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BA (Hons) Hair and Make-Up for Film and Performance

TARIFF: 80 - 104
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2024
Become part of the team behind films and theatre. Your role in hair and make-up will help bring to life the vision of entertainment. Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, with this two year course 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.
Our creative briefs and projects will help you develop a portfolio showing off your talent as an expert storyteller in the form of hair and make-up for film and performance.
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Why study this subject?

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

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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. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the school with other courses, ensuring during your studies you are building a varied network, like you would in the real world.

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.

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What facilities can I use?

Our Hair and Make-up 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.

As well as this you’ll work collaboratively with students from a range of courses, and act as the hair and make-up department for those studying costume design, film and tv and performing arts. 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.

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Our students' work

What will I study?

The practical elements of our course are designed with industry in mind. On the course you will explore pre-production and film set etiquette, which will help you understand the rules, roles and responsibilities of individuals in a production team, as well as explaining who you will report to and the expectations within a professional context.

It is key to master different makeup and hair techniques, so we’ll help you explore a range of period eras and how they form the basis for fashion designs. Alongside, your modules in prosthetics and special effect makeup will allow you to experiment with a range of materials to understand what it takes to bring characters to life.

It’s not just about crafting something that looks great, it will be your job to create character designs that fit a script. We'll teach you about various period hairstyles and show you how to recreate them. Most importantly you'll understand the history and theory that informs your designs and be able to reflect critically on your practice.

You'll get to grips with professional practice and we will help you to develop essential entrepreneurial skills. As many people in this area work as freelancers, we’ll teach you everything you need to know for success, from how to set up to paying taxes and creating a winning portfolio.

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How will I be taught and assessed?

During this two-year long course, you will benefit from a full schedule where you’ll learn everything you need to know to 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 gaining as much experience 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
  • Final Major Project

 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.  

BA (Hons) Hair and Make-Up for Film and Performance Programme Specification

BA (Hons) Hair and Make-up for Film and Performance Additional Course Costs

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 80 - 104

A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

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 2023 - 2024

£11,100 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£20,000 per year

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?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

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.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a range of career possibilities. Using the skills and knowledge learnt on this course, you could find yourself performing the following roles all over the world:

  • Makeup artist/makeup assistant
  • Hairdresser/Chief hairdresser
  • Hair Supervisor
  • Wig Supervisor
  • Prosthetic supervisor or technician
  • Prosthetic artist.

You may also choose to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study a postgraduate programme.


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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Dr Johnny Issapour
  • Course Leader
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Dr Sarah Dryden
  • Associate Lecturer
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Dr Louisa Lee
  • Lecturer
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