University College Birmingham

Degree level: Undergraduate

Specialist Hair and Media Make-up

Course options

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 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 prosthetics, fashion or working ‘on set’
  • 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
You could also progress onto one of our postgraduate courses at University College Birmingham.
  • Please refer to our website for the latest updates to this course

Course details



  • 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
  • Character Design
  • Innovations and Enterprise Studies
  • The Fundamentals of Postiche Design
Plus one option from:
  • Creative Artist
  • On Set Skills
Plus one option from:
  • Final Major Project
- Research Project

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 during the first two years is 50% practical and 50% academic. The weighting of assessments in the final year depends upon the modules you choose. Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
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Campus name:
University College Birmingham
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

Transferring from another university At University College Birmingham, we consider applications from students who have studied, or are currently studying, a Higher Education course and now wish to transfer universities. What do I need to do? To make an enquiry about studying at University College Birmingham, you will need to complete our online enquiry form -> Consideration for advanced entry will be dependent on the modules of your previous course, and how well this matches to the content of the course you wish to transfer to at University College Birmingham. Additionally, the process will be dependent on the number of credits achieved on your current course. Where similar study is apparent, it may be possible for us to award Recognition of Previous Learning (RPL) and, therefore, advanced entry onto a course at UCB will be permitted. Please note; due to the nature of this process, all applications are considered on an individual basis.

International applicants

All non-EU international students can apply directly via our online application forms: Undergraduate applicants can also apply via UCAS, if they wish to apply to more than one university. The International Admissions team aim to respond to any new application made directly via the online application form within 5 working days of receipt. However, this can vary during peak application periods (particularly January-March) or if the team require additional information to process your application. Applicants who apply to transfer to University College Birmingham on to a second year or final year of a course will have their previous course matched for entry. Each application is considered individually and careful consideration is given to all information on your application form. We may also need to contact you regarding your immigration status or previous studies in the UK.

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. Year 1 Entry: Students who are studying a combination of different qualification types will receive an offer that will be inclusive of all Level 3 qualifications. Advanced Entry: If you are unsure if your previous higher education qualification is suitable please contact us before completing an application, you can call us on 0121 604 1040 or email: [email protected]

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

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Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
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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

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