Theatrical, Special Effects and Media Make-Up Artistry

This qualification covers a very wide range of skills and knowledge to provide you with the specialist practical skills which will prepare you to work independently in the theatrical and media make-up industry. It builds on skills acquired during your Level 2 Make-Up Artistry studies or equivalent. You will be assessed by an externally set and marked exam and by a final practical synoptic assignment. You will produce a portfolio of creative work.

Course Information

  • Course Type School Leaver
  • Subject Area Hairdressing, Beauty and Make-Up Artistry
  • Qualification Advanced Technical Diploma
  • Study Mode: Full Time Only
  • Course Level Level 3
  • Course Length 1 year

If you want to work independently in the field of media make-up, this course is the ideal preparation. It builds on skills acquired during your Level 2 studies.

This course is also ideal if you are progressing within the make-up industry and want to cover all of the advanced skills and knowledge needed to work as a theatrical and media make-up artist.

You will participate in a faculty show and media production events to gain much evidence towards this qualification. There are practical and theoretical classes which will help you develop a portfolio of evidence for verification. There is some case study/project work. Practical skills are developed on fellow students – once a level of competence is reached clients are to be used for assessment. You will participate in outside events supporting the drama and dance productions with media make up. You will be assessed practically, theoretically and orally in all areas. Testimonials may be required as evidence in some areas. Complete portfolios are verified and should include assessment books, case studies, projects, and theoretical papers. Some units have external on line test papers. Balance of the course is 40% theory/60% practical.

What topics will I study? 

You will cover the following units:

  • 309 – cutting and styling for performers
  • 310 – avant-garde hair and make-up
  • 320 – creative make up design for productions and industry demands
  • 321 – apply prosthetic pieces and bald cap
  • 322 – special effects make-up
  • 323 – create, dress and fir facial postiche
  • 324 – body art for competition

You will:

  • Learn how to create, cast and apply prosthetics pieces and bald caps
  • Create and develop your own inspirational avant-garde looks
  • Learn how to carry out styling and basic hair cutting techniques for a range of media productions
  • Explore the use of blogging platforms for promotions
  • Develop an understanding of the creative make-up designs for productions and industry demands
  • Experiment with a range of special effects techniques and create casualty characters
  • Create, dress and fit a range of facial pastiche
  • Explore and create costumes and props to complement overall images
  • Research and plan body art for competitions

What can I study alongside this course?

This course is studied on its own and cannot be combined with other courses.

Next steps: 

Achievement of this qualification demonstrates to an employer that you have the necessary advanced technical skills to potentially be employed as a theatrical and media make-up artist and could lead to a career as a theatre, film or TV make-up artist, make-up designer or product developer. Alternatively, you could progress into higher education and a degree course within this subject area.

Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements: Grade 4 in English Language. Plus, you must have successfully completed a Level 2 course in Make-Up Artistry.



There are five fully equipped beauty salons and four hairdressing salons. A Learning Resource Centre is on each college site and media production facilities at the Centre for Creative Industries.

Additional Costs

You need a personal theatrical make up kit and uniform. You are responsible for providing your own working resources and sundries.

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