Where will this course lead?

On successful completion of the course you will be qualified to enter Higher Education to pursue a Higher National Diploma or Degree course. You will also develop the necessary skills to enter the workplace or apprenticeship should you choose to do so.

What will I study?

Do you want a future in the professional makeup industry? During this course you will study a range of specialist make-up techniques for fashion, film and theatre which will include makeup for TV, special effects makeup and theatrical makeup for stage such as fantasy creatures and historical looks. You will also learn how to create and apply prosthetics, scars, bruises and wounds. You will design different looks inspired by your own areas of interest and create them.

You will also carry out historical research relating to fashion trends and cultural differences which will inform the creative work you undertake. You will discover different visual art techniques such as design illustration and photography as well as some costume and accessories production along with hair styling. You will gain experience by working in a realistic working environment and by attending media productions, entering stage competitions and completing a work experience placement. This may involve some evening and weekend work.

How will this course be delivered?

The course is classroom based with individual, small team and wider group workshops, exploring and developing ideas, designing looks, creating prosthetics and makeup application. There will be a number of assignments each year which will allow students to work on their own choice of outcomes. There are many routes that our students like to pursue which are linked to their personal interests and career goals, which may include horror, fantasy, fashion and many more and our students are encouraged to experiment with all of these areas.

Design boards and sketchbooks are used to document the development of your ideas throughout each assignment and should contain your initial research, visual studies, design development and experimentation, along with your final designs and evaluation. It is expected that you annotate your ideas and reflect on your development as the assignment progresses. You will also use photography to document your final outcomes.

What qualifications will I get?

The course leads to a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Theatrical Makeup (equivalent to three A-Levels). It is a two-year, full-time programme at Level 3.

How will I be assessed?

Assignments form the basis for coursework. The lecturing staff will introduce each new assignment as the course progresses. You will be assessed all the time you are working, but your main assessment is through assignment work, where you will be graded for each assignment and then given an overall grade for the final assignment of each year. Attendance and application in all areas is essential for successful completion. Most of your work will be completed in a sketchbook and on design boards.

How do I get a place on the course?

You should apply through the College application process, via the website, telephone, or open events etc.

What are the entry requirements?

4 GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above including English Language and preferably a creative subject such as Art, Photography or Textiles, or a Level 2 qualification in a relevant vocational subject area at a merit grade and GCSE English Language at grade C/grade 4 or above.

On interview you are requested to present a portfolio of images showing photographs of your makeup work and/or illustrations of your designs.

What else do I need to know?

A full makeup kit and uniform is required for the course. Details will be given on how to order this before the course starts. Study visits to museums and art galleries are included in the programme. Additional visits where applicable for specific coursework input, are also required. Students must access the art studios off timetable to continue working on coursework and private study of at least three hours a week.

At the end of the first year, and moving into the second year of the course, you will receive advice on university courses and apprenticeships, along with methods of application. Guidance regarding the job market and employment opportunities will also be available. Portfolio building will form an important part of the second year as you prepare for interviews.

What can I do after this course?

You can progress onto university, an apprenticeship, freelance work, employment in the makeup industry. Skills learnt on the course are also transferrable into such subjects as backstage within performing arts and media production.


Stratford-upon-Avon College

Start Date






Course Fee

N/A For 16 to 18 Year Olds

Course Code


Study Mode

Full Time