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BA (Hons) Make-Up and Hair Design

Make the human body your canvas – study make-up and hair design

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Do you dream of seeing your make-up and hair designs on the catwalk, in magazines or on the big screen? Take the first step to making this a reality by studying on Southampton Solent University’s highly regarded make-up and hair design degree.

You’ll study the different disciplines for the variety of exciting industries from fashion, beauty, television and film. You’ll also have the opportunity to study units in prosthetics, hair design, wig work or beauty direction and develop your own professional website leaving you well-prepared to apply for graduate positions in a range of roles.

  • Southampton Solent University was voted as one of the UK’s top creative universities in the Which? University 2013 and 2014 student surveys.
  • Students have access to our multi-million-pound media academy which houses dedicated make-up and hair design and photography studios. 
  • The course has strong industry links, with past students enjoying high-profile guest speakers - previous speakers have included Illamasqua who have also contributed to the course by providing competitions and unique opportunities for Solent students.
  • Students studying on the make-up and hair design degree have had opportunities to work on live fashion events,  local and national theatre productions, and a range of TV and film projects.
  • Solent’s collaborative culture encourages students to work on exciting shared projects with students from other fashion design, hair and make-up courses as well other creative courses such as photography, film, television and music.
  • Southampton’s close proximity to London has allowed previous students to travel to prestigious industry events, such as London Fashion Week and Graduate Fashion Week.
  • Our in-house creative agency, Solent Creatives, can also provide opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and work on live client briefs.

The industry

The fashion industry is a fast paced, exciting and rapidly expanding market both in the UK and internationally, with huge potential for graduate employment.

The UK fashion industry contributes £26bn to the UK economy, up from £21bn in 2009, representing an increase of 22% in nominal terms, according to data from Oxford Economics, published by the British Fashion Council. The fashion industry is estimated to support almost 800,000 jobs and is the largest employer of all the UK's creative industries.

Solent’s make-up and hair design degree aims to prepare graduates with the necessary skills to take advantage of the employment opportunities within the styling, make-up and hair design industries.

The programme

Voted as one of the top creative universities in the UK in the Which? University 2013 and 2014 students, Solent is the ideal place for students to develop their creative ideas.

On this highly creative course students are encouraged to develop their creativity and expand their technical and design skills in our industry-standard make-up and hair design studios, which also have a photography studio to capture their work. To support this and further increase their skills, students also have access to image editing facilities in our Mac suites, using the latest Adobe Creative Suite software.

The course places a strong emphasis on developing industry-ready graduates and students are encouraged to apply for work placements to gain hands-on experience. Previous students have had placements at Company magazine, ITV, Trendstop, Illamasqua, Topshop and the BBC.

In previous years students have also had opportunities to work collaboratively with students from other courses across the School of Art, Design and Fashion on client focused projects. Projects have included live fashion events and working on the Solent fashion brochure Anon.

Learning is aided by a programme of guest lectures and a number of high-profile guest speakers have presented to students, providing valuable industry insight into make-up application and innovation, beauty journalism and make-up for special effects. Previous experts who have given input to the course have included Illamsqua and Alex Box, who was awarded an honorary degree by Solent University. 

Our magazine, Anon, showcases the best examples of our fashion students. You can access them by clicking the images below:

anon - issue 3
anon - issue 2
anon - issue 1

Next steps

Think a career as a make-up and hair designer is for you? Southampton Solent’s innovative make-up and hair design degree is the perfect course to nurture your talent and develop the practical design skills for you to launch your career.

Have you got a question about applying?


Don't just take our word for it...

Lara Himpelmann
Kat Vogart
"The BA (Hons) Make-Up and Hair Design course has been instrumental in building my vision as a make-up designer"
  More from Lara
"Over three years of study I have grown as an artist, building my professional portfolio and confidence."
  More from Kat

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry W453

Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
280 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
112 UCAS Tariff points



Year one:


Core units

  • The Fundamentals of Make-Up Design
  • The Fundamentals of Hair and Postiche
  • Make-Up in Motion
  • Digital Image Production 1
  • Digital Image Production 2
  • Contextual Studies – Historical.

Year two:


Core units

  • Contextual Studies – Contemporary
  • Freelance and Industry Management
  • Make-Up and Hair for TV and Film
  • Make-Up and Hair for Fashion and Beauty.


  • Wig Work and Postiche
  • Make-Up for Special Effects
  • Digital Beauty and Editorial Writing
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Model Your Business
  • Curriculum Plus.

Year three:


Core units

  • Work-Based Learning for Fashion and the Creative Industries
  • Professional Context
  • Major Project Research and Development
  • Major Project Production and Evaluation.


  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation and Practice.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course is taught through lectures, seminars, technical workshops, individual study and tutorials, complemented by live industry projects, competitions, masterclasses and client-based work.

Third-year students gain support and formative feedback in weekly tutorial sessions and one-to-one drop-in sessions with the teaching team, providing a personalised feedback on individual projects.

Work experience
The second-year Freelance and Industry Management and third-year work-based learning units focus on career skills, and include support in understanding how to pitch yourself to employers, strengthen your CV and undertake work experience.

You’ll be able to call on the course team’s strong ties with industry in researching and applying for work experience, and previous students have found placements at Notion magazine, London Garment Expo, ITV, Company magazine, Dazed & Confused magazine, Jonathan Saunders, Atelier Mayer, Illamasqua, Trendstop, Sky, Topshop and the BBC.

The course is assessed through a mix of practical and theoretical projects (individual and group), written assignments, case studies, timed practical assessments, presentations and portfolio projects.

Our facilities

  • Make-up and hair studio
  • Photography studios
  • Photographic and lighting equipment, including high-definition (HD) video and DSLR
  • Mac IT labs with Adobe Creative Suite.

Study abroad

The Erasmus exchange programme may give you the opportunity to spend part of your degree studying at one of Solent’s international partner universities.

More information can be found at

If you are a student at one of our Erasmus partner institutions in Europe, then you may have the opportunity to come to the UK and study make-up and hair design units at Solent for either a single term or a full academic year as part of your degree programme.

If you’re studying outside Europe then you may be able to study with us as an exchange student if there is a partnership agreement in place. If you are studying at a university which does not have a partnership agreement with us, then you could apply to study at Solent under our Study Abroad programme.

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry W453

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

The degree provides a range of career options in industries such as publishing, cosmetics, advertising, fashion, music, film, performance and TV, in a variety of roles. You’ll generally start as a trainee or assistant, before moving up to a more senior role and developing your own individual reputation and style. Employment opportunities include:

  • Make-up and hair designer or artist
  • Image consultant
  • Stylist
  • Beauty editor.
  • Advertising and editorial assistant
  • Make-up and beauty brand development
  • Trend forecasting for beauty and fashion.


Links with industry

The course team’s strong ties to the fashion and TV industries provide plenty of opportunities for work experience and industry-focused projects, while industry experts such as photographer Madame Peripetie and make-up artist Alex Box regularly visit and give input to the course.

You’ll also be encouraged to enter or attend industry competitions, masterclasses and demonstrations, as well as undertaking client-based work with professional organisations such as IMATS, Free Range, Illamasqua and Mistair.

Transferable skills

Creative thinking, presentation, research, project management, communication and problem-solving.

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

Previous graduates have found roles with Wonderland magazine, Christian Dior, Premiere Agency, Debbie Walters Agency, Mac, Bobbi Brown and Illamasqua, as well as film and TV work with the BBC.

Examples of graduate roles include:

  • Beauty PR Intern
  • Editorial writer
  • model booker
  • Trainee buyer
  • Colour stylist
  • Make-up artist
  • Visual Merchandiser.


Key facts


Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time

Entry requirements


UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

280 points (for 2016 entry) or 112 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* or equivalent.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points. 
  • UK applicants are required to send an electronic portfolio and may be required to attend an interview.
  • Applicants from outside the UK will be required to send an electronic portfolio and may be interviewed by video call.

Portfolio interview requirements

Before attending your interview or sending us your portfolio, please read the following: Portfolio interview information.

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

Other costs

Compulsory make-up and hair kit and hotshoe costs in year one: £650.
Optional external hard drive and camera in year one: £100.
Optional wig work and postiche and make-up for special effects for optional units in year two: £80-£130.
Optional final year project materials in year three: £500.

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit:

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply


Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.


UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry W453


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