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Key details

Attendance Full-time
Duration 3 years
Code B353
Attendance Part-time
Duration 6 years
Code B353
Awarding Body
Level BA (Hons)
Start Date 07/09/2020

Other start dates

Course overview

Our exciting and creative course is multi-disciplinary in that students learn a variety of specialist practical and academic skills appropriate for various industry sectors and specialisms.

The focus is upon your development of appropriate practical, technical, creative and intellectual skills. The course will develop your knowledge and understanding, enabling experimentation and innovation and the formulation of visual and verbal strategies to generate and communicate ideas. We also foster creative, critical and reflective thinking and understanding, the ability to interrelate theory and practice through appropriate research strategies. This involves the understanding and evaluation of the different specialist contexts of makeup artistry in which you operate such as; film, television, theatre, editorial, commercial, or fashion. Ultimately you will learn and acquire a range of transferable skills, self-awareness and self-confidence, enabling the realisation of your individual potential, personal, social and professional development and strategies for professional practice and lifelong learning. These skills will help you to become employable makeup / special effects / prosthetics artists. As well as gaining a thorough understanding of this wide and exciting industry, you will learn practical skills to support your entry into all of these areas. Skills include:
  • Contextual Makeup application (for differing genres)
  • Hair styling and setting
  • Postiche and wig work – how to do hand knotting, apply/safe removal of a hair piece
  • Colour theory
  • Historical / period makeup and hair styling
  • Special effects makeup, i.e. casualty simulation, character, trauma
  • Small scale prosthetics; bald caps, 3-d transfers, flat moulds
  • Body casting; moulding, sculpting and colouration
  • Body painting and creative techniques
  • Design development process; research, face charts
  • Communication of ideas

What you'll study

This is a creative and exciting programme of study. It is multi-disciplinary in that you will study a variety of practice-based modules during the first and second years, and specialise in a subject of your choice in the third year.

You will learn from experienced and specialist tutors who work in the industry and have developed strong contacts with industry professionals and organisations to help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of this exciting industry. You will learn through practical demonstrations and applications in studio or workshop environments, staff and student-led presentations, live projects (competitions, work experience), lectures, tutorials, visiting professionals and visits to makeup industry environments. We provide a supportive environment, within which teaching and learning strategies are student-centred and are designed to develop independent learning through negotiated, self-initiated briefs and assig There are a variety of teaching methods to develop your practical skills as a makeup artist with special effects in conjunction with the development of academic, theoretical, personal, professional and transferable skills.

A significant amount of personal study time is expected to be undertaken such as research, design development, experimentation, reflection, essay writing and seminar presentations.

  • Studio Practice 1A (Media Make-up)
  • Studio Practice 1B (Intermediate Media Make-Up)
  • Special Effects Make-Up Personal Development Planning Contextual Studies 1
  • Studio Practice 2 (Intermediate Make-up with Postiche and Portfolio Building)
  • Prosthetic Appliances Professional Development Contextual Studies 2
  • Studio Practice 3A
  • Major Project
  • Professional Practice
  • Professional Portfolio Promotion
  • Research Project
  • This is a creative and exciting programme of study. It is multi-disciplinary in that you will study a variety of practice-based modules during the first and second years, and specialise in a subject of your choice in the third year.

    You will learn from experienced and specialist tutors who work in the industry and have developed strong contacts with industry professionals and organisations to help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of this exciting industry. You will learn through practical demonstrations and applications in studio or workshop environments, staff and student-led presentations, live projects (competitions, work experience), lectures, tutorials, visiting professionals and visits to makeup industry environments. We provide a supportive environment, within which teaching and learning strategies are student-centred and are designed to develop independent learning through negotiated, self-initiated briefs and assig There are a variety of teaching methods to develop your practical skills as a makeup artist with special effects in conjunction with the development of academic, theoretical, personal, professional and transferable skills.

    A significant amount of personal study time is expected to be undertaken such as research, design development, experimentation, reflection, essay writing and seminar presentations.

    • Studio Practice 1A (Media Make-up)
    • Studio Practice 1B (Intermediate Media Make-Up)
    • Special Effects Make-Up Personal Development Planning Contextual Studies 1
    • Studio Practice 2 (Intermediate Make-up with Postiche and Portfolio Building)
    • Prosthetic Appliances Professional Development Contextual Studies 2
    • Studio Practice 3A
    • Major Project
    • Professional Practice
    • Professional Portfolio Promotion
    • Research Project

Assessment

There is a range of formative and summative assessment methods used on the course, determined by the aims and learning outcomes of individual modules. The most common method for practical modules is the presentation of a body of work in portfolio form (consisting of practical assessments) supported by preparatory work (sketchbooks and visual learning journals, with design development or technical skills, reflection and annotation).

Assessment methods for academic / theory type modules consist of either a portfolio of work or individual essays, journals and seminar presentations.

Each module is assessed in order for you to progress onto the next level.

There are no exams.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points
80
GCSE Maths
Grade 4 or C
GCSE English
Grade 4 or C
Qualifications could include:
  • A BTEC or UAL Level 3 qualification in Makeup Artistry / Makeup related subject
  • A level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one subject.
  • other related Level 3 qualifications such as Art and Design, Media, Production Arts or Hair
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma awarded by an approved institution or provider
  • related work experience
  • international equivalent of the above

Admission is normally based on your portfolio and interview.

Non-standard applicants will be required to produce evidence of their ability to study at the Higher Education level.

Short-course and relevant work experience may be taken into account.

Non-standard applicants will also be interviewed and may be required to complete a piece of written work as part of their application. Claims for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) are welcomed by the College. Students should consult the admissions tutor if they wish to claim such recognition.

Applicants will be invited to an interview and present a portfolio of practical work. This portfolio may consist of research, design development and work in progress (such as sketchbooks, visual journal) or finished pieces of work in the form of images, photographs, actual 3-d pieces and on-line portfolios. Applicants may come from a wider background of art and design and thus demonstrate a variety of skills from different disciplines such as drawing, painting, sculpture, textiles, graphics, photography or installation. International students are additionally required to achieve an overall score of 5.5 (with each subset no lower than 5.5) in IELTS.  Please consult the admissions department for further details.

Work experience

There are no work-based learning modules, however, you are encouraged to participate in work experience to gain a deeper and more practical understanding of the makeup with special effects industry. Initially, this will be organised by tutors for internal College theatre/film productions and gradually leads to you finding your own work experience. Much of the work experience comes from the professional contacts that tutors have acquired over many years of experience that ranges from professional photoshoots to high profile films such as:
  • The Duke
  • Official Secrets
  • Everyone’s talking about Jamie.
  • The English Game
  • Solis
  • Butterflies
  • Judgement
  • No Quarter Given
There are also many opportunities which arise which enable students to collaborate with models, fashion designers and /or photographers such as fashion shows and shoots which are invaluable for building professional networks and portfolios. Students are also encouraged to attend professional industry events and participate in demonstrations or competitions at these. We have had great success with this with students being placed in the top 3, including first place and even winning the college cup on one occasion.

“I didn’t expect to get this award. I felt so shocked and proud when my name was announced.”

A former British soldier turned Bradford College Media Makeup with Special Effects student had a night of celebration when she was named the Association of Colleges (AoC)’s Higher Education Student of the Year in December 2019.

Benjie Kusita’s incredible achievement was announced at the AoC Student of the Year Awards in Birmingham.

Benjie Kusita

Higher Education Student of the Year

Next steps

The course provides you with routes into a wide range of creative employment opportunities in the Media Make-up and Special Effects industry, including the areas of film and television (mainly on a freelance basis).  Alternatively, you may wish to progress directly onto postgraduate study. The programme of study is multi-disciplinary and due to this very nature, students may pursue career routes into film, television, theatre, editorial, commercial, special occasion / event, create makeover studios and workshops. Many of our graduates have become successful freelance makeup / prosthetic artists while others have gained employment with companies such as Trauma FX, international touring theatre companies (Matthew Bourne), and film production companies such as Netflix. Some of our students pursue careers in retail specialising in sales, management or product development with popular cosmetic brands such as MAC, Nars, Giorgio Armani, Bobbi Brown, Charlotte Tilbury, and Space NK to name a few. Other students progress into further training and education, enrolling onto PGCE or Masters of Arts degrees. Other students successfully gain entry onto graduate trainee schemes with Creative Skillset and Screen Skills to pursue careers in film and television. Alumni have worked in varying areas of the industry including Film and Television, Theatre, Fashion and freelance and for large cosmetic brands. Some have gone on to open their own successful Studios and a number of students have also themselves entered the teaching profession after further study. See examples below:

  • Peaky Blinders
  • Victoria
  • Opera North
  • Netflix – Trainee
  • West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • English National Opera – Wig/ make-up artist
  • Trauma FX – SPFX workshop technician
  • Freelance Commercial Make up artist (advertising, fashion, e comm.)
  • There’s Something About Jamie (Feature film)
  • Lancôme ( Artistic Team)
  • MAC ( Artistic Team)
  • Nars ( Artist)
  • Charlotte Tilbury ( Artist
  • MOBO Awards
  • BAFTA award ceremony
  • We will Rock You (London, West end theatre)
  • Red Shoes and Cinderella (Matthew Bourne – ballet)
  • Leeds Grand and Yorkshire Playhouse – Leeds
  • Alhambra theatre, Bradford

Tuition fees

Full-time: £8,750 per year.

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