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Make-up & Hair for Theatre, TV, Film

Interested in designing and applying make-up for theatre, film and television? Do you want to create iconic special effects make-up and use prosthetics to bring characters to life? Do you want to learn how to style hair and wigs for period dramas and plays? Or work in a team to develop ‘the look’ for editorial photoshoots?

Our Make-up & Hair for Theatre, TV, Film course prepares young people to progress to work as trained make-up and hair artists in film, TV and theatre.

This free post-16 course is underpinned by the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Production Arts Practice, worth the equivalent of 3 A-levels.

This is a full-time 2 year course.

At BOA Stage and Screen Production we place significant emphasis on work-readiness, project-based learning and industry collaboration, and our purpose-built curriculum has been designed in collaboration with major UK industry partners to ensure our students are genuinely "workshop-ready" when they leave us. The Make-up and Hair for Theatre, TV and Film pathway at BOA Stage and Screen Production academy is much, much more than the BTEC course alone, it is a passport into the industry.

Students at BOA Stage and Screen will undertake a sequence of live industry projects, working with major partners such as the BBC and The Old Rep Theatre and industry professionals, choosing roles, attending relevant workshops and classes, executing their duties, and keeping a journal and e-portfolio as evidence.

The content of the journal and e-portfolio is regularly assessed against the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Production Arts Practice, worth the equivalent of 3 A-levels.

Students will achieve the Foundation Diploma at the end of their first year of study. They will then have the option to ‘top-up’ their BTEC to an Extended Diploma in their second year of study.

This means students leave equipped with the qualifications, credits, experience and professional network they need to progress directly into the industry, or pursue further studies at the very best universities.


This pathway covers the following specialisms for theatre, film and television;

  • Special FX make-up
  • Prosthetics
  • Wig making
  • Postiche (hairpieces inc. facial hair) 
  • Editorial & Avant Garde make-up
  • Body art
  • Stage make-up

This pathway enables you to choose your own learning route. This could be in design, styling, application or management roles or a combination of different roles from different areas.

This course provides learning experiences through which you will develop a wide range of skills required within the hair and make-up sector. Through practical exploration and real-life performance and film projects, you will develop and hone specialist design, creative, technical and management skills required to work successfully in this industry.


You will develop essential industry knowledge and skills through a number of exciting projects led by industry professionals and Academy teachers. You will collaborate across pathways at BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy and will work closely with our sister school, Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA). You will work with directors, performers and other members of the production team to produce live performances and film projects.

You will be assessed through practical work on a variety of production projects and will be required to carry out coursework as part of your programme of study. Coursework is set in a variety of different ways at BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy. For example, you may decide that developing a website is the best way to showcase your skills. Other options for assessment could include an e-portfolio, presentation, video log or podcast. There are no formal written exams on this course.

Over the duration of your studies, you will build a multimedia portfolio and logbook that tracks all of your experiences, roles and projects, and evidences your outcomes. You will reflect on how successful you have been and earmark those experiences which have been most useful. At key milestones throughout the course, your portfolio will be assessed by authorised assessors based at the academy.


Foundation Year (Year 1)

Hair and Make-up Skills Development

In this module you will develop a range of skills and design and application skills and techniques. The areas of study could include; special fx make-up, concept art, colour theory, contouring, old age, hair and make-up management skills, wig making, make-up and hair for film and television, editorial make-up for photoshoots. You will carry out roles on a variety of projects.


The Production Arts Industry

In this module you will take part in a range of sessions where you will explore the productions arts industry. This module will provide you with a thorough understanding of different roles within the production arts and how they work together as a team. As part of this module, you will explore current industry practice and procedures. You will explore employment opportunities that are available to you and will develop an understanding of the trade unions that will represent you should you go on to work professionally within the creative industries.


Extended Year (Year 2)

Personal Production Arts Profile

In this module you have the ability to choose production roles based on your specific areas of interest. You will create work that reflects your individual career goals. You will refine the skills developed in the foundation year modules and will explore ideas in your specific role. You will develop an individual project and will then create promotional material to use for your own progression into employment and will explore networking opportunities.


Collaborative Production Arts Project 

In this module you will collaborate with others to produce all the required elements for a live or filmed event in your individual production role of choice. You will work professionally and autonomously in your role and will demonstrate your ability in planning, designing, organising, collaborating and communicating to realise a full-scale production. In this module you will demonstrate the refined skills and knowledge developed in previous modules throughout the course.

What can THIS LEAD TO?

We have chosen to deliver the Pearson BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma in Production Arts Practice because the BTEC Level 3 Diplomas are widely recognised by industry and universities alike as the ideal vocational training route into technical stage and screen careers.

Students who graduate BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy with this qualification will be well equipped to pursue careers in film, TV and theatre or related disciplines.

Following successful completion of their course students may choose to transition straight into full time employment in entry-level specialist roles, or they may choose to secure a higher apprenticeship or even go on to university.


Direct to Employment

The content, structure and assessment of this qualification have been developed in consultation with teachers, employers, professional bodies and academics to ensure that the qualification supports progression to higher education and, should learners choose to enter employment directly, that it is appropriate and consistent with current practice.

There are many, many careers working in theatres and live events across the UK, and Birmingham is a central hub. The industry is crying out for young people who are work-ready and well-trained.


University and Higher Apprenticeships

The Extended Diploma, equivalent to three A Levels, is a two-year, full-time course that meets entry requirements for learners who want to progress to higher education courses in production arts areas before entering employment. Many make-up artists work freelance and develop their career by building a network of contacts and getting recommendations from their clients, but there are management and supervisor roles which are either permanent or on fixed term contracts. In the world of marketing and social media, specialists tend to work to a service level agreement, whilst others are permanently employed by an organisation or signed up to an agency. Salaries range across the whole spectrum, driven by the specialist skills required, the responsibility of the role and the production budget.


Careers in the screen industries can take many different forms, with hundreds of individual roles - each with their own specialisms and skills.

For a comprehensive list of over 500 roles, why not check out the ScreenSkills Job Profile Finder

Freelance Work & Portfolio Careers

Creative roles such as Make-up and Hair tend to involve working on a freelance basis, moving from project-to-project on contracts lasting anywhere from a few weeks to several years.  As a result, many workers in the industry will build up a 'portfolio' of skills, allowing them to work flexibly across different roles and therefore increasing the availability of projects available to them.

Ultimately, the variety and excitement of a career in the screen industry is second to none, but of course making connections and building a robust professional network is key. That is why we ensure every student graduates BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy set up with a freelance portfolio, professional film and TV credits, and key connections in the Birmingham industry network.

Permanent & Fixed Term Contracts

Management and production teams are more typically hired as permanent or fixed-term contracts. Similarly, in the world of marketing and social media, roles can be permanent positions either within an organisation or through an agency. 

It's also worth noting that there are a huge number of creative roles offered within traditionally 'non-creative' industries. Across the globe, sectors such as healthcare, engineering or banking & finance all require creative workers for the creation and production of marketing materials, PR & communications, social media channels, websites, events and branding. 


As with many industries, pay can vary significantly across the whole spectrum depending on the level of responsibility and also the size/budget of the overall production/project. However, creative and technical workers are usually highly sought after and can typically expect to receive higher levels of pay - due to the specialist nature of the skills required. 

Ultimately, the variety and excitement of a career in the screen industry is second to none, but of course making connections and building a robust professional network is key. That is why we ensure every student graduates BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy set up with a freelance portfolio, professional film and TV credits, and key connections in the Birmingham industry network.

Apply now for our
Hair & Make-up For THEATRE, TV, FIlm Pathway