Specialist Hair and Media Make-up BA (Hons) Top-up

Overview (NV)

BA (Hons) Top-up

Course length
1 year full-time
UCAS code
Fees (Home/EU)
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Fees (International)
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This final year of the BA Specialist Hair and Media Make-up course will enable you to explore the current industry sector in order to either start your own enterprise or find a gap in the market in which to innovate your own unique materials, products or designs. You will focus on the art of building a character, from a designers point of view as well as carry out in depth research relating to cultural and historical aspects of hair and make-up.

The final year top-up is also an opportunity for you to research and explore new industry ideas and possibly apply these techniques to incorporate within your final year project. Developing a specialism relevant to your future career aspirations is really important for those make-up artists hoping to pursue a career in film, TV or theatre.

Why should I choose this course?

  • During the final year top-up course, 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.
  • UCB has an excellent reputation within the specialist hair and media make-up industry. Our contacts regularly provide guest lectures on new products and treatments. This ensures our courses keep pace with new trends and cutting-edge technology.

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught to develop your technical skills through demonstrations and lecturer support in the learning of specialist techniques. There will also be lectures, timetabled workshops, case studies and guest speakers. 

Assessments will be made on your technical skills, written assignments, presentations and your final year project.

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

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.

Kick-start scheme

As a new student studying this degree full-time, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (eligibility criteria applies). The scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You could even qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Open days

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 & Assessment (NV)

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

Individual Study

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.

Entry Requirements (NV)

Entry requirements

Academic: A relevant HND or a foundation degree in the areas of Theatrical Media and Hair, with 240 credits.

If you are unsure if your previous qualification is suitable please contact us before completing an application, you can call us on 0121 604 1040 or email: direct@ucb.ac.uk

EU/international students

Academic: European and International qualifications studied in a relevant subject matter will also be considered applicants will need to have achieved 120 ECTS or equivalent (European Credit Transfer)  

If you are unsure if your previous qualification is suitable please contact us before completing an application, you can call us on 0121 604 1040 or email

EU: euadmissions@ucb.ac.uk

International: International@ucb.ac.uk

Modules (NV)


Cultural and Historical Studies Innovations within Make-up Artistry Postiche Design for Performers The Art of Film

Research option

  Please note
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.
Placements (NV)

Work placement

You are encouraged to gain work experience throughout this course because it is a great opportunity to put what you have learned into practice alongside qualified professionals. Over the years we have developed close working relationships with leading fashion brands, musical and theatre directors and local community services so that we can offer you a wide range of placement opportunities alongside your studies.

Work placements have included working on set for plays or doing make-up for musicals, taking part in community projects, working on emergency services training days and working with models for high-couture and luxury clothing brands and taking part in London Fashion Week.

Our hired@UCB team will make sure that you are well-matched for your placement and support your progress throughout your work experience.


"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."

Hannah Forbes
Employability (NV)


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:

  • Theatre
  • Film
  • Television
  • 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. 

Located on the ground floor of Moss House, 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.

Profiles (NV)

Student profiles

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

Kari Roberts

Kari Roberts

Specialist Hair and Media Make-up

Read more

Monica Montalvo

Monica Montalvo

Specialist Hair and Media Make-up

Read more