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Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

OVERVIEW If you think you have never seen the work of University College Birmingham students on stage and screen, think again. From the BBC’s Peaky Blinders and Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-up Star to Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and theatre productions such as Dirty Dancing and Matilda, students and graduates from our Specialist Hair and Media Make-up foundation degree have worked on a multitude of major projects – and you could follow in their footsteps. Learning from our experienced lecturers – some of whom have worked on the likes of Game of Thrones – our hair and media make-up course will help you develop a wide variety of advanced practical skills and the know-how to build a freelance business for an exciting career in TV, film, photography or theatre. As the industry requires artists who can work within a range of media settings, you will learn about each environment and gain the specialist skill set you need for the creative industry. Shaping your learning journey through a range of optional modules, you will create a professional portfolio of work that will showcase your technical abilities to future employers. The course also offers diverse placement opportunities ranging from major theatre productions to emergency response exercises, boosting your employment prospects when you graduate. WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

  • Practical application – Take on work experience in a range of settings including theatre, catwalk, film and TV, as well as honing your practical skills in our make-up studios on campus
  • Specialise your studies – Tailor your studies to match your career aims with optional modules covering areas such as character prosthetics or fashion
  • Enrichment – Meet and network with top hair and make-up experts thanks to our excellent industry connections, and boost your digital media skills studying in our Digital Creative Studio
  • Competitions - Put your creative skills to the test in industry contests, such as the National Make-up Awards
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. We have two fully-equipped make-up studios on campus where you can hone your practical skills, while our prosthetic studios include purpose-built spaces for processes such as lifecasting, sculpture, mould-making, artwork and fitting, as well as state-of-the-art extraction facilities. If you're looking to work in the editorial fashion sector, the suite includes an editorial studio where you can learn how to perfect your hair and make-up work for the camera and how to light, compose and take professional studio shots. You will also have the chance to develop new skills in our Digital Creative Studio, featuring state-of-the-art video and audio production facilities including a video production studio with 4K cameras and green screen technology, audio podcasting, vision mixing and editing facilities, as well as high-spec computers with Adobe Creative Cloud software and graphics tablets. PLACEMENTS Supported by our strong working relationships with industry, we encourage students on our course to take up work experience in a range of environments in order to put your training into practice alongside qualified professionals. Employers we have worked with include Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham Conservatoire, The Crescent Theatre (Birmingham), Ann Summers and West Midlands Fire Service (producing special effects for firefighter training). CAREERS AND PROGRESSION Examples of careers you could pursue following this course:
  • Make-up artist
  • Freelance make-up artist
  • Hair stylist
  • Make-up/hair artist for TV/theatre
Upon completion of the foundation degree, you can also progress onto the final year of our full BA (Hons) degree.
  • Please refer to our website for the latest updates to this course



  • Historical Hair and Make-up Studies
  • Pathology of Special Effects Make-up
  • Sculpture and Design
  • Special Effects Make-up
Plus one of two make-up modules (depending on existing qualifications):
  • Artistry Skills
  • Commercial Hair and Make Up
Plus one of two hair continuity modules (depending on existing qualifications):
  • Hair Design for Continuity
  • Hair Design for Continuity (Barbering and Styling)
  • Editorial Imagery
  • Exploring Research in Practice
  • On Set Prosthetics
  • Period Hair and Make-up
  • Professional Identity and Employability
Plus one option from:
  • Character Prosthetic Creation
- Creative Fashion, Make-up and Styling

Assessment method

Note: Indicative information only. Actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction. Please be aware that methods of delivery for this course may be altered due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – for the most up-to-date information, please refer to our website: ASSESSMENT Assessment is 50% practical and 50% academic. Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
University College Birmingham
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Blended Learning Programme: It is desirable that one or more of the following subject matters has been studied at Level 3; - Art - Art and Design - Beauty Therapy - Costume Production - Fashion - Hairdressing - Media or Film Studies - Performing Arts - Photography - Theatre Studies - Theatrical and Media Make-up If you have not studies in one of these subject areas you will receive an offer from our admissions team that will include your attendance at a 2 day blended learning programme, this is an essential part of the entry conditions and will give you a taste for the course and industry. Ensuring you have the skills and desire to achieve on programme. Non-tariff: UCB accepts a wide range of Level 3 qualifications not currently on the UCAS Tariff. These can include a range of vocational Level 3 diplomas and EU qualifications. Depending on the subject matter studied will depend on the pathway you are suitable for (as explained above). To find out if we accept your qualification for entry, please contact the Admissions team directly. Work-based: We equally consider applicants who are currently in work or freelancing within the industry. To be eligible, you must currently be in work demonstrating management or supervisory duties for the past 3 years in a relevant industry to the course you are applying for. A reference from your current line manager supporting your entry to higher education will be requested. Freelance applicants who have been working in the industry must be registered as self-employed and have testimonials that we will assess. Applicants applying based on work experience will be suitable to apply for the Non-Vocational pathway.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
Cambridge English AdvancedLevel B2BA/BSc - Minimum 170 with no less than 160 in any skill FdA/FdSc - Minimum 160 with no less than 150 in any skill
IELTS (Academic)BA/BSc - Overall score of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component FdA/FdSc - Overall score of 5.5 with no less than 5.0 in each component
Institution's Own TestBA/BSc - Overall score of B2 with no less than B2- in in each component FdA/FdSc - Overall score of B2- with no less than B1+ in in each component

To apply for all undergraduate degrees, if your first language is not English, you will need to sit an approved test in English.

UCB English Language Requirements

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £13500 Year 1
International £13500 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

UK: If you are a UK student enrolling on a Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham in 2021/22, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250. A half year tuition fee is £4625. This is a yearly fee, and will increase with inflation in subsequent years (in line with the government’s permitted rise). If you are an English student studying your first higher education qualification, you can apply for a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company. You will not start repaying this loan until you leave the course and are earning over £25,000 a year. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you should apply to Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland, or SAAS. The loans and grants available to you will differ from those available from Student Finance England. UCB does not charge for 24 or 48 week placements. More information about UK Fees please go to our website here - EU and International: More information about International Fees please go to our website here -
Specialist Hair and Media Make-up at University College Birmingham - UCAS