Make-up & Hair Design

BA (Hons) - UCA Rochester - 2020

This innovative BA (Hons) Make-up & Hair Design course is perfect if you're passionate, excited and inspired by creative beauty, and the role make-up and hair play in the world, and business, of fashion.

From timeless elegance to street action, through to the edgiest of fashion editorials, make-up and hair complete the look. The role of the visionary in the world of beauty has become more and more essential in recent years, and the person who guides the colour, texture, product and brand narrative is a key player in all creative fashion teams.

As a student on the course, you'll learn about every aspect of the beauty industry. From products to publications, you'll be immersed in the innovation of this powerful sector.

You'll learn about the collaborative processes between creative directors, advertisers and brand spokespersons, as well as stylists, designers, photographers and more.

The BA Make-up & Hair Design course has a specialist focus on learning how to work with celebrities, performers and artists in order to understand their specific requirements. The knowledge of trends, newest technical advances, new-media progressions and the development of promotional work will be imperative for you to embrace the commercial success of beauty.

Discovering skills through make-up, hair, beauty, styling, image creation, media placement and communication, you'll expand your visual horizons of the business of beauty on this course and prepare to enter the industry – from rock band to luxury, online to red carpet. 

Your practical skills along with the academic understanding of the industry will ensure you graduate with an individual signature style and a rich portfolio of work.

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Rochester

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Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCA Open Day Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Saturday 2 November, 2019

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Course details

  • Year 1

    Investigating Beauty
    We start by examining how beauty images, focused through colour, texture and historical settings, can inform beauty images for now and the future. Researching influences on beauty imagery from the past, looking at style and lifestyle, movies and music, culture and heritage, art and interiors; all of which will support a creative and forward-thinking narrative for understanding beauty imagery.

    The Narrative of Beauty
    This unit investigates telling a story the end-customer wants to hear, communicating a concept, marketing ‘beauty and lifestyle’, combining technical expertise with creative flare. By taking a narrative starting point (song lyric, a real-life event or a direct inspiration point such as a city) and then storyboarding a creative response, you will explore the concept of pulling disparate threads together to create a cohesive, new entity. We will focus on your ability to bring a fresh eye and a new interpretation to style and beauty, using trend boards to communicate the initial idea before further development.

    The Context of Beauty
    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” - a truism in relation to context. The observer must be able to understand what you are communicating, however beautiful on the surface, it must ‘speak’ to the customer on a deeper level. To this end the context and positioning of your work gives it gravitas, commercial clout, a reason to actually exist and conviction underpinning the creative aspects. Beauty – be it men’s grooming for beards, or a tiny seasonal cosmetics capsule colour story, requires you to understand what the core brand message is, why you are coming up with a creative concept in response, and how that will benefit the product, the brand and sales.

    My Portfolio
    The aim of this unit, which spans the whole year, is to provide you with the technical practical skills in preparing you for a career as a make-up innovator and creative director. How make-up, as a tool, can be used from the conventional and classic shoot or look book through to a new innovative concept. To understand the technicalities and techniques of professional make-up, the practical basics on which to build and refine creative and technical innovations. To understand and investigate the diversity of make-up and its applications in fashion and style terms is vital.

  • Year 2

    Creative Catwalk, Film and Performance
    This unit is about applying your understanding of the market to beauty in motion, film or performance. The balance of usage between still and moving image in the promotion of ‘Lifestyle and Beauty’ has never been more important. The behind-the-scenes interviews, the sound-bite, the documentary, the as-seen-on or the advert, offer opportunities to go beyond the static. From practical demonstrations through to haute couture beauty editorials, there are countless ways to embrace moving image and creative make-up and hair. In the ‘Creative Catwalk, Film & Performance’ unit, you'll set out to create a short film, documentary of a live event or editorial, which takes creative make-up to the highest level.

    Brand Positioning
    This unit is about research, analysis and your deep understanding of the market and applying this understanding to branding and creative solutions. Imagine you were applying for the role of creative director at the brand of your dreams (this could be the same brand as in the Creative Catwalk unit).

    My Industry
    This unit is about gaining direct, insider understanding of the marketplace and your role within it. The unit will begin to prepare you for entry into industry and focuses on the practices and principles of the creative industries surrounding creative make-up and hair design. It will introduce you to professional environments through consideration of expectations regarding internships, your rights as a worker, ethical concerns and how to academically frame your placement in relation to your future goals.

  • Year 3

    Innovation for the Beauty Industry
    In this unit, you are encouraged to work with a client of your choice to embrace and cultivate innovation through creative thinking. Through a process of research, debate and experimentation, you will cultivate and evaluate your ideas and refine the direction of your study.

    Research, Theory & Practice
    This unit enables you to choose the style of writing that will best reflect and communicate your academic ideas. As the unit progresses you will be the one to decide, with input from your tutors, which readership is best suited for your topic. Deciding on your readership will enable you to locate your study within a journalistic outcome. It is anticipated that the research topic will support your development as a make-up and hair design practitioner and/or broaden your understanding of the wider industry. This will be achieved by absorbing concepts and literature that already exists but you will also add to this through primary research, which can take many forms. Developing your ideas and finding an angle and an argument allows you to potentially add to the knowledge or discussion of this topic.

    Final Creative Project
    For the Final Creative Project (FCP) you are expected to create a substantial final project that focuses and illustrates your area of professional interest. The Final Creative Project may take a variety of forms (such as a body of editorial work within a publication; a series of films; an exploration of digital media platforms; beauty photography, product development, packaging, ethical or culturally specific narratives, retail or an installation concept; or a combination of some, or all, of these).

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
    • International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs, these are still to be finalised for 2020 entry but as a guide please see the additional course costs for 2019 entry.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.



UCA Rochester has a wide range of facilities including fully equipped photography studios and extensive fashion studios. There are also campus digital media suites with Macs and PCs with latest programmes for editing as well as general design work and on campus library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

Programme Director

UK/EU applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

International applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting January 2020:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2019:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or

When to apply:

The UCAS application deadline is 15 January. If you are applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the UCA International College

Learn more about the UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. At the Applicant Day you can meet the course team and other applicants, and take a tour of all our facilities. Students from diverse educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We welcome students with a broad range of A-level subjects, as well as students with appropriate Art & Design Foundations or BTEC/UALAB diplomas which allow you to demonstrate your ability to research, evaluate and produce creative solutions. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

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