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About the course

Nurture your individual design identity and develop professional artistry skills on this stimulating and creative make-up and hair design course – ready to launch a dynamic career as a make-up and hair designer.

On this course you will explore the many contexts of make-up and hair design within the creative industries. You will also be encouraged to take an experimental approach to application, materials and creative development processes to produce innovative and contemporary design work. This includes make-up and hair styling for fashion editorial, wig work for theatre, TV, and alternative design contexts (eg, publications, galleries and the catwalk). And to enable you to operate across design platforms, you will be trained in photography, film and digital publishing.

We emphasise diversity and inclusion within design, while debating beauty ideals, gender politics and the changing face of identity. Throughout the course you will also be encouraged to embrace and develop new ways of working, alongside the study of historic and contemporary make-up and hair techniques for fashion, beauty, theatre, TV and film.

You will study in well-equipped studios and workshops, ranging from make-up, hair and special effects studios, to photography studios, IT suites, as well as access to a comprehensive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You will be taught by a team with strong reputations as practicing professional designers or researchers, as well as visiting lecturers, a dynamic programme of industry speakers, and international visits.

Situated within the School of Art Design and Fashion, the course also provides you with the opportunity for cross-programme collaborations to help you contextualise your place within the prosthetics and special effects industry, offering you a rich and stimulating education and preparing you for future employment.

In your final year of study, you will have the opportunity to apply to work with our professional make-up team at London Fashion Week, across a range of national theatre productions, or at Graduate Fashion Week in London.

You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

Critical debate surrounding design is central to the teaching programme, which involves all students in the wider debates about making and thinking about design practice for the creative industries.

What does this course lead to?

Make-up and hair graduates from Solent are renowned for their excellent design conceptualisation skills and clear understanding of the requirements of industry, alongside an innovative and professional approach to the discipline.

The course will transform your understanding of this area, and provide you with a wide range of career options as a make-up designer in the creative industries. From working within creative direction, to pursuing a career in advertising, fashion, beauty, TV, film or theatre, you will leave this degree with the creative skills to formulate, design and present self-initiated outcomes to start a fantastic career in this ever-evolving industry.  

Who is this course for?

This course is ideally suited to students who wish to use the subjects of make-up and hair to design and develop new approaches within image construction for fashion, beauty, TV, film and theatre. 

Applicants should have previously studied a creative subject (previous experience in make-up and hair is not required) and have a portfolio of design work to present for interview.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,800 per year

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

Compulsory costs

You will be required to purchase the following equipment during your studies:

Year 1: Make-up and hair kit £850
Year 2:  Make-up morgue £122.20 (option one, module of study)
Year 3:  Radical bodies £315.03 (option two, module of study)

Optional costs

Optional trip to Paris the cost is based on current air fares and hotel prices (£276)
Optional trip to New York the cost is based on current air fares and hotel prices (£864)
Optional trip to Shanghai the cost is based on current air fares and hotel prices (£1,130)

Bursaries and scholarships

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.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 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. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • 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.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Design Foundation Year.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

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 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
  • 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.

Pre-Sessional English programme

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.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

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 15 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 the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time  3 years  Apply 

Design Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time  4 years  Apply 
Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Design Practice
    This module explores design as a visual strategy for not only resolving problems but also posing questions. Enabling you to place your practice in a broader social and cultural context, and help you recognise yourself as an independent, creative designer.
  • Professional Application
    Working closely with technical instructors, this module introduces application skills to engage in practical tasks such as make-up application and tools, cleansing and toning and basics of working with hair correctly.  
  • Image Construction
    In this module you will learn essential photography skills that will allow you to explore and apply image-making techniques. You will be encouraged to develop your technical proficiency including camera control, studio lighting and post-production methods.
  • Character Design
    In this module, you will be introduced to creating characters and conceptualising your ideas for a specific cinematic genre and will learn the most appropriate characterisation techniques to develop your interpretation of a character based on a literary classic book.
  • Visual Narratives
    This module introduces photographic and post-production techniques, enabling you to develop your own visual narrative in response to a challenging brief.
  • Culture and Context 
    This module will enhance ways of seeing, thinking and writing about visual culture.  You will learn about key cultural developments, practices and movements related to the history of design, visual and popular culture and the styled body since 1900 to the present day.

Year two

Core modules
  • Editorial Beauty and Catwalk Stories
    This module is about expressing your ideas, and involves the written word, photography, post-production, technical skills in makeup and hair, alongside trend-driven techniques for both makeup and hair design.
  • Character and Identity
    This module enables you to develop skills in character design and contextualising them in different roles and situations. You will also explore the appropriate characterisation skills and working methods including special effects, wig work, wefting and airbrushing.
  • Visual Cultures
    In this module you will explore the aspects of culture expressed through visual images. Topics will address contemporary issues within visual culture, discussing images from art history, film, fashion, design and more. 
  • Fashion Film and Media
    This module will enable you to think like a filmmaker, exploring areas such as: the history of fashion film and cinema, how to storyboard, the different roles and processes and make-up and hair techniques.
  • Professional Practice for the Creative Economy 
    This module will provide you with an understanding of the industry expectations within the Creative Economy as well as the tools to negotiate around it.


  • The Make-up Morgue 
    This module enables you to understand how the structure of the theatre industry works, as well as related terminologies.
  • Radical Bodies 
    This module will introduce you to industry standard special effects make-up techniques and products used by professionals in TV and Film.

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

Year three

Core modules
  • Creative Research Project: Proposal
    In this module you will learn to devise, plan, and discuss an independent creative project. You will apply the research skills you have already gained in the proposal of a major creative project, addressing an identified subject and/or design problem.
  • Work Based Learning
    This module will help you develop the skills and experiences expected to work competently within the creative industries.  You will discover new career paths, whilst consolidating previous skills attained through the previous modules of study on your degree. 
  • Creative Research Project: Development and Realisation
    On this module you will produce a substantial body of conceptually and technically advanced work, addressing an identified issue or design problem relevant to your own creative interests and visual culture more broadly.
  • Dissertation
    The dissertation will allow you to investigate a subject you are passionate about. It is an opportunity for you to take a stand and express your opinion about any topic related to fashion and beauty and, more broadly, cultural and social phenomena.


  • Speculative Design
    In this module you will learn to question the purpose of design, exploring the development of Speculative Design through the work of relevant studios and artists (e.g. Dunne & Raby; Burton Nitta).
  • Art Direction, Psychology and Image
    This module of study has a multi-disciplinary approach to Art Direction and will give you the opportunity to develop your practice using film, photography and set design in the production of publications, exhibitions and digital media.

Please note: Not all optional modules 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

Students' work

Meet the course team

Sharon Lloyd academic profile Sharon Lloyd Course Leader View profile
Dr Flavia Loscialpo academic profile Flavia Loscialpo Senior Lecturer View profile
Kat Vogart academic profile Kat Vogart Lecturer View profile
Dr Sebastiane Hegarty academic profile Sebastiane Hegarty Lecturer View profile
Jonathan Trayner academic profile Jonathan Trayner Lecturer View profile
Jessica Holtaway academic profile Jessica Holtaway Lecturer View profile
Paul Watts academic profile Paul Watts Associate Lecturer 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.


Our industry ready make-up and hair studios provide the ideal learning environment, while linking with photography, film and performance spaces. The Beauty Room, and The Body Lab are just two of the areas you will work in while capturing your work in our specialist photography, TV and film studios. 

Students also have access to great library facilities, plus MAC IT labs, using Adobe Creative Suite. 

Critical debate surrounding design is central to the teaching programme, which involves all students in the wider debates about making and thinking about design practice for the creative industries. 

Your future

Solent’s Make-up and Hair Design students are well prepared for a wide range of graduate level opportunities. Suitable positions include:

  • Make-up designer for fashion and beauty
  • Freelance make-up artist in film, TV and theatre
  • Hair stylist for fashion and beauty
  • Wig artist for film, TV and theatre
  • Beauty writer
  • Artist relations
  • Brand management
  • Digital content editor
  • Education
  • Cosmetic marketing
  • Content creator
  • Cosmetic social media marketing
  • Model scout
  • Art production manager
  • Social media editor
  • Cosmetic and skin care development specialist
  • E-Commerce stylist
  • Marketing executive
  • Film production
  • Creative researcher
  • Art direction
  • Editorial beauty assistant

Our graduates have also gone on to become lead designers at London Fashion Week, Head of Model Division, Cosmetic agency CEO, Art Directors, celebrity make-up and hair stylists, artists on a wide range of film productions from Poldark to Gentleman Jack, plus advertising campaigns for Chanel.

Industry links

Thanks to the course teams close links with industry you will have the opportunity to work on a range of live project briefs with organisations such as Illamasqua and Leni’s Models, and benefit from a range of industry speakers and workshops. Recent speakers have included Terry Barber (Director of Make-up Artistry, MAC Cosmetics), Ateh Jewel, Pablo Rodriguez (Director of Artistry, Illamasqua), MAC Cosmetics, Kryolan, Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta (Burton Nitta art and design studio in collaboration with science and technology) and Martyn Roberts (Fashion Scout).

You will also be encouraged to attend or enter industry competitions such as The Prosthetics Event, IMATS and Terror Island Scare Experiences to learn valuable industry insight.

In the final year of study you will undertake the ‘Work Based Learning’ unit – requiring you to work in a field relevant to your course, which will bridge the gap between academic study and vocational experience through practical and professional work experience. Recent industry placements have included roles at Terror Island, Fashion Scout, National Theatre, Mayflower Theatre and Nuffield Southampton Theatre.


Work Based Learning is an essential component in the final year of study. In this unit, you will be required to work in a field relevant to your course, which will bridge the gap between academic study and vocational experience through practical and professional work experience.

It is your responsibility to secure work experience; however, support and resources can be found through the University’s career, employability and enterprise service, Solent Futures and the course team.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day