Creative Hair Media Makeup model with blue overlay

Creative Hair and Media Makeup

Foundation Degree

Study Creative Hair and Media Makeup at University Centre Leeds

Excel behind the scenes with our Creative Hair and Makeup Foundation Degree. This creative course, delivered in our bespoke makeup facilities within a working television studio, allows you to develop a wide range of skills demanded by the competitive media makeup industry. This programme has strong industry links and an emphasis on practical learning to prepare you for a successful career as a makeup artist in a range of settings such as film and TV, fashion and theatre. Our recent graduates have gained work on productions such as Prime Suspect, Maleficent 2, Cruella, Peaky Blinders, Gentleman Jack and for companies including Opera North, The Grand Theatre, Kat Von D, Illamasqua, MAC Cosmetics and Urban Decay.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Venue: Quarry Hill Campus and Prime Studios
  • Fee: £9250 (£8745 for tuition fees and £505 for kit fees) per academic year for UK students
  • UCAS Course Code(s): 8F72
  • UCAS Institution Code: L21
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Validated By: Luminate Education Group
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Creative Hair and Media Makeup

Our programme blends academic study with industry insight to provide a comprehensive understanding of the industry. We encourage professional development, so as you study, you’ll gain valuable industry experience. You will be taught in a variety of ways including lectures, demonstrations, sketchbook workshops, critiques, discussions and presentations, while building your professional portfolio.

As you study, you’ll have the opportunity to choose optional modules to learn the specialist skills you desire from our experienced lecturers, such as special effects and prosthetics makeup, fashion and editorial makeup, body art,  creative hair styling and wig knotting, giving you a wide and varied breadth of skills in different sectors. You’ll have opportunities to showcase at events and work backstage on productions and shoots, helping you to build your professional portfolio. We regularly invite industry experts; previous guest speakers have included Kate Benton (Last Kingdom, Hugo, Love Actually), Stuart Bray (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who), Dan Wood (  and Laura Lawrence (Peaky Blinders) to deliver talks or to run makeup masterclasses.


This course is validated by Luminate Education Group

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Creative Arts Facilities

As you study, you’ll learn specialist skills from our experienced lecturers such as special effects makeup, prosthetics makeup, hair cutting skills for continuity and wig/facial hair piece knotting. You’ll have opportunities to showcase your work at events and work backstage on productions and shoots, helping you to polish your professional portfolio and enhance your CV. We regularly invite industry experts, previous guest speakers have included Kate Benton (Last Kingdom, Hugo, Love Actually), Stuart Bray (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who)  and Laura Lawrence (Peaky Blinders)  to deliver talks or to run makeup masterclasses.

You will train in our bespoke settings at Prime Studios, located next to ITV studios and in our recently built facilities in Quarry Hill Campus in Leeds Cultural Quarter, neighbouring The Playhouse Theatre. You’ll also have the opportunity to gain practical experience with local companies such as Leeds Grand Theatre and Carriageworks Theatre on local film and tv productions and at events such as the IMATS and United Makeup Artists Expo.

We are proud to work with: 

We are part of Screen Yorkshire’s Connected Campus initiative which works to forge closer links between TV and Film professionals, production companies, broadcasters and students. Through this initiative you will have access to a range of boot camps, masterclasses and special events, including visits to live sets and studios, industry workshops, visiting speakers and the opportunity to gain feedback on your work from industry professionals. The scheme is encouraged and supported by the broadcasters based in the region, including Channel 4, the BBC and ITV.

We are also members of Film Buddy UK who offer bespoke employability services to encourage, inspire and assist students directly into work experience placements and employment within the Film, Television & Creative Media Industries. UCL Creative Arts students have free registration with the company throughout their studies and have access to live Q and As with some of the world's leading specialists, mentoring support, access to work experience opportunities and FB-1, an online catalogue of interviews and podcasts with specialists from the screen industries.

How to Apply

If you would like to apply for to study full time, please do so via UCAS.

The institution code for University Centre Leeds is L21.

The application fee for applying through UCAS is £27.50.

Apply via UCAS

If you are a student currently studying at Leeds City College, Keighley College or Harrogate College and if all of the following applies:

  • you do not already have an application with UCAS
  • you only wish to study your full time undergraduate course with University Centre Leeds
  • should you be successful in your application and enrol onto this course, you agree to us submitting a record of prior acceptance (RPA) application to UCAS on your behalf 

Then you can make a direct application via the following link:

Internal Students - Direct Application Form

For further information in regards to this please email

Course Information

Our modules focus on skills development and may include:

Year 1

  • Fundamental Techniques for the Inclusive Artist – This module introduces students to the fundamental practical techniques necessary for the  professional hair and makeup artist. This module is designed to build knowledge and understanding of skills in order to build students’ confidence in working with diverse clients and models as well as developing their practical and creative skills. 
  • Character Design and Application – This module will introduce the skills required to design and create character makeup suitable for lens-based media. The module encourages a creative approach and practical understanding of the process of make-up design with special effects for fashion and editorial and prosthetics sectors.
  • Creative Professional – To be successful in the industry creatives need to constantly refine and develop their work, network with other practitioners and keep abreast of current trends and working practices. During this module, students will look inwards and produce a personal development plan, which will be referred to and updated throughout the programme.
  • Creative Hair and makeup – The purpose of this module is to introduce students to creative hair and make-up design techniques. This will allow students to develop an understanding of the processes of constructing and exhibiting artistic hairstyles and make-up effects that are appropriate to the context; whilst understanding the relationship and necessity of applying both hair and make-up skills to create a comprehensive look. 
  • Historical influences in Hair and Makeup – This module will develop students’ research and independent study skills to form critical analysis and interpretation of historical periods through the perspective of hair and make-up.

Year 2 

  • Working in the Makeup Industry – Throughout a series of taught sessions, students will explore theories to inform industry practices within the relevant creative industries and their importance in relation to their chosen sector. Students will also develop an understanding of experiential learning through a series of guest workshops, thus providing a framework for which the student sets out the learning objectives to be met during a work-based opportunity.
  • Managing a Showcase Event – In this module students will be given the opportunity to propose and design a creative project displaying both portfolio work and live installation to an audience, building entrepreneurial skill and giving them an individual artistic presence.
  • Prosthetics Makeup for Film and TV – Optional module – The purpose of this module is to introduce the techniques and processes for the making and application of prosthetic led characterisation. This includes gaining confidence and independence with industry led, current skills and processes of life casting, flat moulding, colouring and application specifically for Film and TV productions. 
  • Creative Postiche – Optional module – This module introduces students to facial postiche making to meet the requirements of a set client brief within a chosen context. Students will develop an appreciation of the essential skills needed to construct and dress facial hair pieces using complex techniques creatively.  
  • Fashion Makeup Trend Forecasting – Optional module – This module aims to communicate key knowledge and understanding relating to trend forecasting and its place within the media makeup industry. The ability to identify current trends is an essential tool to accurately predict future desires of brands and consumers. Identifying the latest trends and creating innovative makeup designs is fundamental to the role of a modern-day makeup artist.
  • Advanced Fashion and Editorial techniques – Optional Module – The purpose of this module is to develop students’ creative makeup skills with a focus on the fashion and editorial industries. With teaching of advanced techniques, including body art, this module will allow students to create work according to current industry standards and expectations.
  • Avant Garde Hair and Wig Techniques – Optional Module – The module aims to deliver the fundamental skills required when providing bespoke hairpieces and hair styling for fashion and photographic work. 
  • Cutting for Continuity – Optional module – The module aims to develop hairdressing skills that reflect and represent the multicultural backgrounds of actors when working as a makeup artist on set. The module has been designed to enable students to develop appropriate hair cutting, styling and barbering skills to meet the needs of the film and TV industry. 

The optional modules available will be determined at the start of the academic year.

All students are expected to undertake relevant work related learning experience as part of the programme of study.  The length or type of work experience is not prescribed. It is expected, in order to meet industry expectations, that students will be required to purchase a professional equipment kit.

Benefits of studying with us:

  • Creative and technical skills appropriate to your practice
  • Enhancement of employability and career prospects within the world of fashion and editorial makeup
  • Opportunity for networking, work experience and industry links
  • Engagement with guests specialists throughout the programme
  • Study within a thriving local fashion scene
  • Critical thinking, study skills, academic writing and time management strategies
  • The opportunity to work collaboratively with other creative arts students on ideas and creative projects
  • Entrepreneurial and self promotion skills 
  • To gain experience working on live work-based projects
  • Free membership to Film Buddy UK
  • Part of Screen Yorkshire’s Connected Campus initiative

All assessments reflect current industry expectations and practices and may include:

  • Practical applications
  • Portfolio work
  • Campaign spreads
  • Vlogs
  • Showcase exhibition
  • Pitch presentations
  • Research folders
  • Reflective logs


UCAS Tariff Points: 32 UCAS tariff points from one A-level (or equivalent qualifications), in a relevant subject

A Levels: 2xD grades, one of which must be in a relevant subject.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma: MP, MPP grade in relevant subjects.

Access to HE Diploma: Overall pass with 60 credits, with 24 credits to be at a Merit grade in a relevant subject.

VTCT Level 3 Diploma: Pass in a relevant subject.

T Levels: Acceptable in a relevant subject.

IELTS: IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any component.

International qualifications: International qualifications will be assessed against these criteria.

Mature applicants: University Centre Leeds welcomes applications from mature applicants who may not have met the academic criteria but can demonstrate a wealth of experience in their chosen field. Candidates in this category and otherwise are likely to be interviewed to assess their suitability for the course and may be asked to provide a portfolio of evidence to support their application.

*21 years and over at the start of the course

RPL claims: The course structure actively supports claims for Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL).

Interviews / audition: A successful interview and portfolio review are required.

References: An appropriate reference desirable. 

Applicants will be invited to a group information session followed by a 1-1 interview where they will present a practical portfolio of their work. This can include: Examples of makeup and hair designs and applications, sketchbook work and artwork/creative skills.

To support you with practical aspects of course, you will need a professional makeup and hair kit which uses the highest quality and professional standard products from industry reputable brands.

To ensure that you obtain the best deal possible, for industry recognised professional branded quality products that will set you up in your future career, your kit will be ordered through the College.

As we recognise this is a lot of money to pay upfront at the start of your course, we have made arrangements for you to be able to apply for this cost to be added to your tuition fee loan from Student Finance England, which would mean that your loan would be for £9250 for Year 1 of the programme. The tuition fee for Year 2 will be £7950. If taking this option please note that your kit can only be issued to you once proof of your loan is received by the college.

Optional expenses may include:

  • £10 professional photoshoots at the end of practical assessments
  • Any additional resources individual to own projects
  • Approximately £30 Prosthetics Event Trip
  • £20 Hoodie
  • Trips or excursions including work experience opportunities

This course will be delivered from:

  • Quarry Hill Campus – Access to industry standard makeup studios, Mac suites, TV studio, lecture theatre, photography studio, drawing Tablets and alternative devices 
  • Prime Studios – Bespoke makeup training facility set in a working television studio
  • All students receive a Google Chromebook when they enrol onto the course that they keep throughout their studies and beyond

On completion of this programme progression opportunities include:

  • 1 yr BA (Hons) Top-up
  • Cosmetic Retail Manager
  • Freelance hair and makeup makeup artist 
  • Content Creator
  • Hair/wig stylist for film and TV
  • Special effects makeup artist
  • Makeup artist or wig specialist for theatre environments
  • Bridal and photographic environments

For the latest version of the programme specifications for this course please click here.

For the latest version of the course handbook for this course please click here.

For the latest version of the Leeds City College regulations please click here.




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  • Wednesday 6 December (4-7PM) - Creative Arts On-Campus Open Event

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