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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 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 Illamasqua and Alex Box, who was awarded an honorary degree by Solent University. 


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

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 and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 3 Years Standard Entry MHD1
  • 4 Years Design Foundation Year MHD3
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2020/21 tuition fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2019/20 fees were:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,875 per year

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

The 2020/21 additional costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous additional costs have been:

Year one:
Compulsory make-up and hair kit costs: £900
Optional external hard drive and camera costs: £100

Year two:
Optional make-up for special effects: £200
Optional wig work and postiche: £130 (£80 for the tools and up to £50 for the wig).  

Year three:
Optional final year project materials: £600.

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.

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 19 in each individual 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.

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 Ask Solent team: 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 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
  • Performing the Body
  • Make-Up for Special Effects
  • Digital Beauty and Editorial Writing
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives

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

Students' work

Meet the course team

Lisa Dibben academic profile Lisa Dibben Head of Subject View profile
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
Kat Vogart academic profile Kat Vogart Lecturer View profile
Lottie Davies academic profile Lottie Davies Lecturer View profile
Marianne Damoiseau academic profile Marianne Damoiseau Lecturer View profile
Daen Palma Huse academic profile Daen Palma Huse Lecturer View profile
Emma Calder academic profile Emma Calder Associate Professor View profile
Chris Overend academic profile Chris Overend Technical Instructor View profile
Sue Mainstone academic profile Sue Mainstone Technical 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.
  • My course is very creative. It allows me to express myself through my work. It also exposes me to different areas such as photography and even editorial work. The university has a good support system and my tutors are very helpful and supportive.

    Beth Kabuga, Student

  • Solent University, with its vibrant and creative atmosphere, is the perfect place for an artistic education. The BA (Hons) Make-Up and Hair Design team is extremely supportive and encouraged me to find and develop my own unique and unconventional style in make-up artistry. Over three years of study I have grown as an artist, building my professional portfolio and confidence. Without the opportunity to do this, I would never been a finalist in IMATS, Los Angeles.

    Kat Vogart, graduate - freelance make-up and hair designer

  • The BA (Hons) Make-Up and Hair Design course has been instrumental in building my vision as a make-up designer, through both academic thinking and creative practice. The combination of both elements is crucial in stretching creative thinking, and has boosted my own ambition and passion to push the boundaries in make-up art within fashion and beauty.

    Lara Himpelmann, graduate - now working at Premiere

  • I like the diversity of skills I get on my course. I really like the guest speakers that come to talk to us about the industry with practical advice. I love the 10% photography and filming included in my course!

    Martina Baycheva, Student

Industry links

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.

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