Level 3


Course Level

Level 3


1 year full-time


Included in course


September (2021)


View Fees

Creative Services
Discover more at our next open day

Thursday 18 March 2021

Join an open day

£1.3m invested in subject-related practical facilities to support your future career opportunities

Career opportunities include working in photographic studios, salons or as a freelance make-up artist

Want to know how you can break into the commercial make-up industry? Our Make-up Artistry college course will help you master a variety of specialist make-up techniques and different mediums to get you started on the road to a flourishing make-up career in salons and other commercial settings.

As part of our comprehensive course, you will also cover aspects of advanced make-up techniques for fashion and editorial purposes, as well as a small amount of media make-up including body artistry, airbrush make-up techniques and camouflage make-up. Thanks to University College Birmingham’s links with the industry, you will have opportunities to put your make-up training to the test in the real world on a work placement.

By the time you finish this Level 3 make-up artist course, you will be in a great position to explore a variety of careers in the commercial make-up sector, while the course also provides an ideal platform to undertake further specialist study at higher education level.

Discover more about this course with our online taster activities. Find out more here.

Why choose this college course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Learn how to apply a variety of make-up, promote salon products and services and a range of other specialist skills to support your future career
  • WORK PLACEMENT – We work with companies to offer you valuable placement opportunities, ranging from make-up brands to studios offering bridal and photographic make-up
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Prove your skills through practical assessments supported by our outstanding make-up facilities on campus
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to keep studying at a higher level? This make-up college course will support your progression to relevant degrees at university

Our facilities

University College Birmingham has a range of state-of-the-art teaching facilities and equipment for students on our hair and make-up courses, including purpose-built make-up studios, prosthetics and special effects studios and a media workshop.

Course breakdown

Topics you will study

  • Applying make-up
  • Instruction on make-up
  • Promoting products and services to clients in a salon
  • Camouflage make-up
  • Media make-up
  • Designing and applying face and body art
  • Fashion and photographic make-up
  • Client care and communication in beauty-related industries
  • Monitoring and maintaining health and safety in the workplace
  • Applying airbrush make-up to the face

You will also have an individual study programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to progress onto higher education or gain employment.

Maths and English

To help you secure your dream career, you will also continue developing your maths and English skills alongside your full-time course. If you haven’t achieved GCSE grade 4/C in English and maths at age 16, you will continue to study these through resits or taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level.

How maths will support your career

  • Ratios are very important, for example when mixing colour for body paint and camouflage.
  • Basic addition and subtraction are important in calculating the costs of equipment/products and managing stock.
  • Percentages are key in working out customer discounts.
  • Area and perimeter are important when designing and arranging a studio space.

How English will support your career

  • Accurate spelling and a wide and specialist vocabulary are key in the presentation of make-up and beauty products and services.
  • Good quality speaking and listening skills are needed when communicating with colleagues.
  • Customer service requires good English in speaking and written communication.
  • Accurate reading is a vital skill when following instructions for make-up/beauty products and treatments.
  • Secure English is important when preparing a CV or business proposal, or when advertising/marketing your business.

Entry requirements

  • Ideally, you will require 4 GCSEs at grade 4/C or above and a relevant Level 2 qualification, preferably in cosmetic make-up, hair and media make-up, beauty therapy or hairdressing.
  • We also welcome applicants who are able to present an in-depth portfolio at interview. Places offered will depend on the standard and depth of the portfolio provided (at the lecturer’s discretion).
  • School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance.
  • You should be committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to succeed in the make-up and beauty industry.

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.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Alongside training in a realistic working environment, the majority of your assessments will be practical, with some written assessment papers.

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

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and kit costing approximately £145, depending on the items you purchase. (Prices are subject to change each year – exact costs and information on how to order required items will be provided to you 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.


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements offer a wealth of benefits alongside your studies, helping you put your learning into practice, develop your skills and understanding of the workplace, boost your CV for your chosen career or enhance your UCAS application for higher education. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

As part of our college make-up course, you will gain valuable real-world experience on a work placement in the commercial make-up sector, including brand make-up companies and studios offering services in applying bridal and photographic make-up.

Work alongside experts in your sector

A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:

  • Alyn Waterman Make-up and Hair Design
  • Anastasia Photography
  • Anawim Women's Centre
  • Bentley House student accommodation
Studying this course was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I learned so many things that will help me in industry. These varied from camouflage I can use to help NHS patients to high fashion make-up for TV and film. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and everyone was amazing.

Maddie Wilde-Way Make-up Artistry Level 3

Career opportunities

Note: Some roles below may require further study/training. The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Make-up artist

Average Salary: £21,161

Freelance make-up artist


Camouflage technician for NHS


Editorial artist for photoshoots


Make-up artistry lecturer

Average Salary: £39,239

Sales associate

Average Salary: £21,849

Aspiring to a higher level career? Complete this course and you could progress onto our Specialist Hair and Media Make-up degree.


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


Find out more

Laura’s Story

Laura discovered a passion for special effects and prosthetics on her college course and plans to build her skills at degree level.   

Read Story

Take the next step...


Back to top