Pop-art inspired hair and make-up by a student from The Iver Academy


Learn the essential skills you need to carve out a career as a professional make-up artist with our Foundation Certificate course. You’ll cover all the areas that you need to start your journey as a make-up and hair artist capable of working on film, TV and theatre productions.

Throughout this full time 14 week course you’ll gain an understanding of the key skills required by any make-up artist, from understanding the basics of make-up application, to creating inspired period and character looks and gory special effects. This course also includes experience working with facial hair application, body painting and basic barbering.

Our course tutors are extremely passionate about their industry, and you will learn from their endless knowledge. They have many years’ experience working on some of the best known films and TV productions in recent years. They will introduce you to the latest products and techniques that are relevant to today’s industry, so you can be sure you will be learning from the best.

Holidays of one to four weeks may be scheduled during your course at appropriate times and, therefore, the duration of your time with us could last from 15 to 18 weeks.

Entry requirements: Must be aged 18+ and pass an interview. You don’t need to have any previous make-up experience as the course starts with the basics and builds from these skills. All we ask is that you have a certain level of artistic ability and a  passion and dedication to learn.

Course Payment: A 20% deposit is required to secure a place on this course with the full balance due 6 weeks prior to the course start date. We have several options to help fund your make-up course including interest free payment plans, bursaries and loans.

Please note that we regrettably have limited places for this course, so it is advisable to apply for your course early to avoid disappointment.


  • TV and media make-up and hair

    Upon your arrival at The Iver Make-up Academy, there will be introduction sessions with the course tutors and other students. Here you’ll receive your new make-up kit (included) and be briefed on basic health and safety procedures. After this, you’ll begin a further introduction session to media make-up and hair to get familiarised with the products used in this module.

    During this first 3-week module, you’ll learn and perfect the basics of make-up application and hair styling. You’ll begin by studying and understanding facial anatomy and how to work with different face shapes, skin tones and ages. Next you’ll learn techniques for applying products such as foundation, lip and eye make-up.

    Moving on to the hair styling component of this module, you’ll gain the skills to put together complete looks for TV presenters as well as red carpet and bridal occasions. Lessons in the use of hair products and tools such as heated rollers, tongs and straighteners will be given, along with the application of hair pieces and extensions and male grooming looks. All these skills will complete your rounded guide to creating looks for TV and film.

    For more information see our Media Make-up and Hair course.

  • Facial hair application

    This second module is a week-long study in industry-used methods for creating facial hair looks. You’ll learn how to apply and care for hair pieces including: sideburns, moustaches and full beard pieces. Cleaning methods will be demonstrated and you’ll practice creating stubble and laying on hair to create authentic character looks.

    For more information see our Facial Hair course.

  • Character, SFX and prosthetic application

    Module 3 takes place over 2 weeks, teaching you the basis for the use of special effects and prosthetics. Starting with a complete outline of the health and safety practices surrounding this type of work, this module gives you vital information for starting a career in the film and TV industry.

    You’ll receive an introduction to character work and what this may require, including: ageing techniques, and casualty effects. In particular, you’ll learn methods for creating casualty effects such as bruising, cuts, burns and skin diseases. All techniques will be taught using frequently used industry materials such as pro-bondo, silicone, gelatin and sculpt gel.

    For more information see our Character, SFX and Prosthetics Application course.

  • Period make-up, hair and wig work

    Module 4 marks the half-way point of your course at The Iver Make-up Academy and individual assessments will take place here to track your progress.
    In the 3 weeks allocated for this module, you will be taught the basis for period work and the historical research techniques needed to work in the industry. You’ll put this research in to practice through a variety of projects where you’ll create hair and make-up looks from the 1920s, 40s, 60s and Edwardian period. There’s also the chance to style hair using hot rods, dowelling, padding and hair pieces in the Edwardian period project.

    Moving on to the wig work section of this module, you’ll gain hands-on experience of applying switches, clusters, wefts and full wigs. To complement this, you’ll also be taught blocking and washing methods for the care of postiche to give you a comprehensive overview of working with wigs.

    For more information see our Period Make-up, Hair and Wig Work course.

  • Airbrushing and Body make-up

    The entire body will become your canvas in this 1-week module, where you’ll learn to design and practice body art and airbrushing. This is a popular technique for makeup application used in TV light entertainment and special effects. To develop this important skill, you’ll get a detailed demonstration of equipment use, cleaning and maintenance and safety procedures along with how to deal with malfunctions. You will gain practical experience in airbrushing make-up. This module provides a great demonstration of the versatility of make-up.


    The above changes come into effect as of September 2019

    For more information see our Body Make-up course.

  • Theatre and performing arts

    This week-long module focuses on theatrical and stage make-up techniques including blocking out eyebrows and creating characters. Through the performance art workshop, you’ll get the chance to create your own looks such as those required for the stage and gender change. These projects offer a great opportunity to learn authentic industry methods that you can transfer to a professional career in hair and make-up artistry.

    For more information see our Theatre and Performing Arts Make-up course.

  • Putting it all together and timed work

    Module 7 looks in detail at what it is like to work in the industry as a professional hair and make-up artist. Over the course of a week, you’ll have lessons in continuity and script breakdown processes along with the expectations for industry etiquette. You’ll put these skills in to practice through a crowd room simulation where you will create hair and make-up looks suitable for light entertainment and drama.

    A series of timed projects to create facial hair, character and special effect injury looks will also be undertaken for you to experience the pressures and demands of the industry. To further ready you for a career in the film and TV industry, you’ll be able to build your portfolio with evidence of your work throughout this course.

    For more information see our Timed Projects course.

  • Hairdressing and barbering

    During this final 2-week module, you will get a chance to practice basic haircutting and barbering techniques on practice heads. You’ll start with an introduction to the products that will be used for this module and the health and safety procedures that are essential to working effectively. During the haircutting part of the module, you’ll learn techniques for trimming long hair, creating a bob and adding long and short layers into a look. You’ll also have the chance to create texture cuts for men, short back and sides use of clippers and scissor over comb cutting. All of these looks can go in to your portfolio to add the finishing touches to your work at The Iver Make-up Academy. 

    Finally, you’ll receive individual assessments and feedback from the tutors to take with you in to your career before celebrating your success with a presentation of certificates. 

    For more information see our Haircutting and Barbering course.

    Please note we may occasionally change the content of or course to suit the demands of the industry.

Course Tutors

The Iver Make-up Academy has a large pool of regular tutors and guest tutors who are all working in today’s media make-up and hair industry. Their combined wealth of knowledge is generously and meticulously taught to the next generation of make-up artists.  As we are based at Pinewood studios, we are right in the heart of the British Film Industry, so you are surrounded by productions. There is no better place to train to become a make-up artist.


The curriculum will build on skills starting with the basics and working up to more complicated techniques. All make-up and hair demonstrations are projected onto a large HD screen so all students have a clear close-up view of the action. The students will then repeat the exercise under the supervision and the finished results will be viewed on HD screen under studio lighting conditions. All students will be encouraged to work as if they are in a professional make-up room as etiquette as well as technique is a large part of the training to become a make-up artist in film, TV, fashion, and theatre.

Verbal and written feedback is given after all exercises. This enables the students to progress fluently through the course modules.

View our award-winning teaching team

Bruise special effects makeup at Iver Academy
Applying facial hair makeup


A professional make-up and hair kit is included within the price of the course, for students to keep once they have graduated. This is worth over £2,000 and includes products and tools from MAC, Bobbi Brown, Bluebird and Kryolan. We have a large selection of wigs, facial hair and SFX materials that will be made available to you for use in our studios.


Starting your professional career as a qualified make-up and hair artist

At The Iver Make-up Academy, you don’t just benefit from the best tutors in the industry; our placement agency helps students find real industry work experience and placements once they have finished their chosen course. Your placements will be relevant to the skills you have learned. This is a free service that is available to all graduates of our courses.

Visit our aftercare page for more information on the ways we can help students find vital hands-on industry experience.

14 weeks tuition

Our introductory training course covering HDTV, film and theatre make-up and hair, along with hairdressing and barbering techniques.

Start: Apr 25 2022 Start: Sep 05 2022 Start: Jan 03 2023
Tuition & Dates

Apr 25 2022 - Apr 08 2022  

Monday - Friday

Sep 05 2022 - Dec 09 2022  

Monday - Friday

Jan 03 2023 - Apr 07 2023  

Monday - Friday



inc. VAT

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