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Hair and Media Make Up - Theatrical and Special Effects VRQ Level 3 Diploma at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

The VRQ Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects and Hair and Media Make-up will stretch and challenge you by providing the knowledge and practical expertise to take you forward into any area of make-up artistry. It will also help you to develop consultation skills with your clients and higher communication abilities within the salon and freelance make-up environment.

You will start by learning the techniques and the theory behind these advanced skills.  You will then have the opportunity to practise all you have learned before carrying out the chosen techniques on models in the salon. You can plan and design all your own creations and show them off by choosing the perfect faces to work on.

Then you will rapidly increase your understanding, skills and confidence by working to meet clients’ many different requirements in various work experience settings. These will include movie work, shoots with photographers, make up for theatrical performance groups, and fashion show work. These opportunities will build your self-assurance and employability skills to enable you to find your role within the make-up industry.

You will research and develop theoretical knowledge to increase your understanding of the make-up world. Written assignments will be produced to show your awareness through coursework. This alongside mandatory, on-line test papers, will cement your practical skills to ensure your success.

Course content

These are the 10 units you will have the opportunity to study, both practical and theory:

  • Monitor and maintain health and safety practice in the salon
  • Client care and communication in beauty related industries
  • Apply airbrush make-up to the face
  • Camouflage make-up
  • Media make-up
  • Fashion and photographic make-up
  • Style and fit postiche
  • Apply prosthetics and bald caps
  • Create an image based on a theme within the hair and beauty sector
  • Fantasy hair design for performers

Entry requirements

A good general education with success in English and Science (a minimum of four GCSEs at Grade D or above) and a desire to work with people. Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing or Beauty Therapy is preferred but not essential. Selection to be made at interview.


Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality and effort. You will learn in a friendly atmosphere, using a variety of assessment methods:

  • You will be assessed regularly on your practical skills in the salon and you will receive regular feedback on written assignment work that is conducted as homework.
  • Discussions and presentations are a vital part of our assessment process and you will be expected to contribute to these.
  • You will review your own performance in 1:1 sessions with your tutor.
  • You will undertake mock examinations on each unit in advance of your final exams.
  • You will be formally examined on each unit that you study to test your practical competence and knowledge of the subject. 

Future opportunities

Freelance and mobile make-up businesses are prevalent in Cornwall with a thriving wedding industry. There are also many other opportunities where a good make-up artist can gain employment. You can: link with photographers in the fashion industry; work in beauty salons and health spas; provide make-up for film/television/theatres; work with model agencies and within the large cosmetic houses in department stores. 

A Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up is highly valued by many companies and employers alike; however you may wish to travel out of county and gain Level 4 or 5 Higher Education qualifications in media make-up at university. Adding a qualification in education may enable you to be a teacher, trainer or an assessor after gaining industrial experience.

Further information

We encourage all students to read widely and conduct their own research into the make-up industry as a whole and to study individual techniques for fine detail. You will be supported in your work throughout your course to enable you to be the most productive and to help you track your own progression.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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