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Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up Level 3

University College Birmingham
Program overview
1 year
Full time
Diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
Start dates
September 2022

September 2023

September 2024

Program description

Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up Level 3

If you’ve ever dreamed of working in hair and make-up for film, TV and theatre, this is the course for you. Our Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up college course will teach you the specialist techniques you need to get started on your way to an exciting career in a range of creative and dynamic industries.

Our Level 3 media make-up course covers every aspect of advanced make-up techniques for stage and screen alongside other media purposes. Studying in our cutting-edge make-up studios at University College Birmingham, you will learn basic hairdressing, media make-up, wigs and postiche, character make-up and special effects, as well as casting, creating and fitting prosthetic pieces and applying airbrush make-up.

Thanks to our excellent links with the industry, you will have the chance to gain real-life experience on work placements with theatre companies and a range of other practical opportunities. On completing the course, you will have a wealth of options for working within the industry or taking on further study towards your ideal career.

Admission requirements

Our hair and make-up lecturers are looking for students who are committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to succeed in the industry, so please contact Admissions if you do not have the specific requirements outlined below.

If you are unsure if your qualification is equivalent or if you wish to check if you meet the entry requirements for this course, please contact the provider.

Entry requirements

  • If you do not have a grade 4/C or above in English and maths and you are under 19, you will be required to study these subjects alongside your vocational subject. After enrolment you will complete an assessment with our teaching team so we can ensure you receive appropriate English and maths support.
  • A relevant Level 2 qualification in Theatrical and Media Make-up, Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Art and Design, Theatre Studies, History, Performing Arts, Media/Film Studies, Fashion, Photography or Costume Production.
  • 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) or above, or equivalent.
  • GCSE English and Maths at grade 3/D are desirable for entrance but not essential.
  • 2 years’ relevant beauty industry experience. Admissions will be based on your interview performance alongside a reference stating the roles and responsibilities held during your period of employment.
  • School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham.

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Program content

Topics you will study

Mandatory units

  • Apply Airbrush Make-up
  • Camouflage Make-up
  • Media Make-up
  • Fashion and Photographic Make-up
  • Client Care and Communication
  • Health and Safety
  • Apply Prosthetic Pieces and Bald Caps
  • Fantasy Hair for Performers

Optional units

  • Create and Cast Small Prosthetic Pieces and Bald Caps (Theatrical pathway)
  • Design and Apply Face and Body Art (Artistry pathway)

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.

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.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Program delivery

  • Course Duration: 1 year full-time
  • Course Start: September

Tuition fees

Course fee for the course Level 3 - £3,345


Students who achieve Level 3 Diploma In Theatrical Special Effects, Hair And Media Make-up will be automatically guaranteed an offer for Aesthetic Practitioner FdAorSpecialist Hair and Media Make-up FdA.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities

Note: Some roles below may require further study/training. The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

  • Make-up artist: Average Salary £21,161
  • Freelance make-up artist: Variable
  • Camouflage technician for NHS: Variable
  • Make-up/hair artist for TV/theatre: Variable
  • Make-up artistry lecturer: Average Salary £39,239
  • Sales associate: Average Salary £21,849

Contact school

Want to know more about this program, Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up Level 3? 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 of Birmingham 

Based in the heart of the UK’s second-biggest city, University College Birmingham is a specialist university which is highly respected by employers and industry for providing career-focused education and training. Most of our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are accredited by the University of Birmingham,...

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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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Contact school

Want to know more about Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up Level 3? 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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