Make-up Specialist Level 2

Overview (NV)

Make-up Specialist Level 2

Course length
1 year full-time


This course is highly practical and covers a wide range of specialist modules for a career in the cosmetic and make-up industry. Training takes place in our modern, well-equipped salons in Birmingham city centre. You will benefit from hands-on, practical experience under the guidance of experts.

The course will give you a thorough understanding of the industry, including areas such as make-up application, the art of photographic make-up and client care.

As an additional, free qualification to maximise employment opportunities, students can also undertake a Level 1 course in Themed Face Painting. This will cover the practical and theory requirements for safe and competent application of products, client care and comfort, legal implications when treating minors and design and practical application, all while providing opportunities for students to develop their research. 

This course widens students’ skill set and gives them an outline of what they can realistically expect when they progress onto a Level 3 qualification. The Level 3 Make-up Artistry course is ideal for those students drawn to the make-up industry but not in the context of theatre or media. 

Why should I choose this course?

  • This course is for creative individuals interested in new fashions and trends – from eyelash and brow treatments to nail art
  • Ideal if you are interested in a wide range of jobs – including retail/cosmetics specialist and freelance make-up artist
  • If you are interested in further study – and the opportunity to specialise, this course provides an ideal platform.
  • No prior knowledge or experience is required, just an interest in face painting, make-up and the creative application of products.


"The highlight of the course was learning about the art of photography and body art, which was fun and very creative. I want to become a freelance make-up artist and enjoyed coming up with different looks for fantasy, bridal and period fashion. I’ve had an amazing time at UCB and plan to study theatrical and media make-up next."

Sehara Sajed


Why Maths and English are so important to your career

Achieving a good level of English and maths is important so that you can compete in today’s labour market and securing the career you’ve always wanted. Alongside your full-time course, students will continue to develop their English and maths skills. If you haven’t yet achieved GCSE grade 4 (grade C) in English and maths at 16 you will continue to study these by resits or by taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level.


  • Ratio is very important mixing hair dye etc.
  • Basic addition and subtraction are important in calculating the costs of equipment and products and managing the stock
  • Percentages are key in working out customer discounts
  • Area and perimeter are important when designing and arranging a salon space


  • Accurate spelling and a wide and specialist vocabulary are key in the presentation of hair and beauty products and services
  • Good quality Speaking and Listening skills are needed when communicating with colleagues
  • Customer services skills require good English skills in speaking and written communication
  • Accurate reading is a vital skill when following instructions in hair/beauty products and treatments
  • Secure English is important when preparing a CV or a business proposal or when advertising/marketing your business

Uniform and kit costs

This course incurs additional costs for uniform and kit. The approximate cost is £190. Please be aware that prices are subject to change each year. Exact costs, as well as information on how to order the required items, will be provided prior to enrolment.  

You may be eligible for The Learner Support fund, which assists college students with course-related costs such as essential uniform equipment and travel. For more information, please visit our Financial Support for College Students page.

Teaching & Assessment (NV)

Teaching and assessment 

There are practical assessments and some written assessment papers in addition to training in a realistic working environment.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Entry Requirements (NV)

Entry requirements

  • Ideally, you will require a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade 3 (grade D) or above.
  • School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance.
  • If you do not have a grade 4 (grade C) or above in English and maths and you are under 19, you will be required to complete an assessment so we can ensure you receive appropriate support. Applicants over 19 are not required to complete maths and English.
  • You should be committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to succeed in the make-up and beauty industry.


Students are required to buy a uniform and a basic set of equipment. To help keep costs to a minimum, these items are available to buy through UCB. If you have any concerns about the cost of the uniform, please discuss this at your interview as we may be able to help.

What will I study? (NV)

What will I study?

  • Applying Make-up
  • Instruction on Make-up Application Including Cleansing
  • Eyelash and Brow Treatments
  • Spray Tanning
  • Bridal Hair
  • The Art of Photographic Make-up
  • LED Gel Polish
  • Body Art Design and Face Painting
  • Display stock and Promote Sales
  • Client Care and Communication in Beauty-Related Industries
  • Health and Safety in the Salon

Your study programme

In addition to your full-time course every student has an individual study programme which ensures that you develop the right skills and experience to progress onto either higher education or gain employment. What’s included in your individual study programme will vary depending on what you have already achieved and your career aspirations.

For example; if you haven’t yet achieved GCSE grade 4 (grade C) in English and maths at 16 you will continue to study these by resits or by taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level. Achieving a good level of English and maths is important so that you can compete in today’s labour market and securing the career you’ve always wanted.

Work placement

Work placement will form an essential part of your individual study programme and all students will be expected to complete an appropriate work placement related to their full-time course.

To find out more about the work placement opportunities for this course, click on the ‘Work Placement’ tab above.

Work Placement (NV)

Work placement

All of our Hair, Beauty and Make-up Student’s attend some form of work placement. The length of time and schedules vary between days and block weeks.  Students gain excellent experience and knowledge from this opportunity, and many gain employment as a result. UCB has excellent industry links throughout the West Midlands. Opportunities are available with salons and spas, theatrical productions and face-painting in schools.

A work placement not only gives you valuable experience, it also:

  • Helps you to apply what you’re learning into practice
  • It gives you a better understanding of how a company or organisation works
  • Helps you to develop essential skills such as time management, social and communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team
  • Enriches your CV
  • Enhances a UCAS application and personal statement should you wish to progress to higher education
  • Helps you to consider wider future employment opportunities

At UCB we have a specialised team of Employability Tutors based in hired@UCB (located on the ground floor of Moss House) who will provide you with the necessary skills in order to source a work placement.

If students are passionate about their career choice, work placements are vital.

A set of achievements, skills, understanding and personal attributes make a student more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupation, which benefits themselves and the work force.

Careers (NV)


Career opportunities greatly depend on your interests. Previous students have gained employment in a wide variety of roles and areas including the cosmetic and skincare retail environment, theatrical productions and freelance make-up artists.

On successful completion of your course, you can progress onto the Level 3 Make-up Artistry or Level 3 Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-Up at UCB.


The team at hired@UCB – is UCB's student placement and careers service. They can help you with advice, information and guidance on finding a job. They can help you develop your work-related skills and support you in preparing your CV and applying for the next step in your career.

Based in new facilities on the ground floor of Moss House, the hired@UCB team comprises specialist staff to help with: 

  • Careers advice and guidance
  • Placements, work experience and volunteering
  • Unitemps – UCB's recruitment agency
  • Employer engagement
  • Part-time and seasonal work
  • Internships, apprenticeships and traineeships
  • alumni support 

Find out more about hired@UCB services.

Profiles (NV)

Student profiles

Read what our current students and alumni love about UCB and how we helped them begin their career in industry.

Taylor Gibbins

Taylor Gibbins

Make-up Specialist

Read more

Paige Rice

Paige Rice

Make-up Specialist

Read more

Ellie Roe

Ellie Roe

Make-up Specialist

Read more