From big budget TV dramas and major feature films to original streaming series, the world of high-end production is growing rapidly and the industry is crying out for prosthetics experts with the skills to wow audiences*.
Led by industry experts that have worked on everything from Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy to Doctor Who, our MA in Prosthetics for Film and Television provides creative professionals with the advanced techniques, methodology and technical know-how to create unique characters for the screen in this exciting, but highly-competitive, sector.
Almost 60,000 people now work in the film industry and in direct response to a call from screen employers and workers for better education and skills training that matches job roles, this industry-approved course is designed to give you a clear graduate advantage in what is predominantly a freelance-driven industry.
Learning technical skills in our cutting-edge prosthetics suite, complete with editorial studio to photograph and screen test your work for your portfolio, you will also learn how to deal with complex issues behind-the-scenes, particularly the ability to change and refine designs as a production progresses.
Whether you are workshop or set-based, prosthetics professionals also need to be able to duplicate their work many times, work to a fast pace and manage continual developments from the producers and directors, so you will be armed with the skills and resilience to meet these challenges, making you a sought-after member of any production team, in the UK and globally.
There is a clear focus on honing both analytical skills and applying practical skills, from sculpting in both clay and digital mediums and detailed prosthetics make-up, and to creating realistic body parts to simulate surgical procedures.
With a voluntary placement a vital part of the course, this course will, crucially, prepare you to answer the most diverse commercial briefs, build on your entrepreneurial skills and ensure you are ready to go out and make your mark.
*Screen Skills - High-end television UK workforce in 2018 research report
What our staff, students and industry say
Credited for my prosthetics work on season five and six of HBO’s Game of Thrones, it was an honour to be awarded two Emmy Award certificates for my contribution to the show in 2015. I have 12 years’ experience working as a freelancer in the prosthetic make-up industry, being lucky enough to work on high-profile television productions including multiple series of BBC’s Doctor Who, Atlantis, and Being Human along with Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Patient Zero. As part of a prosthetics team, I also very much enjoyed creating realistic prosthetics and props on medical television dramas such as Bodies and Critical. I have also been fortunate to work in the prosthetics department on films including Inkheart, The Wolfman, Frankenstein, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Dracula Untold, Disney’s Tarzan and Heart of the Sea. Moving from industry into teaching to share my passion, experiences and knowledge with the next generation of prosthetic artists, I am delighted to lead as programme manager for this MA, which has been designed to meet current industry demands using the latest materials and techniques.
Alexandra Wathey, Programme Manager
The course will allow students to compete with advantage when seeking employment. Working successfully from a concept brief through to a final presentation is a hugely important and relevant part of the industry.
Stuart Conran, Freelance SFX and Prosthetic Designer/Supervisor
Why should I choose this course?
- Excellent facilities – Our purpose-built prosthetics workshops are fully equipped for everything from sculpting, fibreglass and resin mould making to casting of silicone and foam latex prosthetic pieces. You will be able to use these for modules including Concept Artist and Character Essentials. There is also an editorial studio to photograph and screen test your work for your portfolio.
- Practical application – We have strong industry links and you will have the opportunity to undertake invaluable work placements with professionals in the commercial world, helping you build your skills and experience to work in your area of choice within the sector. We have worked with everyone from Pretty Hate Productions to the BBC. You will also receive support from hired@ucb.
- Expert teaching – Assessments have been tailored to enable students to work with industry professionals, including lecturers who have created incredible prosthetics for the likes of Game of Thrones and Doctor Who.
- Guest speakers – As part of your course, you will hear from a diverse mix of guest speakers with immense experience and real insight into the industry. Crucially, this could also open doors into the industry for you.
Working alongside industry professionals, you will learn in our purpose-built prosthetics workshops, an environment designed to encourage innovation and inventiveness.
The two suites are fully equipped to allow for a wide range of industry-led processes, including sculpting, fibreglass and resin mould making and casting of silicone and foam latex prosthetic pieces.
If you’re looking to work in the editorial fashion sector, the prosthetics suite also includes an editorial studio to learn how to perfect your hair and make-up work for the camera and how to light, compose and take professional studio shots. The suite also has extraction facilities to ensure the health and safety of learners.
Uniform and kit costs
This course incurs additional costs for uniform and kit, which is up to £500. Please also 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.
Our open days are designed to give you as much information as possible about University College Birmingham and the areas you are interested in studying. Come along and we may make you an offer on the day.
Teaching and assessment
The course will be delivered by a variety of methods, including lectures, demonstrations, experiential and reflective learning, all supported with additional workshop time. You will have the opportunity to interact with guest speakers and leading specialists from industry.
You will also be expected to engage with independent reading and research to ensure an interactive and personalised learning experience. Your work will undergo industry-led processes, such as screen testing, continuity and character transformations within classes.
You will be assessed by a range of methods to encourage the development of a full portfolio of your own work. These include: filmed screen tests, reflective journals, CPD work logs, reports, practical skills exhibitions, sculpture maquette and 3D designs case studies.
Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.
Academic: A grade classification of 2:2 is required or international equivalent.
A subject-related UK or International honours degree from a recognised institution (with a sound level of prosthetics make-up).
Submission of a portfolio and a cover sheet authenticating your work
You may be invited to meet with the teaching team for an interview if your portfolio is successful to discuss your work.
Your portfolio should show us who you are as an artist and we want you to pick the work that you have completed over your career or studies that you are proudest of. Please see this as an opportunity to show us the visual diary of your progression and the skills sets you have mastered to date.
Your portfolio will demonstrate a strong commitment to the subject area and will display certain specialist skills, which will be developed further in the first year of the course.
Upon submission of your application, you will be given information on how to submit your portfolio.
What do we want to see in your portfolio?
We require you to submit no more than 15 images (maximum) showcasing your work, which should have an artistic style running through it. Your portfolio should be well-edited, dynamic and strong.
Please submit a cover sheet that validates the work as your own, this can be an explanation of how the work you have submitted has been completed.
What will we be assessing?
We will be assessing the following fundamental areas;
- Awareness of practice
- Knowledge of discipline
- Innovation and individuality
We will evaluate your engagement with prosthetic concepts, as well as your level of artistry skills.
We want to also see your individuality come through within your portfolio.
EU/international students: For entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.
If you have any queries, please email: email@example.com.
Prosthetics for Film and Television MA
The modules listed on the website for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. Unless otherwise stated,
the modules listed above for this course are for students starting in the academic year 2020/21. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules and if this occurs,
we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.
We will work alongside employers to enable you to form connections for work placement after the first year of study. You will have developed the skills, confidence and resilience required to take on industry-led work opportunities. It should be noted that placement opportunities are quite often at short notice and require travel, so it will be crucial to prepare for this.
Career progression will be enhanced by gaining a master’s degree and completion of the MA Prosthetics for Film and Television will position you, as a postgraduate, to compete with advantage in the labour market.
Job roles within the sector consist of the following categories within the film and TV industry:
- Prosthetics supervisor
- Prosthetics technician
- Senior prosthetics artist
- Prosthetic artist
- Junior prosthetic artist
- Make-up designer
- Make-up supervisor
- Make-up artist
- Prosthetic supervisor
- Make-up assistant
- Crowd supervisor
- Design/concept artist
- Mould maker
- Runner/casting specialist
- Working on set
All of the roles listed are highly skilled.
hired@UCB is our 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 ground floor of our Moss House campus, the hired@UCB team comprises 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 and apprenticeships
- Graduate schemes and alumni support
- Unitemps – UCB's recruitment agency
Find out more about hired@UCB services.