BA (Hons) Special Effects Make-up Design and Prosthetics

UCAS Code: G80 W4R2 Credit Level: 6 Credit Value: 360 Course Start Date: September Course Duration: 3 years full time

Get prepared for the TV and film industries, transforming your designs and ideas into a complete character.

BA (Hons) Special Effects Make-up Design and Prosthetics Awarding body

Your Programme

About the BA (Hons) Special Effects Make-up Design and Prosthetics programme

Student focus is on the design, manufacture and application of prosthetic make-up for stage and screen. Learners are exposed to industry-standard techniques, linking both artistic expressions with key workshop manufacturing fundamentals. Each level of study will engage and challenge the student to expand upon their skillset, using a variety of materials within specific professional contexts.

By exploring an extensively wide range of materials and practices, students will have the chance to explore every aspect of the special make-up effects artist’s role within the industry. Designs and ideas will materialize through experimentation, and a comprehensive portfolio will emerge – allowing graduates to effectively promote themselves as both creative and highly competent technicians.


Entry Requirements

80 UCAS points (UCAS 2017 tariff), with minimum of grade ‘C’ in both GCSE Maths and English. This equates to MMP or above at BTEC National Diploma, CCD at A-Level, or Merit on the Diploma Foundation Studies (Art, Design and Media).

TEC Partnership will also encourage applications from non-traditional learners who lack formal academic qualifications. All such non-traditional applicants will be interviewed, and will carry out a bespoke assignment in order to assess their academic potential and relevant experience.

What you will learn

Year 1 (Level 4)

In your first year, you will be introduced and exposed to a wide variety of vital skills, such as designing, sculpting, moulding, casting, application and painting. This is coupled with academic input, which is contextualized around the specialism of arts and society in general.

  • Casualty Simulation
  • Mask Making Techniques
  • Media, Arts and Society
  • Life Casting and Moulding
  • Character Transformation
  • Anatomy and Lifelike Sculpture

Year 2 (Level 5)

In your second year, you will move on to application and development of the skills learnt in level 4, with more advanced practical applications of prosthetics, designs and sculpting processes. Again, some theory is embedded in delivery in order to deepen your understanding of the subject and prepare yourself for the requirements of level 6.

  • Prosthetic Techniques 1 & 2
  • Creative Practitioner
  • Critical Approaches
  • Creature Design and Sculpture
  • Researching the Arts

Year 3 (Level 6)

The last year of your studies is the “springboard to industry”; the culmination of progressively increased self-direction, critique and responsibility. As well as dissertation, you will design and produce a final major project, calling on key principles that have been delivered since level 4 and expanding on them. You will focus on finding and presenting to the world your own professional identity, and have a chance to practically prepare yourself for the industry.

  • Dissertation
  • Preliminary Practical Project
  • Professional Identity and Employability
  • Final Major Project

Learning & Teaching Methods

This course is primarily designed for face-to-face learning, with attendance during lessons for the specified hours within the validation document. However, there may be periods of study where the government advises TEC Partnership that it is not safe to open campuses, or there is limited access due to social distancing measures. If the campus is closed, TEC Partnership will deliver your sessions online and offer you the necessary support and resources remotely. If there is limited access due to social distancing measures a blended model will be adopted, with some lessons taking place in small groups and others using online sessions and support.

The majority of modules are largely practical with personal study time. Practical classes are run ‘workshop’ style, with demonstrations and theoretical knowledge delivery. This is usually followed by ‘hands on’ practice by the students, with ongoing feedback and discussions. We also have many opportunities to collaborate with other programmes such as photography and film.

All students are required to pay an annual Student Levy Fee of £250. This payment contributes towards bulk materials used in the workshop throughout the academic year: plaster, silicone, fibreglass, clay etc. Students are required to purchase a specific kit containing materials and tools vital for prosthetic manufacture and application, which will see you through your degree and on into industry. The kit is priced at £400 and successful applicants will be instructed on how to order. Workshops, general materials and tools are provided by the course.

Programme Benefits

Since the entire course is designed to address individual needs, and each learner has a lot of one-to-one time with the tutors, the opportunities are endless. Students achieve an extremely high level of development because we leave no questions unanswered. As well as the default skills that the course provides to learners, we are always open to new ideas and innovating techniques. Alongside research, we continuously seek for the newest methods and materials to keep our teaching up to date.

What next?

Learners have gone on to work in various areas of the industry including film, television and workshop labs covering both work in the UK and abroad. It is also possible to progress on to master’s level study.