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Makeup, Design and Hairstyling - BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at West Thames College

Course description

This one-year course for 16-18 year olds is equivalent to 1.5 GCE A Levels. You can progress to a second year to earn the full Diploma which is equivalent to 3 A Levels. The course covers a wide range of hair and makeup skills, such as day and evening, character, period, fantasy, special effects, body painting, traditional hairstyling, and wigs. This is supported by studies in art, photography, costume and theatre. You will work in our newly refurbished, fully-equipped hair and makeup studios.

Course content

You will study:

  • Day makeup
  • Period makeup
  • Makeup for performers
  • Special effects such as accidents and ageing techniques
  • An introduction to facial hair attachments, wigs, prosthetic pieces and body painting
  • Theory workshops
  • Skills development and functional skills.

You will be taught by highly qualified professional tutors who specialise in hairdressing and media makeup.

There will be a trip to a cultural city abroad and visits to local and West End theatre productions. You will have the opportunity to compete in national makeup competitions including World Skills and you will attend the International Makeup Artist Trade Show at Alexandra Palace. These visits will incur additional costs but financial assistance may be available.

You may wish to attend work placements in hair salons in your first year, and in theatres or with makeup artists in the second year. Communication between the college and industry enables employers and tutors to work together, enhancing your progression and quality of training.

Entry requirements

At least 4 GCSEs at grade A*-C / grade 9-4 (including English and maths), or a relevant Level 2 qualification at merit or distinction plus functional skills in English and maths.

If you need advice before you apply, please call 020 8326 2020 or email


You will collate a makeup portfolio. There will be joint assignments covering more than one unit, and your portfolios will be continually assessed by your assessor and the internal verifier. The course is delivered in units; you can be assessed at any stage of the course when you feel competent. There are no final examinations. Your practical, oral and written work will all be assessed and feedback given at the end of each assessment.

Financial information

This course is free for students aged 16-18.

Future opportunities

You can progress to the Diploma (120 credits) or Extended Diploma (180 credits) on a second year of study. After this you may wish to go on to our HND or HNC in Specialist Makeup, gain employment in retail makeup for MAC, Space NK or Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, or work in makeover studios or as a bridal makeup artist.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

View all courses at West Thames College.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 02 August 2017
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