Make-Up Degree

Studying for a make-up degree will allow you to enhance your skills in the area. You will be able to discover more about the theoretical and historical side of make-up application and uses, as well as having the chance to improve your technical and practical skills. You will be exposed to the business and marketing elements of a quickly developing academic discipline, preparing yourself for a career in an industry that is going from strength to strength.

Highlighted courses and degrees in Make-Up


An undergraduate degree in make-up will give you a foundation of knowledge in the area. You will study modules on the application of make-up, the history of make-up, contemporary make-up designs and the different uses for make-up throughout history. These modules will prepare you for a variety of career opportunities.

Your degree will be delivered through a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical assessment and sessions to develop your technical skills. You might be presented with the opportunity to undertake a practical module or year, but this will depend on your institution and degree course.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence the area in which you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Film and TV Make-Up
  • Special Effects
  • Make-Up and Hair Design
  • Theatre and Performance Make-Up
  • Branding for Creative Industries

If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, submit a final major research project, or take part in a degree show, this will give you the opportunity to further explore a favoured area of make-up.

Accreditation and Certification

The accreditation of a make-up degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA), a Bachelor of Design (BDes), or in some cases a Bachelor of Science (BSc).

Depending on your career path when you have graduated, you may be presented with further opportunities to gain professional or academic qualifications and certifications.

Timeframe and Further Studies

Generally, an undergraduate degree in make-up will take three to four years. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.

On successful completion of your make-up degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.

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Entry Requirements for Degrees in Make-Up

The entry requirements for a make-up degree will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit and entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.

Many art and design degree courses require you to submit a portfolio of your previous work as part of your application. The institution will be able to provide you with more information about what to include and how to submit it.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their make-up programmes.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.

Typical entry requirements:

  • UK5.0 IELTS

Fund Your Studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section to read more about funding your studies.

Typical course fees (per year):

  • UK£14,000

Career Options

Graduates of a make-up degree will find that there are many different career options available to them. You might choose to work in a role directly related to your degree. This could include becoming a make-up artist for a range of industries, such as commercial print, red carpet events, theatre performances, runway and high fashion shows, funeral make-up, bridal make-up and costume make-up.

You will have gained a wide range of transferable skills throughout your degree. These will be useful in the make-up industry, as well as being applicable to many other creative industries and beyond. Skills gained will include time management, idea development, and effective communication.

Guides to related subjects

Learn about subjects similar to Make-Up with these related StudyLink guides

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