Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair and Media Makeup

VTCT Diploma , Level 3
Apply now Enquire Now

Available at the following campuses:

What Our Students Say

“The studying here is really great because we get a lot of industry-standard products, like we’re doing the age of male characters so in our kits we all got three bald caps which obviously gave us one practice and two assessments, and we’re all using the Ben Nye cream paints which are really really good industry-wise, and definitely the airbrushes as well, and we all had a big workshop on the airbrushes so everybody knows how to use theirs, and we all have our own. The thing with this course as well is it gives you a lot of creative freedom, like we all get given a brief but it’s kind of ‘what do you want to do with the brief?’, and having all the products to back that up really helps us achieve that.”


Did you know!

  • Benefit from partnerships and opportunities with Lidos Productions, The Carriageworks, Urban Decay, and Treasure House of Makeup. |Take advantage of our strong links with leading employers Wella, Goddess Electrical, HD Brows, Sterex, Urban Decay, Treasure House of Makeup, Nouveau, and Dermalogica.
  • Our practical rooms have been specially designed and built by experienced consultants to provide the college with first class commercial salons for hair and beauty therapy and makeup studios for media makeup.
  • By 2024, the hairdressing and barber sector in Leeds is predicted to grow by 3.3%. (EMSI, 2019)

Course Information


Turn up the drama with this creative course. You will learn specialist techniques such as airbrushing, camouflaging, special effects makeup, prosthetics, and wigs. You will also work alongside a professional photographer to build up an invaluable industry-ready portfolio to showcase your work. You’ll also create intricate hairstyles and makeup for productions.


Video Transcript

Print Download Fullscreen



INTERVIEWEE – JOANNE HOBBS, Head of School of Hair, Beauty and Media Makeup (SPEAKING)

INTERVIEWEE – FATOU, Student of Media Makeup (SPEAKING)


INTERVIEWEE – EVIE, Student of Media Makeup (SPEAKING)





Scenery – Student is seen airbrushing another student’s makeup on.

Scenery – A massage therapist is seen working on a client.

Scenery – Barber is seen giving a client a fade.

Scenery – A student’s design booklet is seen open on a table.

Joanne – “Hi I’m Joanne Hobbs I’m the head of Hair, Beauty and Media Makeup at Printworks Campus at Leeds City College. We offer a level one right through to level four in hair, beauty and media makeup, starting from the 14 year old school curriculum right the way through to professional qualifications for adults. The thing that sets Printworks apart is the facilities; they’re phenomenal.”

Scenery – A student is shown doing another students make up.

Joanne – “They’re really state of the art and up to date with resources and with all the curriculum that we offer.”

Fatou – “I’m studying level three media makeup at Leeds City College. So I think it started in year ten, year 11. Where I started getting into Art and then my teacher says, you know, that’s, you know, grade eight, nine pieces of work. So… and I like makeup as well. So art and makeup put it together. Makeup artist. And then when I was younger, I was watching the Michael Jackson music video thriller. The green eyes, the fangs. All the special effects on his face.”

Scenery – Fatou is seen airbrushing someone’s face while talking to another makeup artist.

Ellie Smith – “So today is assessment day and they are doing an assessment for their aging male character. So for this assessment, they have to apply a bald cap, facial hair pastiche and prosthetic nose, usually in hair and makeup. I think everyone thinks it’s usually glamorous, but as we can see today, the bald caps, it’s not kind of where they want to be pictured. I think!”

Scenery – A makeup artist is seen bantering with a student as they prepare for the assessment

Scenery – A student tests out the airbrush making sure it works correctly.

Ellie Smith – “So a really good media makeup student is somebody who is super creative, who just throws themself into any task and idea and kind of gets a bit carried away with themself. The crazier the ideas, the better. It does definitely pay off a lot more”.

Evie – “I decided I wanted to do media makeup pretty much in the first lockdown. I really had nothing else to do. And so I started playing about with creative makeup. And then obviously when we went back to school and they were asking us what colleges and what we wanted to do for the future. And we had a little bit of a meeting with some careers people and they said it was actually something I could go into.”

Scenery – Evie is seen applying facial hair onto a student.

Evie – “So I looked into the Leeds City College course and decided this is what I wanted to come! Studying here is really great because you get a lot of industry standard products, like we’re doing the aging male characters today. So in our kits, we all got three bald caps, which obviously it gave us a practice and two assessments and we’re all using the Ben Nye cream paints, which are really, really good industry wise.”

Scenery – A student is seen in a bald cap, waiting for the next airbrushing session.

Evie – “And definitely the airbrushes is as well. And we all had a big workshop on the air brushes so everybody knows how to use theirs and we all have our own. The thing with this course as well, is it gives you a lot of creative freedom like we are all given a brief, but it’s kind of what do you want to do with the brief and having all the products to back that up really helps us achieve that.”

Katie Mortimer – “Hi, my name is Katie and I’m a hairdressing tutor at Leeds City College. So I went to teaching because I’m a people person. The hairdressing students will start college and they might be really shy low confidence and when they leave at the end of the year, if I’ve built their confidence up and I’ve created them life skills, then I’ve done my job right.”

Scenery – Students are seen washing dolls hair and laughing together.

Scenery – A student uses a hose to rinse the suds out of a dolls hair.

Katie Mortimer – “So not only are they work on the confidence and the building their skills throughout the year, they’re kind of like evolving into their own person as well. And yeah, they’ll come out with a qualification at the end of it. But then I feel as a teacher I’ve done my part as well because it will help them in getting jobs in the future.”

Scenery – Students are seen smiling and joking with each other.

Scenery – A student is seen using scissors and a comb to cut hair.

Tracey Mangan – “I’d say up to the last 8 -10 years barbering has been mainly male dominated, but it’s changing a lot. You’ve seen a lot more women coming forward for barbering. It’s getting a lot bigger and there’s a lot more women pushing their self today. Their barbering in the men’s hair so it’s not so male dominated anymore. I like everything about barbering I like the banter, I like to how I can be myself with barbering I felt like when I was doing hairdressing you’re working with the appointment systems and you have to watch your p’s and q’s conversations are lot different in the barber shops.”

Scenery – A student is seen getting his haircut, smiling at the results.

Bethany Jackson – “As a tutor and as a teacher as well. It’s really lovely and heartwarming when you get to see students that have come out of their shell as well. So when they start at a certain point where they come in September, they don’t know many people and then by this time of the year and normally it’s around about by Christmas, you learn is 100% confident.

Scenery – Powder is being tapped into a pallete.

Scenery – A student is seen applying powder to another student’s face.

Bethany Jackson – “And it’s really nice to see that as a tutor you can see their development to where they start to where they are now and when they leave. As they’re all confident and they’ve got the skills to either progress into another course to go out into industry. So our facilities match up to how they would be in industry.”

Scenery – A student is seen opening up a makeup box and grabbing concealer

Bethany Jackson – “We’ve got like all the proper beauty beds, we’ve got all the products that they’d use in industry, the mag lumps as well. It’s definitely changed since I studied in the day and the kids have got the best facilities to be able to learn in and to be able to study in.”

Scenery – A beautician is seen operating a laser machine.

Joanne Scott – “On Level 4, which is an absolutely amazing program, absolutely love teaching it. We do things such as skin rejuvenation using lasers. We do, hair removal using lasers and also IPL. We do epilation and removal of hair permanently. And we also do advanced epilation, which is removing things like skin tags, thread, veins. It’s a real advancement which can lead on to lots of other exciting things too.”

Scenery – A Masseuse is seen oiling their hands.

Scenery – The Masseuse runs their hands along a clients back

Joanne Scott – “So it’s a one year program and you would probably spend 1 to 2 days within college. You would have practical work and be fully supported and you would also have theory work as well that you would do either at home or supported within college.”

Joanne Hobbs – “What makes a good student is someone that may be wanting to learn new skills, but may not understand why but is willing to learn and passionate. I think you need passion and energy for this career. It’s hard work. A lot of people think it’s easy, it’s hard work, but it’s very rewarding work. I am passionate about giving students the opportunity to learn.

Scenery – A montage of hardworking students is shown within each specialisation.

Joanne Hobbs – “They don’t always necessarily know their role model, and it is our duty as tutors and creative stylists to try and instil that kind of behaviour and rewards for students so that they can progress into that career of choice.”

End Slide – Leeds City College (School of Hair,Beauty And Media Makeup)

Who is this course for?

If you’re in year 11 or 12 and are looking to take the next steps towards your career these courses are for you. Our vast selection of vocational courses span a range of subjects and combine academic study with practical skills. Study in industry standard facilities and use our industry links to prepare for progression.

Benefits and skills

  • Apply prosthetic pieces, bald caps, camouflage, and airbrush makeup.
  • Create fantasy and creative hair design.
  • Design and apply face and body art.
  • Style and fit postiche (wigs)
  • Entry requirements

    Four GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English and maths.

    Available Apprenticeships and Progression options

    Progression may include degree level study or relevant employment.

    Course details

    Duration: 1 year
    Start Date: 16/09/2024
    Fees (16-18): No fee
    Study Type: Full time
    Course Code: 42687-01

    Please note that for all courses starting on 9th September, there will be an induction week, WC 2nd September.

    You may also be interested in