Spectacular make-up and dramatic special effects can transform a production. Recent graduates have gone on to work on Coronation Street, Pirates of the Caribbean, Pan, Cinderella and James Bond.
Our BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance course gives you the skills you need to play a key creative role in performance, fashion, film or television. The make-up artist is an important member of any production team and you’ll work with students studying acting, film production, costume and fashion to create ‘live’ collaborative projects.
Make-Up for Media and Performance gives you the skills that you need to play a key creative role in performance, fashion, film or television.
Our recent graduates have worked on BBC and ITV productions (such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coronation Street, Casualty, Granchester and The Durrells), films (such as Beauty and the Beast), theatre productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, musicals (such as Wicked, The King and I, Matilda and Priscilla Queen of the Desert), and at Leavesden Warner Brothers and Pinewood Studios.
The make-up artist is an important member of any production team and you’ll have the chance to work with students who are studying Acting, Film Production, Costume and Performance Design, Commercial Photography, Visual Effects, Fashion and Fashion Branding and Communication to create ‘live’ collaborative projects. In this course, you’ll learn a diverse range of make-up skills. You’ll study make-up and hair design for drama, ballet, opera and music. A different perspective will give you the skills for fashion and photography shoots. You’ll also construct wigs and hairpieces, and create prosthetic make-up FX for film and television. In short, you’ll develop skills that are a real asset to a wide range of performance industries, from theatre to TV, and from the music business to the world of fashion and film.
Course duration: 3-years (full-time)
UCAS course code: W45G
UCAS institution code: A66
Level 4 (first year)
The first year (Level 4) of the course is designed to teach you the fundamental creative, practical, analytical and critical skills needed by makeup artists working in various media and performance industries.
Workshops and practical projects will help you to extend existing skills in makeup, wigs and hair design and application through learning about postiche. Interpersonal, communication and employability skills are developed through these units since you will carry out practical make-up and hair projects on one another, models and performers under direction and supervision.
The units will also introduce you to formally recording your work through developing a professional make-up portfolio.
The development of analysis, critical thinking, research, reflection and writing skills are an important part of the course and link with the development of your practical and creative work.
Level 5 (second year)
The second year of your course enables you to build upon the skills and knowledge that you have gained at Level 4 and gives you the opportunity to consider the specialisms and career pathways that you would like to explore in more depth during Level 6 study.
Employability and professional skills are developed through exploring professional makeup contexts, digital technology in makeup, industrial links and collaborative engagement.
You’ll refine your technical abilities and knowledge of the place of the make-up artist within the creative team. You’ll work on a variety of live projects including live performances, shoots and make-up events – an important aspect of the course.
You’ll develop a contextual understanding of the art of make-up transformation and performance work through research.
Level 6 (third year)
Your third year provides the opportunity for you to formulate and identify your particular professional and academic interests.
Risk and ambition within the field will be crucial to your individual development and intellectual and academic integrity will be further encouraged through written work and ‘thinking through practice’.
The structure of Level 6 is made up of units that will further develop your potential to become intellectually motivated and increasingly autonomous professionals.
There is a strong emphasis on balancing conceptual thinking skills, research methods, practical and technical skills, working independently and as part of a team and acquiring lifelong learning skills.
You’ll develop your specialist areas of interest such as prosthetic transformation. You’ll extend your portfolio of work within a range of professional contexts through live projects and collaborations.
You’ll investigate your own practice and develop a philosophical understanding of key critical and contextual issues.
All students are registered for the award of BA (Hons); however, exit awards are available if you leave the course early, having successfully completed one or two levels. If you successfully complete a level of the course, you will automatically be entitled to progress to the next level.
For the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the first year of your course.
For the award of a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 240 credits of which a minimum of 120 must be at Level 5. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the second year of your course.
For the award of a BA (Hons), you must have achieved a minimum of 360 credits of which a minimum of 240 must be at Level 5 or above, of which a minimum of 120 credits must be at Level 6. This qualification will be awarded upon successful completion of your course.
A BA without Honours may be awarded if you have achieved 300 credits, at least 180 of which are at Level 5 or above, and at least 60 of which are at Level 6.
How to apply
Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.
When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66. All of our courses take place on one site, so we don't have a campus code. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more about entry requirements in our application section.
When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.
If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask you to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.
To become a knowledgeable, competent and successful professional make-up artist requires a sincere desire to learn. We're looking for a strong academic entry profile and candidates who display a commitment to learning and who aspire to a career in make-up and special effects for performance, film and television.
Check our gallery section and watch the video providing top tips on how to prepare your portfolio.
Due to Covid-19 and the need for social distance, we will not be able to offer on-campus interviews to applicants this cycle. For courses that require a portfolio review or an audition, the Admissions team will be in touch with you and request a digital portfolio or audition.
We will hold Offer Holder days in Spring and invite applicants to visit the campus and meet the course team, or if you are unable to visit us you will be able to attend a virtual Offer Holder Day.
We’re particularly interested to see evidence of your creative artistic ability and potential. We’d like to see the way you think and work so your portfolio should include examples of investigation and development leading to a two or three-dimensional conclusion.
We like to see your visual understanding of the human body, life drawing, portrait studies, observational drawing and experimental ideas. Examples of any experience in make-up transformation, hairdressing or sculpture work are useful and we would like you to show and tell us about your interest and passion for make-up through your research in sketchbooks, design pages or photographs.
We also expect applicants to show abilities in research, the development of ideas, self-motivation and commitment to this area of study.
Tips for digital portfolios
Universities interviewing for creative courses will expect to be presented with a portfolio to help them understand your ability and range of work. Your portfolio could be your golden ticket into receiving an offer so making sure it’s presentable, well-organised and accessible is essential.
Career opportunities will focus on working closely with directors, designers and other creative departments in film, television, live performance and fashion which could include CGI technicians, photographers, model makers, sculptors, animatronics designers, visual effects artists and fashion stylists.
As graduating make-up artists from AUB, your professional options are wide and varied. With this in mind, the course has been designed to prepare you for a professional career in a diverse range of specialist roles thus giving you the necessary skills to take full advantage of an inspiring and exciting career.
Our Careers and Employability Service is dedicated to supporting you in turning your creativity into a great career. You can read more about this here.
Opportunities that our recent graduates have undertaken include:
Make-up Trainee, Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald (film)
Make-up Trainee, The Durrells (ITV)
Deputy Head of Wigs, La Cage au Folles (musical)
Make-up trainee, Beauty and The Beast (film)
Make-up assistant, The Secret (ITV)
Wig Assistant, The Wig Store
Wig Technician at Pete Own Wigs, Bristol
Wigs and Make-up assistant for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Wigmaker/dresser at Banbury Postiche
Mould-making technicians for the Harry Potter tour
Ministry of Masks, London
Shepperton film studios, Thor 2
Shepperton film studios, John Carter of Mars
Millennium FX prosthetics studio, London
Pinewood Film Studios, Les Miserable
Palace Theatre, London, Singing in the Rain
Dominion Theatre, London, We will Rock You
BBC, Children in Need
BBC, Doctor Who
Channel 4, Gok’s Clothes Road Show
Illamasqua ‘Distinction in Make-up Artistry’: Finalist
Warpaint Make-up Championship, London: Winner
Body Paint Pro at the North Make-up Championships
National Make-up Awards: winner
Brush Wars Fashion Make-up Competition: runner up
‘The Art of Bodypainting’, Olympia