Accessibility links

Level 3 Diploma Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-Up at University College Birmingham

Course description

If you are practical and creative and have great imagination this course will give you the skills and experience to work in the exciting fields of theatre, tv or film, or be a make-up artist. To gain valuable industry experience you will be given the opportunity to practise your hair and make-up skills at performances in local theatres, so a strong appreciation and acceptance of working unsociable hours is required.

Course content

Course modules include:

  • Fashion and Photographic Make-up
  • Media Make-up
  • Prosthetics
  • Fantasy Hair for Performers
  • Airbrush Make-up
  • Camouflage Make-up
  • Style and Fit Postiche
  • Style and Dress Hair
  • Hairdressing Techniques for Media Make-up
  • Provide Wigs and Postiche for Media Make-up
  • Prepare and Provide Character Make-up
  • Provide and Remove Special Effects and Media Make-up
  • Good Working Relationships with Colleagues, Artistes, Subjects and Production Teams
  • Client Care and Communication
  • Health and Safety

Entry requirements

You will need 4 GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 including English and maths, or a relevant Level 2 qualification in one of the following: Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy or Hair & Media Make-Up, Make-up Specialist.

All applicants are required to attend an interview and have a good school/college report or a reference.


Assessment takes place in a range of realistic working environments, including shows, competitions and theatre productions. You will also be required to complete written papers.

Financial information

Tuition Fees

If you are aged between 16-18 you will not have to pay tuition fees.

Educational Visits

You may be required to pay for any educational visits or trips.

Uniform and Equipment

This course requires the purchase of uniform and equipment. You will be informed of the cost and how to order prior to the start of your course. Order forms will be included in your enrolment pack (usually available in May/June). Some students may be eligible for financial assistance through the Learner Support Fund (see details below).

Learner Support Fund

The Learner Support Fund is available to assist students with course related costs such as essential uniform, eqiupment and travel. The fund is available to students who have a total household income of less than £30,810 per year (figure correct as at September 2016). A non-refundable contribution of £50 is required.

Discretionary Bursary

The Discretionary Bursary is for learners aged between 16 and 18 who have a household income of less than £20,817 per year (figure correct as at September 2016). Bursary payments will be made every Friday subject to 100% attendance. Learners who are in receipt of out of work benefits, work more than 24 hours per week or are over the threshold are not eligible.

Mandatory Bursary

The Mandatory Bursary Scheme is paid to students aged 16-18 who fall into one of the following categories:

  • Looked after child
  • Care Leaver
  • Receiving Income Support in their own name
  • Receiving Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or PIP

Eligible students will be entitled to a guaranteed bursary with weekly payments paid every Friday subject to attendance.

Application forms for the Learner Support Fund and Bursary will be included in your enrolment pack and forms are also available from Student Services.

Network West Midlands 16-18 Photocard

If you are under 18 years old and in full-time education you may be entitled to child rate fares and season tickets for travel on the bus, train and metro. All you need is a valid 16-18 Photocard which is available from Network West Midlands. It costs £10 and is valid for one academic year. You will be able to apply once you are enrolled. Further information is available from our Student Services team.

Travel Assistance

If you are travelling from outside the Network West Midlands area you may be able to claim a 50% reimbursement of your travel costs. Please contact the Student Budget Counsellor to discuss the additional support that may be available to you.

Free Meals

Some Further Education students will be able to receive a free meal at lunchtime whilst they are in college. You must be between 16-18 with parents or guardians in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income related)
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit

You will need to apply for the Discretionary Bursary Scheme and provide evidence of one of the above benefits. An application form will be included in your enrolment pack and forms are also available from Student Services.

If you are eligible you will receive a daily allowance which can be used to purchase a selection of items within Summer Row cafeteria and Richmond House cafeteria. Please note that as we are aiming to promote healthy eating there are restrictions on some items such as fizzy drinks, chocolate, crisps, cakes and flapjacks.

Childcare Funding

Students aged under 19 on the start date of their course can apply for childcare support through the Care to Learn Scheme. For further information and how to apply go to and search 'Care to Learn' or call the helpline 0800 121 8989.


Future opportunities

Progression to Higher Education

On successful completion of  Level 3 you can progress on to a foundation degree in Specialist Hair and Media Make-up, Beauty Therapy Management or Spa Management at UCB. Alternatively you can apply for other higher education courses at UCB or elsewhere.

Career Opportunities

There are a broad range of roles open to you once you have successfully completed this cours. Previous students are employed in a wide variety of roles and areas such as television, theatre, film industry and freelance make-up artist.

Further information

Please see our website for more information and details about our next Open Days.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact University College Birmingham directly.

Last updated date: 13 October 2016
Provider logo

Key information

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Marketing course enquiries
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 0121 232 4300
    • Email address:


  • More information
    • Richmond House was opened in 2001 and is a teaching facility designed specifically for students following Further Education programmes in Hairdressing and Beauty, Childcare, Caring, Tourism and Leisure. It is located in Newhall Street, just around the corner from the Summer Row site and consists of eight floors of teaching, student and staff facilities. The first three floors contain stateof-the-art hairdressing studios, beauty salons, make-up studio, fitness suite, spa pool, steam room,sauna and solarium. Lecture theatres and classrooms are located on the upper floors. A specialist reference library is situated on the fourth floor along with Student Services, Study Support andCareers Support facilities and there is also a Student Common Room, a Student Guild Office andCafé in the basement.