Skip to main content

About the course

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.

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

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. 


Study abroad Foundation year available Built in work experience placement Specialist facilities Further studies

Students have access to our multi-million-pound media academy which houses dedicated make-up and hair design and photography studios.

What does this course lead to?

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.

Who is this course for?

Solent’s makeup and hair design programme is open to students from a range of academic and creative backgrounds, but applicants must supply a simple portfolio alongside their application.

Candidates should aspire to careers in beauty, fashion, editorial styling, brand development, trend forecasting or fashion marketing.

Facts & figures

UCAS Codes icon

UCAS Codes

Full Time

  • 3 Years Standard Entry W453
Fees icon

Fees and Costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2017/18 academic year are:
UK and EU full-time fees: £9,250 per year

Whilst these inflationary fee increases in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Minister, they are still subject to formal parliamentary approval.

The international tuition fees for the 2017/18 academic year are:
International full-time fees: £11,000 per year 

Other costs

The 2017/18 other costs are not yet available, but for guidance the 2016/17 costs were:

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.

Bursaries and scholarships

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

Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • 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.


of students have been able to access general IT resources when needed

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?
Contact our Ask Solent team:



023 8201 3039

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.

How to apply

What you'll study

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

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

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

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

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

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Key figures


Written Exams


Assessment by coursework


Practical exams

Students' work

Meet the course team

Sharon Lloyd academic profile Sharon Lloyd Course Leader View profile
Rachel Lamb academic profile Rachel Lamb Senior Lecturer View profile
Elizabeth Barnett Lawton academic profile Elizabeth Barnett Lawton Senior Lecturer View profile
Jennifer Anyan academic profile Jennifer Anyan Principal Lecturer View profile
Kat Vogart academic profile Kat Vogart Lecturer View profile
Emma Calder academic profile Emma Calder Associate Professor View profile
Chris Overend academic profile Chris Overend Technician Instructor View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Facilities include:

  • 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.

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.

Your future

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.


of students go on to work and/or study six months after finishing the course


of students feel staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching

Industry connections

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.


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.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Visit us

Our next open day is Sunday 13 November 2016

View more open days