Hair and Make up 5

MA Wigs, Hair and Make-up for Fashion and the Arts

  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2024
This course is designed to build on your existing skills and knowledge as you explore wigs, hair and make-up as an art form. With this postgraduate degree you could become part of the creative team working behind the scenes to bring stories, entertainment, art and designs to audiences around the world.
Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub.
Pinewood studios exterior building

Why study this subject?

The looks you create form a key part of an audience’s appreciation of the arts and fashion. The wigs, hair and make-up industry is a global one, and with the right knowledge and skills, your career within this profession could take you all over the world, working on a range of collections, performances and styles.

Hair and Make-up - Student Work 3
Hair and Make-up - Student Work 2

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

With a history of delivering expert craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to start your creative career.

As part of the Art, Design and Performance School at BNU, you’ll benefit from a practiced-based course, supported by contextual studies.

Led by a dedicated and experienced course team, you’ll benefit from their industry knowledge and the industry links they bring to the course. You’ll get direct access to guest lectures, who are specialists in the sector, and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and networking opportunities.

The University also has a teaching base at the iconic Pinewood Studios, which means there could be opportunities to engage with the community there. You’ll also be able to put your learnt skills and craftmanship to practice, whilst being in the hustle and bustle of the world-renowned studio.

As well as this London is only a 30-minute train ride away, enabling you to visit exhibitions, galleries, shows and watch emerging styles, to help you gain inspiration and ideas.

What facilities can I use?

Our Wigs, Hair and Make-up for Fashion and The Arts university degree has its own base both on our High Wycombe Campus and at our BNU Pinewood teaching base. These spaces feature equipment such as mirrors and lighting to help you create the styles you want to achieve.

You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other courses, such as costume design and photography. With these students you’ll have direct access to our photography, film and tv and drama studios where you’ll be able to build your portfolio, and network like you would in the industry.

What will I study?

This MA programme is designed to equip you with advanced technical skills in wig making, hair styling and make-up, to enable career progression within a wide range of sectors within the arts and media industries in the UK and internationally. You will develop enhanced research skills and critical thinking to enable the completion of innovative designs underpinned by strong historical, social and cultural influences, suitable for a wide range of audiences.

Push the boundaries of hair and make-up design, using existing skills such as period hairdressing, fashion and film make-up, we will support and teach you how to extend your knowledge to create Avant Garde designs with a strong emphasis on design.

You’ll have the opportunity to work with traditional, new and innovative materials, exploring wig making, hair and make-up techniques as an art form. You’ll also explore sustainable and recyclable options to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry.

During your time studying this course you’ll cover a range of topics in detail, so that upon graduation your skills and knowledge are well-rounded, and you’re ready to step into the industry. We will delve into the art of wig making, looking at traditional lace front wigs, wefts and cage work. You’ll learn how to work with a range of materials such as human hair, mohair, synthetic hair, recyclable materials and thermo plastics. You’ll also explore texture/body paint and art to create exciting hair and make-up creations which can be used across various media platforms.

You’ll learn specialist skills which are sought after in today’s ever-growing industry. You will also benefit from our industry links and have days where you visit exhibitions and industry tradeshows. As well as the chance to take part in workshops, guest speaker event and networking opportunities.

This course is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in hair and make-up or relevant experience working in Film/Television/Fashion Hair and Make-up Industries. Everything you learn on this postgraduate course will be able to be applied to real-working life in the industry. Making you an employable graduate on completion of the course.

How will I be taught and assessed?

During this wig and make-up postgraduate degree, you will benefit from a full schedule where you’ll develop your technical skills and knowledge, ensuring you feel ready for the industry by the time you graduate. This intense degree will make sure you challenge yourself to produce the best looks for your portfolio, whilst growing your current skillset as much as possible.

Learn from experienced lecturers, guest speakers and industry workshops. Your main base will be at our High Wycombe campus, and from there you’ll spend a number of days visiting our BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios. These will both inspire you and help you to understand what the industry of today is really up to.

Although majority of the course is workshop-based and practical, you’ll also learn through;

  • Traditional lectures and seminars, led by professionals 
  • Masterclasses
  • Wider reading and preparation for lectures and workshop-based classes
  • Visualisation of proposed material
  • Individual and small group tutorials led by industry professionals and business mentors
  • Portfolio work

 You will also experience visits to outside bodies, such as makeup prep rooms, wig stores, museums, among others, to better prepare yourself for the research activities proposed in the programme.  

Hair and Make-up - Student Work 4
Hair and Make-up - Student Work 1

MA Wigs, Hair and Make Up for Fashion and the Arts Programme Specification

MA Wigs Hair and Make-up for Fashion and the Arts Additional Course Costs

What are the course entry requirements?

Applicants who wish to apply should have one of the following qualifications or skills: A BA Hons degree in Hair and Make-up (minimum 2:2 and above)
A level 5 qualification such as a HND in a relevant discipline (Merit or higher) with a minimum 2 years’ experience working in industry.
Minimum of 5 years industry experience in theatre, fashion, film, television.

Applicants should have good knowledge of wig and hair dressing, and makeup techniques. Applications are welcome from those who may not possess formal entry qualifications, mature students, or with qualifications different to those listed but who possess industry experience. For applicants who show potential at interview, but who may not meet all the requirements for entry, will be required to undertake a short summer bridging course to improve technical knowledge; as well as an academic writing exercise to develop research skills.

Applicants will need to complete an interview and/or demonstrate portfolio work, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice section.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

What are the tuition fees

  • Home, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £11,500 per year
  • Overseas/International, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £19,450 per year

Additional course costs and financial support

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

If you have any questions about the fees above, contact our Enquiries team by calling 0330 123 2023 or emailing

What are my career prospects? 

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our Careers and Employability Team also help you find employment after graduation.

After studying at BNU, you’ll be set up for success and ready to work on major productions anywhere in the world. Our MA Wigs, Hair and Make-up for Fashion and the Arts can prepare you for a range of different job roles, such as;

  • Producing wigs and designs for shop window installations.
  • Working on projects for film and television
  • Working in theatre
  • Working on runway or editorial work for the fashion industries.
  • Working for a wig making firm
  • Makeup artist
  • Hairdresser/Chief hairdresser
  • Hair Supervisor
  • Wig Supervisor


Course leader

A head shot of Emma Croombs wearing a pink top and BNU land yard whilst stood in front of a grey wall and looking directly into the camera
Emma Croombs
  • Course Leader
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