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UCEN Manchester students made up with industry expertise

UCEN Manchester students on Make-Up Artistry and Special Effects courses are making their mark on the industry thanks to expert tuition and unique professional contacts.

Students can enrol on seven different courses at UCEN Manchester to learn all the specialist skills and advanced techniques, including character creation, prosthetic art and even marketing skills, needed to produce amazing effects, memorable looks – and also to establish a successful career.   

Collette Beckett is in her second year of BA Hons Special Effects Make-up Artistry. After studying Fashion Journalism at UCA London, she wanted to further her love for make-up and prosthetics with UCEN Manchester.

She said: “UCEN Manchester’s syllabus and facilities made it an easy choice for me. Plus, its great location was also a factor as there are so many local opportunities for this field of work, such as Media City in Salford.”

During her first year, Collette’s tutors suggested different industry opportunities for students to attend, and also encouraged collaborative working with students on different courses, such as photography, to strengthen individual portfolios.

Collette said: “The help and support you get from tutors, both academically and personally, is 24/7. The different modules push you to be creative and stand out, as you’re given a lot of room to put your own twist on briefs. It’s brilliant seeing how your peers have interpreted the idea differently. I would recommend UCEN Manchester to anyone interested in this industry.”

She added: “Make-up is about giving people confidence or creating a character when it comes to Special Effects. But I can honestly say my most rewarding job was the one given to me by my grandma when she asked me to do her make-up and two of her friends for a NHS reunion. This small way of creating a smile on someone’s face when they look in the mirror means so much to me.”

Angela Ward studied Level 2 and Level 3 Media Make-up at The Manchester College before securing a Distinction on her Special Effects Make-up Artistry Foundation Degree with UCEN Manchester.

She said: “My tutors have been extremely supportive, inviting industry specialists to work with us and talk about their experiences. They have opened up lots of opportunities for me - and I'm working alongside one of them this weekend!

“I honestly can't thank them enough for the help and support they have given me, especially when I fell behind due to being in hospital. They kept me updated via email and recapped work until I understood them. Without that support, I don't think I would be where I am now and doing well.

Angela cites the annual charity fundraiser ‘Maggie’s on the Runway’ as her most rewarding job to date. She said: “Nothing is more rewarding than helping put a smile on a person’s face who has been fighting so hard with cancer, and knowing that I’ve helped them feel confident enough to walk down the runway.

“I would absolutely recommend UCEN Manchester, especially to people that struggle academically like myself as there is a lot more support here than you would get at other universities.”

Katie Smith gained a Distinction and a first BA Hons degree on her Special Effects and Make-up Artistry course. Originally wanting to become a freelance makeup artist, she decided study a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in order to teach what she loves.

She said:  “Some of the work opportunities that I received in my first year have become regular clients. My tutors gave me great advice on starting my own business, especially in the bridal industry and with media platforms.

“My most rewarding jobs have been working with MINI and I’ve loved having my work published. My ambition is to become an established freelance makeup artist, working in the bridal sector, and also to continue working at festivals and summer events doing glitter and face painting.”

Picture features student Collette Beckett.

To find your future with UCEN Manchester and learn more about the courses we offer, come along to our open day on Saturday 6 October between 9.30am-1pm at our Openshaw campus. Book your place by visiting the events page on our website. 

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