Makeup Courses

Start Date
Full Time

Programme Specification

This two-year higher education course enables you to develop awareness of the media industry, learn the technical skills required to work as a specialist hair and makeup artist and build a professional portfolio. You will have practical sessions and theory through art and contextual studies, combined with IT and professional studies. The course focuses on working in the film and television industry, but will include aspects of fashion and media. The course aims to:

  • Develop your general ability in Fashion, Film, TV and Media makeup through effectively using and combining knowledge and skills gained in different parts of the programme
  • Provide specialist studies in Specialist Makeup, hair and wig applications
  • Provide a programme of study to teach new skills and develop your individual practice, within the culturally diverse environment of west London
  • Provide enhanced tutorial support to help develop your educational and vocational abilities, and the personal qualities and attitudes required to adapt to the demands of an ever changing industry
  • Provide the foundation for a range of technical and creative careers in Specialist Makeup
  • About the Course

    You will develop specialist hair and makeup skills whilst building a professional portfolio. This is a vocational study programme with an emphasis on practical learning in hair and makeup. The course focuses on working in the fashion, beauty, media, film and theatre sectors.

    Course content is regularly reviewed to reflect changes in the industry.

    You will study:

    Year 1

    Unit 19 Creative Arts Professional Practice 15 credits
    Unit 20 Creative Arts Research Skills 20 credits
    Unit 40 Mask Design and Construction 15 credits
    Unit 78 Design Exploration for Makeup in Performance Arts 15 credits
    Unit 3 Contextual and Cultural Referencing in Art and Design 15 credits
    Unit 32 Historical Context in the performing Arts 15 credits
    WTC Period, Hair, Makeup and Wig Dressing 15 credits
    Unit 38 Managing a Creative Business

    Year 2

    WTC TV and Film Hair and Makeup 15 credits
    WTC Current Trends in Hair and Makeup 15 credits
    Unit 51 Preparation, Process and Production in the Creative Arts 20 credits
    Unit 16 Costume Design Concept 15 credits
    Unit 27 Design Techniques and Applications for the Performer 15 credits
    Unit 52 Production Management in the Creative Arts 15 credits

    You will also study common skills throughout the course:
    • Managing and developing self
    • Working with others
    • Communicating
    • Managing tasks and solving problems
    • Applying numeracy
    • Applying technology
    • Applying design and creativity

    You will spend a minimum of 14 hours at college per week. At least 80% of this time will be spent with a professional lecturer. In addition to this you will be expected to work independently.

    Course Fee: £5900

  • Additional Costs

    Additional Fees

    Up to £1,500 hair and makeup kit.

  • Entry Requirements

    This course has an international reputation and demand for places is extremely high. The standard minimum entry qualification is an A Level, National Diploma or equivalent, preferably supported by a pass in GCSE English.

    We encourage mature students to enter with a pass in an appropriate Access Certificate. For some students over 19, and particularly for those over 21, we consider other background and experience in the media industries and may accept students without formal qualifications.

    All students are interviewed with portfolios of their art & design or makeup work before an offer is made. The International Office will organise an appropriate interview for overseas students: telephone or portfolio as required.

    If you need advice before you apply, please call 020 8326 2020 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Progression

    The HND equips the graduate with the skills and knowledge required for a career path into the fashion, film, television, media and retail industries as a makeup artist, special effects makeup artist, wig or makeup designer.

    Progress to university and convert your HND into a BA (Hons) degree with one more year of study, or find employment in the industry. Recent graduates have worked as freelance makeup artists; as wig assistants at the English National Opera, the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre, and for West End theatre productions such as Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, Billy Elliott and Dirty Dancing; as assistant makeup artists for BBC productions such as Waking the Dead, The Pre-Raphaelites and Emma and films such as Harry Potter and St Trinians 2; and as retail makeup artists for top cosmetics companies MAC, Bobbi Brown or Illamasqua Cosmetics.

    Our students have also won prestigious international makeup artist competitions such as the World Body Painting Championship in 2007 and 2009 and the International Makeup Artist Trade Show competition in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

  • Assessment Method
    Assessment is continuous throughout the academic year and is in the form of photographic work, log books and research.
    • Internal Verification of assignment briefs and assessment standards
    • External moderation of samples of work by External Examiner
    • Public displays of work, inside the college and at external venues, to show standards of work.
    Assessment conforms to Edexcel regulations.

How to Apply

Please apply via or click the "apply now" button below and fill out the online application form. An adviser will be in touch regarding interview dates.

Course Info

Courses for Adults 19+,Higher Education

Full Time

Level 5

Location Isleworth

Start Date 26/09/2022

BTEC (EdExcel) Higher National Diploma JACS Code: 254W Institution Code: W65 Date of production: December 2003 Date of revision: June 2005 Further revision: September 2008

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West Thames College

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* Based on overall performance for students aged 16-18 across all levels in 2018-19

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