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Course summary

Become part of the team behind films and theatre. Your role in hair and make-up will help bring to life the vision of entertainment. Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, with this two year course you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous hub. Why study this subject? The looks you create form a key part of an audience’s appreciation of a production. The hair and make-up industry is a global one, with the right knowledge and skills, your career within this profession could take you all over the world, working on a range of scripts, performances and styles. Why study at Buckinghamshire New University? With a history of delivering expert craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to start your creative career. As part of the Art, Design and Performance School at BNU, you’ll benefit from a practiced-based course, supported by contextual studies. You’ll may also have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the school with other courses, ensuring you are building a varied network, like you would in the real world. Led by a dedicated and experienced course team, you’ll benefit from their industry knowledge and the industry links they bring to the course. You’ll get direct access to guest lectures, who are specialists in the sector, and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and networking opportunities. The University also has a teaching base at the iconic Pinewood Studios, which means there could be opportunities to engage with the community there. You’ll also be able to put your learnt skills and craftmanship to practice, whilst being in the hustle and bustle of the world-renowned studio. As well as this London is only a 30-minute train ride away, enabling you to visit exhibitions, galleries, shows and watch emerging styles, to help you gain inspiration. What facilities can I use? Our Hair and Make-up degree has its own base both on our High Wycombe Campus and at our BNU Pinewood teaching base. These spaces feature equipment such as mirrors and lighting to help you create the styles you want to achieve. What will I study? The practical elements of our course are designed with industry in mind. On the course you will explore pre-production and film set etiquette, which will help you understand the rules, roles and responsibilities of individuals in a production team, as well as explaining who you will report to and the expectations within a professional context. It is key to master different makeup and hair techniques, so we’ll help you explore a range of period eras and how they form the basis for fashion designs. Alongside, your modules in prosthetics and special effect makeup will allow you to experiment with a range of materials to understand what it takes to bring characters to life. It’s not just about crafting something that looks great, it will be your job to create character designs that fit a script. We'll teach you about various period hairstyles and show you how to recreate them. Most importantly you'll understand the history and theory that informs your designs and be able to reflect critically on your practice. You'll get to grips with professional practice and we will help you to develop essential entrepreneurial skills. As many people in this area work as freelancers, we’ll teach you everything you need to know for success, from how to set up to paying taxes and creating a winning portfolio.


Year one Core Modules Editorial Hair and Make-up Design Historical and Contextual Studies Independent Project Introduction to Sculpting and Clay Modelling Techniques Period Hair and Make-up Pre-production and Set Etiquette Advanced Hair and Make-up 1 Body Painting SFX Prosthetics Application Year two Core Modules Advanced Hair and Make-up 2 Character Design and Making Haircutting and Barbering Techniques Contextual Studies for Hair and Make-up 2 Final Major Project Design Proposal Industry Brief Professional Skills and Portfolio Development Final Major Project

Assessment method

How will I be taught and assessed? During this two-year long course, you will benefit from a full schedule where you’ll learn everything you need to know to feel ready for the industry by the time you graduate. This intense degree will make sure you challenge yourself to produce the best looks for your portfolio, whilst gaining as much experience as possible. Learn from experienced lecturers, guest speakers and industry workshops. Your main base will be at our High Wycombe campus, and from there you’ll spend a number of days visiting our BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios. These will both inspire you and help you to understand what the industry of today is really up to. Although majority of the course is workshop-based and practical, you’ll also learn through; Traditional lectures and seminars, led by professionals Masterclasses Wider reading and preparation for lectures and workshop-based classes Visualisation of proposed material Individual and small group tutorials led by industry professionals and business mentors Final Major Project You will also experience visits to outside bodies, such as makeup prep rooms, wig stores, museums, among others, to better prepare yourself for the research activities proposed in the programme.

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

For information about applying to Buckinghamshire New University as an International applicant, please visit

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements


Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
EU £15000 Year 1
International £15000 Year 1

Additional fee information

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Sponsorship information

Buckinghamshire New University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships. For more information, please visit

Hair and Make-up for Film and Performance at Buckinghamshire New University - UCAS