of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them
Why choose this college course?
- BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Learn how to apply and master specialist make-up techniques and work with artificial hair for film, TV and stage
- WORK PLACEMENT – From working with actors applying stage make-up to replicating special effects for the emergency services, put your skills into practice on real-life work placements
- PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Hone a vast array of practical skills working in our cutting-edge make-up and special effects studios on campus
- MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to keep studying at a higher level? This college course will support your progression to relevant degrees at university
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 cutting-edge make-up studios, prosthetics and special effects studios and a media workshop.
We have two fully-equipped make-up studios on campus where you can hone your practical skills
Our Media Workshop allows you to learn how to perfect your hair and make-up work for the camera and how to light, compose and take professional studio shots
Our prosthetic studios include purpose-built spaces for processes such as creating full theatrical looks, instructing clients on make-up and preparing your model for a photoshoot
Topics you will study
- Hairdressing Techniques for Media Make-up
- Providing Wigs and Postiche for Media Make-up
- Preparing and Providing Character Make-up
- Providing and Removing Special Effects and Media Make-up
- Good Working Relationships with Colleagues, Artistes, Subjects and Production Teams
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.
- Ideally, you will require 4 GCSEs at grade 4/C or above and a relevant Level 2 qualification, preferably in one of the following subject areas: Theatrical and Media Make-up, Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Art and Design, Theatre Studies, History, Performing Arts, Media/Film Studies, Fashion, Photography and Costume Production.
- 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.
- 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 hairdressing industry.
Teaching and assessment
Assessment takes place in a range of realistic working environments, including shows, competitions and theatre productions. You will also be required to complete written 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 £235, or £70 for Level 3 (Top-up), 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.
Need some advice?
Our Schools Liaison team deliver drop-in sessions for you to ask any questions you have about college. Find out more here.
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 this Level 3 make-up course, we provide opportunities for you to experience a theatre production and work with actors in applying stage make-up. Additional opportunities may arise with the emergency services replicating special effects techniques.
Work alongside experts in your sector
A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:
- The Alexandra Theatre (Birmingham)
- Crescent Theatre (Birmingham)
- Hall Green Little Theatre (Birmingham)
- Dovehouse Theatre (Solihull)
- Core Theatre (Solihull)
University College Birmingham helped me to explore my strengths and weaknesses without judgement. I used my coursework to build my portfolio, helping me land jobs, and there were many opportunities to utilise, in industry and to help you excel your business. Explore, learn and grow, and gosh, they give you room to grow.
Note: Some roles below may require further study/training. The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.
Average Salary: £21,161
Freelance make-up artist
Camouflage technician for NHS
Make-up/hair artist for TV/theatre
Make-up artistry lecturer
Average Salary: £39,239
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.