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

TARIFF: 80 - 112
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2023
The UK is currently one of the world's leading supplier of technical staff for film and TV productions, with employers struggling to find creative artists and technicians with the right skillset, there has never been a better time to become part of this exciting industry.
Become part of the team behind films and theatre. Your role in hair and makeup 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 become an expert storyteller in the form of Hair and Makeup for Film, TV and Stage, and upon graduation make your portfolio shine.
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Open Days

We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.

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Application Guide

For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience.

Why study this subject?

The UK is currently one of the world's leading supplier of technical staff for film and TV productions, with employers struggling to find creative artists and technicians with the right skillset, there has never been a better time to become part of this exciting industry.

The hair and makeup you will produce is key to the story that is playing out to the audience. With this role you can expect a whirlwind of orders, from Georgian period looks to futuristic and modern day looks, immerse yourself into the script and bring to life, with your styles, the performance.

Become part of the team behind the scenes that work together to create out of this world styles, costumes and designs that engage the audience and help them fall in love with the plot and characters.

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Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

There are many reasons why you should study Hair & Makeup for Film, TV and Stage at BNU, such as;

  • You'll get the best of both words – University and the industry. Our course gives you the opportunity to explore our High Wycombe campus, as well as our BNU base at Pinewood Studios.
  • At BNU we offer small classes across the board, meaning you gain a close-knit community and plenty of one-on-one contact and support with your tutor.
  • With London on our doorstep, you’ll be near the world’s best cultural centres, such as theatres, museums and galleries, where you can find a range of inspiration.
  • Our lecturers are industry-experienced and can give you an insight to working-life.

We’ve structured the course to build up your skills during your three years here. If you have no experience in Hair and Makeup for Film, TV and Stage, you’ll get to grips with tools and techniques in your first year, and how you can use them to create finished looks.

What facilities can I use?

As a Hair and Makeup for Film, TV and Stage student, you’ll benefit from a range of state-of-the-art facilities. Collaborating with students from a range of different courses, you’ll get to grips as the makeup and hair department for those studying costume design or performing arts degrees. With these students you will be able to bring your designs to life in our fully equipped Fashion and Textile workshop and our TV and film studios.

As well as this you’ll also have access to our photography studios as you build and put together your industry-ready portfolio. As a BNU student you have automatic access to our library and Students’ Union. You can also join our gym at a student discounted price.

What will I study?

This accelerated option will get you ready for industry in just two year. 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.

Explore the theory associated with hair, makeup and filmic representation to understand broader contexts informing your practice. Spend your time with us experimenting and creating a portfolio to blow employers away. We will even teach you the knowledge you need to understand what it takes to set up as a freelancer with our entrepreneurial skills module.

Master the hair and makeup skills you need for successful entry into the hair and makeup industry and the hierarchy and roles involved in each department, including SFX, in film, television and theatre.

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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.

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 CV.

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

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 80 - 112

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.

Year 1 Modules

Historical and Contextual Studies

Introduction to Hair and Makeup

Pre-Production and Film Set Etiquette Final Project

Advanced Hair and Make-up

FX Makeup and Prosthetics

Year 2 Modules

Advanced Hair and Make-Up 2

Professional & Entrepreneurial Skills

Contextual Studies

Major Project and Contextual Report

Character Design Making

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? 

After studying at BNU, you’ll be set up for success and ready to work on major productions anywhere in the world.

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. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Our BA (Hons) Hair and Make-Up for Film and Performance course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:

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

Many of our students also choose to study one of our full-time or part-time postgraduate courses.

Course leader

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Emma Croombs
  • Course Leader
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Jayne Hall Cunnick
  • Senior Lecturer
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