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Specialist Hair and Media Make-up BA (Hons) / FdA

University College Birmingham
Program overview
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
Virtual open day
Virtual open day
Virtual open day
Virtual open day
Start dates
January 2021

September 2021

September 2022

September 2023

Program description

You may have seen our Specialist Hair and Media Make-Up students’ work on BBC’s Peaky Blinders or Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-up Star, or at Dirty Dancing and Matilda in the theatre. If you saw Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, you will also have seen the work of students who mastered their skills at UCB.

Trained by experienced lecturers, some of whom have worked on the likes of Game of Thrones, students on this course will learn a wide variety of advanced practical skills and the know-how to build a freelance business for an exciting career in TV, film, photography and theatre.

The freelance hair and make-up industry requires artists who are able to work within a range of media settings. An understanding of each environment and its individual remit is a key component to your success. The modules will provide you with the specialist skill set you’ll need for the creative industry sector. The course also presents diverse placement opportunities to enhance your employability.

Important attributes alongside your skill-set are crucial to building your professional reputation. These include commitment, reliability and timekeeping skills, as well as the ability to evaluate your work and train your eye to pick up detail. Your ability to communicate effectively with directors, crew, photographers and costume designers, to name a few, is key to your future success in this demanding, yet exciting, industry.

This course will train you to an advanced level in a wide variety of practical skills and give you vital business knowledge to promote yourself, build your business as a freelancer and manage your finances for a career in TV, film, photography and theatre. You will create a professional portfolio of work that showcases your technical abilities to future employers.

During this degree, you will study core modules, but will also have option modules in years two and three. Option modules will allow you to control your own learning journey, advancing your skills in either prosthetics, fashion, postiche or working ‘on set’ (film/TV). 

While you may choose to specialise within a particular field in the future, it is essential to prove yourself and build a reputation within industry first. Who knows where it may lead?

Students studying the FdA will have the option of progressing onto the final year of the BA (Hons).

Program content

Year 1

  • 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)

Year 2

  • Period Hair and Make-up
  • Editorial Imagery
  • On Set Prosthetics
  • Professional Identity and Employability
  • Critical Approach to Research Methods

Plus one option from:

  • Character Prosthetic Creation
  • Postiche
  • Creative Fashion, Make-up and Styling

Year 3

  • Innovations and Enterprise Studies
  • Cultural and Historical Studies
  • Character Design

Plus one option from:

  • Creative Artist
  • On Set Skills

You will also need to choose one of the following to achieve the full 40 credits:

  • Final Major Project
  • Research Project


BA (Hons) Specialist Hair and Media Make-up

Career opportunities

Graduate careers

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to move into a wide variety of areas within the specialist hair and media make-up sector. Graduates have also gone on to work in the fashion image industry, cosmetics or as a freelance hair and make-up artist.

Graduating with this degree will enable you to pursue a career path in:

  • Theatre
  • Film and TV
  • Editorial
  • Photographic studios
  • Catwalk fashion
  • Retail
  • Historical research
  • Corporate events

Successful graduates may choose to continue with further postgraduate studies. University College Birmingham offer a range of postgraduate degrees, including ourMA in Prosthetics for Film and Television. You may also be eligible for a postgraduate loan.

Request info

Want to know more about this program, Specialist Hair and Media Make-up BA (Hons) / FdA? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.


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About this institute

University College Birmingham

University College of Birmingham 

Based in the heart of the UK’s biggest regional city, University College Birmingham (UCB) is highly respected by employers and industry for providing career-focused education and training. UCB specialises in vocational courses in both the Higher Education and Further Education sectors with...

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Why study at University College Birmingham

Why Choose Us?

Your choice of college or university will play an important part in shaping your career and fulfilling your ambitions.

It’s crucial you pick a place that feels right for you – and where you will be happy. It needs to be a university that will help you achieve your goals; a place you can trust.

So why choose University College Birmingham? Where shall we begin…?

The first thing you need to know is that UCB is a compact, specialist institution in the heart of England’s biggest regional city. Birmingham has the buzz of a major city without the inflated London price tag.

The University is big on vocational courses – the majority of which are accredited by the University of Birmingham – and big on linking academic theory to modern workplace skills. It’s also big on you. Our size and teaching philosophy means the focus is on each individual student. At University College Birmingham, you will never be a face in the crowd.

Contact info

University College Birmingham

UCB; Summer Row
B3 1JB Birmingham
United Kingdom

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Request information

Want to know more about Specialist Hair and Media Make-up BA (Hons) / FdA? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


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