• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: Creative Media Skills | High Wycombe
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2020

Course Overview

Places are limited.

Working with hair and wigs in order to produce high standard results can be one of the most challenging areas of the craft departments within the film industry and there are currently not many people able to do it. Qualified professionals in these sectors are in high demand by designers and supervisors. Professionals with good hair skills can be working in more than one production at the same time, due to the number of productions focusing on period content and the lack of people with the right expertise to fill the gaps.

Our  MA in Period Hair and Wig Design will help equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience to work in this sector either in the UK or internationally. It is mainly delivered in Creative Media Skills’ facilities, based at Pinewood Studios, and you will also need to travel to our High Wycombe Campus.

The course combines a core set of skills in the area of hair and wigs for film and HETV with direct experience working alongside industry professionals, learning some of the detailed skills required to develop industry-standard styles and characters, as well as practical insights into personal entrepreneurial skills to foster a successful career.

This programme is developed with specialist staff from Bucks New University’s School of Art, Design and Performance, which brings together students from across a range of creative disciplines, enabling interdisciplinary access to expertise and facilities.

Course Details

This programme is delivered by Creative Media Skills, based at Pinewood Studios. It will provide you with a practical understanding of the production of industry-approved techniques, as well creating pathways into the industry, and is made up of three distinct elements:

  • During the first term, which runs from September to December, you will be learning core principles of working with period hair and wigs, and how these apply to enhance the potential and general production values of each project. You will also be learning the proper steps to design hair and wigs and how important the research stages are when presenting material to producers, directors and designers.
  • During the second term, which runs from January to May, you will work with industry experts to develop more focused skills on the practical duties involved in the development of industry approved techniques for both period hairstyles and wig styling. You will also develop personal entrepreneurial skills to understand about the different working options for hair and makeup artists and how to utilise them in a professional environment.
  • In the third and final term, which runs from May until September, you will develop a new set of techniques and skills to encompass the full evolution of period hair throughout history, and work both personally and collaboratively to produce five unique characters with all the skills learned throughout the year, as well as a Research Thesis on a chosen subject.

We welcome exclusive groups of 18 students maximum, to ensure valuable contact time with tutors.

Did you know?  

  • The UK film industry, in 2016, contributed £7.7bn to the UK economy, 80% more than in 2011. (Ref)
  • Since incorporation in 2012, Creative Media Skills have trained crew members who have worked on many of the major international blockbuster films and high-end TV productions made in the UK such as: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One, Spectre, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Game of Thrones, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Jurassic World 2, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Marco Polo, Outlander, Jason Bourne, Pan, Wonder Woman, Ready Player One, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, Poldark, The Queen, Doctor Dolittle, Mary Poppins, and Solo: A Star Wars Story to name only a few.
  • Over the past ten years or so, Bucks New University has invested over £100 million in our facilities to make sure they help meet our staff and students’ needs. The Gateway, the University’s flagship building, is a state-of-the-art complex that hosts media production studios, a library, sports facilities and a gym all under one roof.

What are the course entry requirements?

You should have the equivalent of a British Honours degree (2:1 minimum) in a relevant subject. If you do not have any formal academic qualifications but do have experience in the industry and previous training in a relevant area, we will consider your application on an individual basis.  We are very open to those who show relevant experience useful to the degree.

We are happy to consider equivalent qualifications from anywhere in the world.

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential.

An interview is required and you will also need a high quality portfolio according to the course guidelines as part of your application.

We welcome applications from mature students with non-standard qualifications and recognise all other equivalent and international qualifications.

Course Modules


  • Historical and Critical Contexts
  • Period Hair & Wigs I
  • Period Hair & Wigs II
  • Professional Skills
  • Major Project
  • Dissertation


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2020-2021: £12,500 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks

Teaching team