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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

BA (Hons)Make-Up and Hair Design

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UCAS code: MHD1
Institution code: S30
Campus: Southampton City CentreView on Google Maps

Why study a make-up and hair design degree at Solent University

Superb connections, amazing facilities, and the opportunity to work alongside students of photography, TV, film, and SFX make Solent’s course a first choice: the gateway to careers across the world.

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  • Solent was one of the first universities in the UK ever to offer a degree in make-up and hair design – you will learn from some of the best in the business.
  • First university to offer professional make-up teams, led by students and graduates, inside the industry.
  • Solent has fantastic, industry-standard make-up, hair, and prosthetics studios. The beauty room, the body lab and the prosthetics studio are just three of the areas you'll work in while capturing your work in our specialist photography, TV and film studios. There are amazing opportunities for collaboration and friendships with students from other courses.
  • You will learn from professionals and academics with specialised experience in editing, digital media, performance, journalism, film, magazines, styling, art direction, editorial, advertising, PR, and critical and theoretical studies.
  • A wide range of exciting guest speakers, including Terry Barber (Director of Make-up & Artistry at MAC Cosmetics), Ateh Jewel, Pablo Rodriguez (Director of Artistry, Illamasqua).
  • Collaborative study and work with students from our prosthetics and special effects design programmes.
  • Solent students have recently worked with Fashion Scout, London Fashion Week, Graduate Fashion Week, gaining fantastic experience to add to their CVs and improving employability.
  • Study trips (to amazing fashionista locations such as New York and Paris).
  • Competitions that celebrate talent and innovation.

Course overview

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.

Thanks to the course team's 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).

The course also provides you with the opportunity for cross-programme collaborations to help you contextualise your place within the 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.

Any questions?

Contact UK admissions

Email: 023 8201 5066

Contact international admissions

Email: +44 (0)23 8201 5066

Student work

Our creative degrees allow our students to develop a critical eye for design with a knowledge of different design approaches and problem solving techniques. Take a look at some of the great work they produce.

Course features

  • Specialist facilities

    This course has access to specialist facilities

  • Foundation year available

    If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years

  • Further studies

    After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent

  • Top-up option

    If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year

  • Study abroad

    You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course

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.

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.

Meet the team

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.

Our vibrant campus brings state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your learning and elevate your student experience. Our award-winning teaching building, The Spark is centred around students and offers a stimulating study environment with flexible learning spaces. Away from studying, why not try out the gyms, fitness studios and sports halls in our £28 million Sports Complex, or watch a blockbuster film at our student-run cinema with Dolby Atmos audio.

    International opportunities

    Broaden your horizons by adding an international dimension to your CV – essential to achieving success in today’s fast-changing, global environment.

    Studying, working or volunteering in another country could be the experience of a lifetime. Enhance your degree by developing important global skills such as knowledge of other countries, language skills, intercultural awareness, adaptability and confidence.

    For more information, please email

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