Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Specialist Hair & Media Make-up BA (Hons)

Specialist Hair & Media Make-up BA (Hons)

On Thursday morning I purchased this hoodie because I wanted to get one before I leave. I can’t believe not only is there just 10 weeks left of the semester but 10 weeks of my time at UCB. It feels only a couple of months ago that I first moved down here and I called my mum to cry down the phone to her because I couldn’t find a Tesco. It’s craziness, but I can say that I have experienced every module, so I thought I would give an overview to the course and what to expect from each module. Some of the modules are slightly different from when I started so I’ll just chat about the ones I have experienced.


Artistry Skills

17327833_10154643810061713_93856552_nThis was my favourite module because it focuses more on basic make-up techniques and it also teaches you about health and safety for when you are working in the industry. You try out different make-up looks each week, depending on what the theme is that week. For example, I remember one week was adornments week and we had to create a look using adornments, that was the eye make-up  I did that week. Then other weeks, we focused on editorial, bridal, TV and some basic special effects. It was a really cool and a pretty laid back module. I had a practical exam for this module if I recall correctly and we got marked on our design plans too.

Hair Design for Continuity for Gents, Ladies and Wigs

Some of the girls in my class really didn’t enjoy this module – because as you can imagine it’s all about hair and some people just don’t enjoy doing hair. I really do so I enjoyed this module.  You learn basic hairdressing and styling for men including facial hair, women and wigs. It’s a good module but if you don’t enjoy doing hair then I would mentally prepare yourself because you do it throughout the whole of your first year. For this module you have practical exams and you have to complete some coursework too.

Historical Perspectives of Hair and Fashion

This module is an academic module rather than a practical module and if you’re into your history you’ll find it quite interesting. I remember writing a report on hippies and their fashion choices which was quite interesting to learn about. This module is there to set you up for the next two years as you’ll use a lot of information that you learn in this module.

Pathology of Special Effects Make-up

I struggled with this module because it’s a bit science based and I am horrendous at science. It is again an academic module and I had to do a group presentation and written exam. It wasn’t my favourite module but it’s really important because it teaches you all about infections, skin diseases, anatomy and all sorts that are really important for when you go into industry, no matter what sector you work in.

Special Effects and Prosthetics Make-up

These two modules were separate and we had to do loads of coursework and a practical exam for special effects. Then for prosthetics, we also had a practical exam. Both modules were really cool but really messy! Don’t bother coming into uni looking nice because you get covered in silicone, greasepaint, various powders, various glues and fake blood. Below are images from special effects. I really enjoyed special effects, it’s something I miss the most from my first year – but I don’t miss the mess!


Advanced Prosthetics and Castings

I preferred prosthetics in the second year to the first year because I knew what to expect and I was more into it the second time round. We had to do log book coursework for this module and then we had a prosthetics showcase which our friends and family were allowed to come to. We got to choose the theme and do our character transformation based on that theme, so our theme was mythical creatures and I chose to do a Phoenix. You learn so much in the prosthetics lessons, sometimes it can feel a bit too much because there is just so much information to process, but that the same time it is really fun.

Creative Fashion, Make-up and Styling

I enjoyed the lessons to this module but I didn’t enjoy the assignment. The module was split into half hair lessons and half make-up lessons so we were taught loads of creative and high fashion techniques. This was really fun but for the assignment we had to create an avant-garde look and a high fashion look based on our favourite fashion designer and I just had a mental block. I would say I enjoyed the module as a whole, I just wasn’t very good at it..

Freelance Practitioner

This wasn’t a practical lecture either but I found this module really interesting, it’s very business based and its essentially teaching you how to promote  yourself as a brand and a freelancer. There is so much coursework to do for this module as you have to create a type of business plan for your future as a freelance make-up artist so it’s quite long but it will really help in the long run.

Period Hair and Make-up17355118_10154643876491713_917431770_n

I loved this module, it was my favourite module for the whole of my second year. It was a practical module that went through every era each week teaching you hair and make-up that would be appropriate for that era, including historically accurate techniques. All the hair is done on wigs so you learn all about wig care and wig styling. I just really enjoyed this module because it was right up my street – we had an essay and a practical exam for this module too.

Research Enquiry

This module is quite difficult but is a godsend if you decide to do a research project in your third year because you basically learn how to do the research project, how to research, how to analyse data, how to interpret literature and then you do a mini dissertation for your assignment. It’s hard but just one of those things you have to do.

Visual Imagery for Fashion and Media

This was an interesting module. It’s all about film, TV and photography and how make-up and fashion are used within these sectors, but it’s also how film genres use certain techniques such as lighting, hidden meanings or colour to get across a certain message. It’s a good one! I had to do an essay and then we also had to make a short film and do the hair and make-up for it. It was quite a stressful module for me because I had absolutely no filmmaking background but it was okay, I made it work!


Cultural and Historical Studies

I found this module really interesting. It links back to modules from the first and second year and it is quite an interactive module. There was a lot of debates and discussions in this module because not only do you talk about historical trends but also trends from recent years and why they happened. I had to make a presentation based on a fashion subculture, so I did about skinheads and it was an assignment that I actually really enjoyed researching.

Innovations within Make-up Artistry

I am currently studying this module and it basically is what it says on the tin. I’m not really sure how to elaborate on this one because it is about innovations and the actions people have taken in order to achieve innovation. I have to complete an essay and design my own innovation, complete with a sketchbook to support my ideas.

Postiche Design for Performers

This module explores postiche which is added hair for facial beards, moustaches and fake eyebrows. You create your own beard for your practical exam and character transformation. I am also studying this module at the moment and it’s good just very fiddly, making the actual beard piece is so technical and it really requires all your concentration. You also have a report to complete which I actually really could do with cracking on with…..

The Art of Film

This was a really cool module. We would have a two hour seminar where we would just watch a film and then we would have a lecture where we would learn all about filmmaking in terms of the history or films, history of genre, lighting, costume, character analysis – basically everything to do with films but it was a really in-depth module. We then had to write an essay on a genre of our choice, which was pretty cool because I wrote about romance films and so I could watch a load of my favourite films and call it research.

Final Major Project/Research Project

In your third year you also have a choice of whether you do a final major project or a research project i.e. dissertation. I am doing a dissertation and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but don’t let that put you off because I don’t think the final major project is any easier!

Hope this helps and if you have any further questions, feel free to email me at!

Emilia x


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