Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Make-Up for Media and Performance

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2022


In a nutshell

Whether it’s bringing Queen Elizabeth I back to life through a history documentary, making fantasy creatures such as the orcs in the Lord of the Rings a reality on screen, or getting Eamon and Ruth ready to go on air in the morning, make-up artists are integral to any good production team. If your interests lie in beauty, costume design, wig-making or body art, our BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance degree will give you the tools and training you need to take the first step in your professional career.

As you progress through your studies, you’ll have the chance to explore the art of make-up in a unique range of contexts, such as film, TV, theatre, and live performance. Geared towards your career as a professional make-up artist, you’ll gain first-hand experience of working collaboratively as part of a creative team, preparing you for the industry you’ll graduate into.

What’s more, studying a media make-up degree in Manchester means you’ll have access to all the creative opportunities the city has to offer. You’ll be joining an exciting community of established make-up artists with links to a variety of global organisations, including the BBC, ITV and Lime Productions. As part of your media make-up degree you’ll also work with industry professionals on live projects, equipping you with the skills you’ll need to establish yourself as an expert in the field.

You will:
  • Develop a wide range of skillsets needed to open up a world of careers in performance make-up artistry
  • Work on interdisciplinary projects that reflect the professional world of media make-up
  • Graduate with a portfolio of work that evidences the skills you’ve learnt to potential employers, or for further study

Want to find out more about our media make-up degree courses? You can sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our Fashion courses.

Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance course.


students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to learn creative make-up techniques and work to an industry-standard level.


You’d like to refine your creative and practical make-up skills while working in a hands-on environment.


You want to launch a professional career in make-up for media and performance.

Course details

All about the course

So, what do media make-up university courses involve? At Salford, our media make-up degrees are designed to explore the fundamental skills and materials of your chosen profession. You’ll be supported to develop and communicate ideas and concepts appropriate to make-up for the media and performance industries.

During your first year you’ll be supported to develop and communicate your ideas and concepts. We’ll teach you design, and technical processes used by professional make-up artists for the media and performance industries. You’ll use research, critical thinking and reflection to tell stories through make-up design and transformations. You’ll also grow your confidence in your ability to deliver by learning practices mirrored by industry, such as working in a group and independently to deliverer projects in tight timescales.

In your second year we’ll provide you the opportunity to nurture your artistic talents, through our specialist modules which focus on fashion, film and TV, and live performance. And it doesn’t end there.  You’ll be mentored and supported as young aspiring make-up artist by professionals so you can prepare for a professional career. You’ll even have the opportunity to learn specialist in-demand skills through collaborate projects and industry generated briefs, such as wig construction, hair styling, special make-up effects.

During your third year you’ll undertake and initiate design projects, allowing you to demonstrate the new skills you’ve learned throughout this make-up for media and performance degree. Whether that’s using your high levels of technical and creative craft skills, or your ability to think quick and adapt to changing environments – you’ll work towards building a portfolio that represents your academic journey and experience that you can use for future employment or further study.

Gain a deeper understanding of what you'll explore within each module below.

Year one

Design in Make-Up

Presenting concepts and designs in 2D and 3D formats is the focus of this module. You will learn relevant visualisation techniques, including digital solutions, to be able to present development ideas. The module allows you to build on the experience and knowledge from other modules and to bring together your growing skills and abilities.

Exploring Creative Concepts

​You will have the opportunity to explore major genres, critical theories, and practitioners relevant to the media and performance industries. This module will also help you to articulate yourself in different styles of writing - for example: critical, reflective, reporting.


This module gives you the opportunity to respond to a to a given scenario, problem or opportunity as described in a design brief. The module and assignments will help develop skills of working on a shared concept but with individual outcomes and will also develop the ability to research and create fantastical character creations.


The ability to create historical hair and make-up is important in the hair and make-up industry. This module will equip you with the ability to research and create concepts for a relevant brief as well as the opportunity to apply the appropriate skills and techniques.

Realism (Beauty)

This module introduces students to basic techniques and processes as well as health and safety procedures  - all important, fundamental knowledge to build on in future modules.

Realism (Character)

This module introduces you to the visual language of character development and the basic techniques required to develop character using hair and make-up.

Year two


Working specifically in the area of fashion you will have the opportunity to concentrate on hair and make-up concepts, skills and techniques relevant to this sector. Importantly, you will experience the need for speed in an industry that requires a fast turn round but a high performance.

Film and TV

The film and television industry is a major employer, understanding how productions operate in relation to the design and creation of hair and make-up is important to your professional development. This module will allow you to develop more advanced and specific skills in a variety of formats - including digital.

Ideas and Contexts

Having a more advanced understanding and critical awareness of the media and performance industry will further develop your critical skills and inform your practice. This module builds on the experimentation with different writing skills in the first-year module Exploring Creative Contexts. It will broaden your understanding of and ability to analyse different performances.

Live Performance in Practice

The module concentrates on live performance - whether this is theatre, popular music concert, opera etc. It gives you the opportunity to develop more advanced design techniques and skills specifically in relation to live contexts.

Year three

Critical Enquiry

Negotiated Major Project: Make-up Design

This module allows you to fully stretch your imagination using the knowledge, skills and experience you've previously gained. It gives you the opportunity to concentrate on areas of the industry to help support your professional ambitions.

Professional Portfolio

The module gives you the opportunity to focus on enhancing your career profile by creating a personal development plan which will include how you market yourself as a professional hair and make-up artist.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.





Timed Practical




You’ll be provided with a timetable that’ll include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. As part of your make-up for media and performance degree, you’ll be provided with a timetable that will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our New Adelphi building.

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. Seminars will help you to develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures, along with timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. What’s more, you’ll have access to our industry-standard design software throughout your course.


An important part of our fashion business university courses is the opportunity to present your academic skills in a variety of ways. Throughout your degree, your assignments will consist of essays, reports, portfolios, performances, presentations and your final year project. Grades from your formal assessments will count towards your final degree classification.


All our Fashion courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.

Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.


This fashion design degree is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of design and creativity on campus.

When you study with us, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our design facilities. These include:

Studio space – dedicated areas for each course, giving you room to think and create.

Photography studios - industry standard photographic studios, which you can use in conjunction with darkrooms and digital printing facilities.

Mac suites - equipped with the industry-standard software you’ll need during your studies and in the world of work.

Take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


With media and live performance more accessible to people than ever before, there’s never been a more exciting time to study a media make-up degree. Our BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance degree will help you pave the way into roles surrounding fashion, film, TV and live performance – but the possibilities don’t end there.

We’d expect to see graduates from this course go into successful careers working special effects, prosthetics and as theatrical make-up artists, wig makers and business manufacturers. Employers within the creative industry are increasingly seeking candidates who are well-organised, forward-thinking and self-aware, which is why we also focus on providing you with the skills you need to thrive in the professional workplace.


Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.

A taste of what you could become

A make up artist

A prosthetics maker

A wig maker

And more...

Career Links

Our media make-up courses are heavily industry-related, with established links to the BBC, ITV and Lime Productions. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet guest speakers and to work with industry professionals on live projects. 


What you need to know


To gain a place on this BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements. A personal statement is a personal summary (360 to 500 words) of your academic, professional/life experience and future goals. We’ll want to see your personality and understand:

  • what motivates you and what you’ve learnt on your current academic journey;
  • why you want to work in the fashion industry for the media and performance sector; and
  • why this make-up course at University of Salford is right for your future goals.

In addition to this, we’d also like to see examples of your previous work in a well-presented portfolio. Your portfolio can take the form of sketches, images or videos of your make-up designs. We don’t expect you to be an expert - as you’ll learn new creative and technical skills on this course - but we’d like to see that you have some experience in delivering design concepts.

We understand that due to current circumstances you may not have full access to your entire collection of work. If you don’t have access to your full portfolio, please provide us with any pieces of work you do have, and they’ll be taken into consideration as part of your application.

Normally we'd invite you to attend a face-to-face interview. At the moment though, we are reducing the numbers of people we have on campus. Instead, we will ask you to either submit a portfolio or take part in an online interview. Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps. 

Do you want to know more about this Make-up degree for Media and Performance? You can sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

Standard entry requirements

English language requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.


English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. 

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

112-128 points

A level

112-128 points

BTEC National Diploma


Scottish Highers

112-128 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

112-128 points

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2022

September 2023

UCAS information

Course ID W4P2

Institution S03

Clearing 2021

Interested in starting this course in September 2021? Find out how to apply through Clearing