committed to providing additional enrichment opportunities for our students, from industry trips and expert visits to linkups with local charities, entry into competitions and much more.
Scroll through the slides to find out more about what's been going on recently in our department:
Creative Futures Incubator
Aspiring entrepreneurs in the final year of their creative undergraduate degrees are able to apply for support with setting up their own businesses through the University's Creative Futures Incubator. The incubator is a collaboration between University College Birmingham and our partner, the University of Warwick, stimulating the regional economy and enabling creative enterprises to flourish.
Some of the benefits
- Each business will benefit from six months of business support including monthly one-to-ones, team building and marketing workshops
- Grant of £2,000 and an additional £500 grant to support marketing plans
- Access to University of Warwick’s mentors and graduate entrepreneurs
- Opportunities to network with peers and broader business development and entrepreneurial connections from both universities
Meet Nicky Millard
We’re really proud of our links and partnerships with employers and alumni. At the heart of what we do is preparing you for a graduate career in your industry. Our industry partners regularly visit to speak to students, set projects and provide job graduate employment opportunities.
We’re also really proud of the outstanding support we’ve been recognised as providing for students while on their journey with us. It gives us great pleasure to pass on our skills to the next generation and your future starts here. We are ready to kick-start your career and we look forward to seeing you soon!
*Nicky gained her degree with us before launching a career in hotel business management in the USA and the UK before moving into HR and lecturing
Our teaching and learning
Whether you are studying to be a hair and make-up artist, beauty therapist, prosthetics expert or aesthetics specialist, our aim is simple - to turn you into a stand-out professional. We have an award-winning reputation for the highest quality courses and a learning experience that sets us apart from bigger universities.
Our degrees are designed to develop you personally and professionally, with graduate advantage, employability and enrichment sessions threaded throughout the curriculum, sitting alongside really interesting theory modules. Our partnership with the University of Warwick, a top-ranking Russell Group university, also brings extra opportunities including access to guest speakers and additional resources.
Our courses are taught by highly qualified lecturers with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, which enables them to contextualise learning to link with a range of creative industry sectors.
We have strong links to industry and work with many employers to continuously enhance the curriculum, ensuring that both theory and practical elements of each programme are reflective of industry practice.
Guest speakers are invited to participate in the delivery of our courses, sharing their knowledge and experience to broaden your knowledge and enhance learning.
The lecturing teams consistently deliver high standards of teaching and learning and aim to inspire students in their development towards onward employment.
Our state-of-the-art facilities enable you to develop your practical skillset within a range of industry-relevant learning environments. This includes hair, make-up and prosthetics studios, treatment clinics, commercial salons, a media suite and digital hub. All of these spaces are fully equipped with extensive products, tools and equipment to support you throughout your course. We are very proud of our facilities and they form just a small part of our award-winning campus.
You will have the opportunity to work with clients and models within various settings to enhance both your technical and transferable skills, ensuring that you are prepared to enter the industry.
Our support is exceptional, so much so, our students voted to make us the winner of the Student Support award at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022 and we won silver at the 2023 awards.
Throughout your learning journey, you will be supported by your personal tutor, module leaders and the teaching team. We also have a broad range of additional services available including CASE, Hired, subject librarians, DICE and Student Services. With small group sizes for practical sessions, you will build friendships and connection with your peers, enabling you to grow and embrace the full student experience.
Our Learning and Teaching Strategy 2021-24 is key to how we approach the educational journey, focusing on three main pillars that set out our commitment to your learning and teaching experience while you are studying with us.
- Pillar 1 – Provide accessible and inclusive teaching and learning across a wide range of vocationally-led courses
- Pillar 2 – Develop next generation opportunities and skills through innovative, future-focused curriculum and pedagogy
- Pillar 3 – Shape local and global sectors, promoting sustainable futures and global citizenship
Now developing a career as a special effects artist, Madeleine found University College Birmingham's master's course offered her unique opportunities she could not find anyw…Read more
Lauren graduated with a first-class degree in 2022, but the support she received from the University didn’t end there.Read more
Eager to build in-demand skills for the prosthetics industry, Phoebe was wowed by the opportunity to work with foam latex at University College Birmingham.Read more
After completing her make-up degree at University College Birmingham, Ellie found our dedicated prosthetics postgraduate course provided the perfect next step for her career pre…Read more
Sean was drawn to his course because it was so different to those offered by other colleges, taking him one step closer to his dream of glamming up the runway.Read more
Paulina knew she wanted her own business – and needed to start saving – from the moment she began her degree at University College Birmingham.Read more
Now skilled at an array of beauty treatments, Safa is on her way to realising her dream of opening her own salon.Read more
Our facilities for hair and make-up, beauty therapy, prosthetics and aesthetics include:
- Fully-equipped make-up studios where you can hone your practical skills
- A Media Workshop where you can learn how to perfect your hair and make-up work for the camera and how to light, compose and take professional studio shots
- State-of-the-art prosthetics studios equipped for processes ranging from sculpting and fibreglass resin mould-making to casting of silicone and foam latex prosthetic pieces
- Aspire Aesthetics – our on-campus aesthetics clinic open to the public, providing access to an extensive range of products and non-medical cosmetic procedures
- Our Digital Creative Studio hosts audio podcasting, vision mixing and editing facilities, as well as high-spec computers with Adobe Creative Cloud software, ZBrush software and graphics tablets
Beauty Therapy Level 2 and Level 3
Embark on a career in the glamorous beauty therapy industry with our practical college course. Covering essential techniques such as skincare, waxing and ma…Read more
Hair and Media Make-up Level 2
Interested in a career in hair and media make-up? From working in TV and theatre to photographic work and face painting, this college course arms you with a fou…Read more
Hairdressing Level 2, Level 3
Our Hairdressing college course provides you with a great foundation of practical training in hairdressing, opening career opportunities anywhere from salons to…Read more
Theatrical Media Make-up Level 3
Dream of doing make-up for film, TV or the theatre? This college course teaches you specialist hair and make-up techniques for a broad range of creative and d…Read more
Aesthetics BA (Hons) / FdA
Join the booming aesthetics industry by taking our hands-on training course. Master a range of non- medical procedures and put your skills into practice in our on-c…Read more
Prosthetics for Film and Television MA
Dream of working on major feature films and big budget series? Our Prosthetics for Film and TV postgraduate course teaches you advanced techniques for t…Read more
Meet your lecturers
I worked as a freelancer in the prosthetic make-up industry for 12 years, being lucky enough to work on high profile tv productions such as BBC’s Doctor Who, BBC’s Atlantis,…Find out more
I qualified as a beauty therapist in 1991. I then worked in industry for 9 years. My roles included working on board luxury cruise liners, spending a period of time working in a…Find out more
I originally studied Beauty Therapy Level 2 and 3 at Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies (now University College Birmingham). After I qualified, I worked…Find out more
I have been a lecturer at University College Birmingham for 23 years and was a former student many years ago, learning Beauty Therapy. Before teaching at the University, I wo…Find out more
My career within the beauty and aesthetics industry started in 1985 and I have since had a varied and exciting career in all aspects of the industry. This includes working wi…Find out more
I am a lecturer on the BA/FdA Aesthetic Practitioner course. I teach across all levels of the programme.Find out more
I have been practicing and teaching in the beauty/aesthetic industry for over 25 years. I have qualifications and experience in aesthetic, beauty and holistic techniques and thera…Find out more
My career within the hair and make-up industry began when I pursued an Apprenticeship in Hairdressing NVQ Level 2, which later developed into studying BA (Hons) Specialist Hair…Find out more
I started at University College Birmingham in 2007 as a student, studying Level 2 and Level 3 Hairdressing and Afro Hairdressing. I completed both courses by 2009.Find out more
Having studied Hair and Beauty Therapy after leaving school, here at University College Birmingham, then (The College of Food Tourism & Creative Studies), I went on to gain exp…Find out more
I qualified in Ladies Hairdressing and Wigmaking as a past fulltime student of the then Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts. I then worked in the hairdressing industry for…Find out more
I have been in the hairdressing profession for 27 years and progressed from a Saturday girl to a Senior Stylist in a top hairdressing salon.Find out more
I trained in hairdressing and beauty after leaving school and moved overseas to work in Jersey Channel Islands. I gained experience working alongside top stylists in a variety of sa…Find out more
Beauty Therapy has been part of me since an early age, and I developed a passion for it once I experienced the treatments growing up. I started my learning and crafting of…Find out more
I became a freelance therapist in 1993 after successfully completing my qualifications. I later opened my own salon and successfully managed a team of staff for six years and lat…Find out more
I studied Hairdressing Level 2 and Beauty Therapy Level 2 and 3 at University College Birmingham. Once qualified I went on to work on board cruise ships for a number of years…Find out more