Level 2


Course Level

Level 2


1 year full-time


Included in course




View Fees

School of Sport and Creative Services
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£1.3m invested in subject-related practical facilities to support your future career opportunities

Progress onto Level 3 Make-up Artistry/Level 3 Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-Up

Want to take the first step towards a career in make-up? Our Level 2 Make-up Specialist college course provides you with an introduction to the cosmetics and make-up industry, giving you a blend of essential knowledge and practical skills to help forge your way towards your dream job.

This make-up course requires no prior knowledge or experience – only a passion for make-up, face painting and the creative application of products. Training in our well-equipped salons at University College Birmingham, you will benefit from hands-on, practical experience under the guidance of experts. To give you a thorough understanding of the industry, you will learn about areas ranging from make-up application to the art of photographic make-up and client care.

You will also have the opportunity to take on a variety of free additional qualifications in areas such as hairdressing and tanning, as well as boosting your CV with valuable experience by going on a work placement. Whether you aspire to become a cosmetics specialist or freelance make-up artist, completing this course will provide you with an excellent platform for further study and work in this exciting creative sector.

Discover more about this course with our online taster activities, find out how you can take part.

Why choose this college course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Develop practical skills from make-up application to spray tanning, eyelash and brow treatments or bridal hair, as well as client care and other essentials
  • WORK PLACEMENT – From salons and spas to theatre and schools, take on a range of work placement opportunities to put your skills into practice in the real world
  • ENRICHMENT – Boost your CV with a range of additional qualifications alongside your main Level 2 course

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 Application Including Cleansing
  • Eyelash and Brow Treatments
  • Spray Tanning
  • The Art of Dressing Hair (with Bridal Techniques)
  • The Art of Photographic Make-up
  • LED Gel Polish
  • Create an Image Based on a Theme
  • Displaying Stock and Promoting Sales
  • Client Care and Communication in Beauty-Related Industries
  • Health and Safety in the Salon

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 hair dye
  • 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 salon space.

How English will support your career

  • 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 service requires good English skills in speaking and written communication.
  • Accurate reading is a vital skill when following instructions for hair/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 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.

Key information

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.

Additional qualifications and training

To maximise your employment opportunities, you can undertake qualifications in The Art of Dressing Hair, Tanning, LED Gel Polish Application and Create a Look Based on a Theme. This covers 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 you to develop your research.

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and kit costing approximately £190, 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 your Level 2 make-up course, you will attend a work placement. The length of time and schedules vary between days and block weeks, with opportunities available within salons, spas, theatrical productions and face painting in schools.

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
I choose to apply here because of how much detail is in the course. My favourite module is art and photographic make-up, you can do so much with period, fantasy and bridal looks. With all the equipment, I’m able to create many things, I don’t think I could do that elsewhere.

Danae Robinson Make-up Specialist Level 2

Career opportunities

On completion of the Level 2, you could progress onto our Make-up Artistry Level 3 course, or you could pursue a range of employment opportunities within the industry.

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

Make-up artist

Average Salary: £21,161


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


Find out more

Mandy’s Story

With a passion for skincare and beauty, Mandy learned so much more than make-up techniques, enabling her to offer clients ‘a complete package’.

Read Story

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