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Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
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International student means; you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Diploma of Screen and Media Specialist Make-Up Services

VTAC Code: CUA51020 CRICOS: 111347E VTAC Number: Prahran 6900810204



10 months full time


1 year

Next Intake


Next Intake


Get ready for a beautiful career

Melbourne Polytechnic’s Diploma of Screen and Media CUA51020 (Specialist Make-up Services) gets you ready to join the screen and media industry as a make-up professional. This practical and hands-on course will teach you about the transformative powers of prosthetics, specialist make-up effects and wigs. Working closely with other screen or stage creatives, you’ll have real-world opportunities and hands-on experience working on film sets, in TV studios and in the theatre. With local content growing across our streaming services and the need for production personnel in all areas since COVID, the demand for Australian trained professionals is at a premium, making this a great time to learn new skills in make-up.

Learn practical and technical make-up skills

This Diploma of Screen and Media CUA51020 (Specialist Make-up Services) will teach you how to design, interpret technical briefs, apply and remove make-up and wigs for a range of different genres within the Industry. You will be taught by specialist teachers with close links to the screen make-up opera and theatre, special effects industry, bridal and event makeup. Melbourne Polytechnic’s facilities will allow you to experience industry practices, with access to purpose-built classrooms with individual student workstations and our dedicated prosthetics lab,and the David Williamson theatre on campus. Working together with other students, you will create detailed special effects as seen on film, television and the stage. You will also collaborate with outside student groups that are producing theatre, film, and television productions—valuable opportunities created for you by educators. Melbourne Polytechnic’s industry partnerships will provide you with real-world opportunities to network with future employers.

Contour a future in make-up services

As a graduate of the Diploma of Screen and Media CUA51020 (Specialist make-up services), you will have many career paths. You will be equipped to set up your own business, to work at weddings and events, or to work backstage in makeup and wig maintenance for theatre or opera. Potential career outcomes include airbrushing services, bridal make-up artist, sessional hairstylist, hair and wig stylist, make-up artist, period hairstylist, prosthetics artist and specialist make-up effects artist, working in film and television industries.

Career Pathways

Where will the Diploma of Screen and Media - Specialist Make-Up Services CUA51020 take me?

The type of careers this qualification leads to may include Air Brusher, Bridal Make-up, Session Hair Stylist, Hair and Wig Stylist, Make-up Artist, Period Hair Stylist, Prosthetics Artist and Specialist Make-up Effects Artist.

  • Specialist Make-up Effects Artist for Film and Video
  • Wig Styling
  • Prosthetics Artist
  • Facial hair production for film
  • Make-up Artist
  • Makeup Retail sector
  • Editorial / Runway Makeup Artist
  • Bridal Hair / Bridal/Formal Make-up / Airbrushing Services
  • Session Stylist

Study Pathways

You may wish to take your Specialist Make-up studies further and pursue a career in Creative Arts. For further study options, discuss with Melbourne Polytechnic teaching staff.

Course Details

Delivery methods

Blended (combination of face to face learning on the Prahran campus, remote delivery, self-directed learning and project work including performances and productions)

You will be expected to complete a certain number of hours of industry related experience throughout the year. You can organise this yourself or Melbourne Polytechnic staff will help you organise it. Alternatively, you can collaborate with the staff to set up your work placement. Details of industry hours will be determined at the commencement of the course.

  • Performances and Productions
  • Computer Lab
  • Make-up Studio
  • Prosthetics Lab
  • Project work

How you will study

Each course has a dedicated learning method that is designed to let you thrive in your studies.


Interactive learning in a face-to-face environment. Classes will be held at a Melbourne Polytechnic campus or partner institute. Visit the How You'll Study page for more information.

Assessment Methods

A combination of observation, written assignments and project work, with small and large scale events based learning. The course is designed to engage students in hands-on practical learning wherever possible. This may be delivered on campus, online or in the related industry where possible. Consequently, assessments will vary throughout the course, depending on the unit. As required by the training package, employability skills will form part of the assessment of the qualification, including communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organising, self-management, and learning and technology. It is anticipated that learning activities and assessments will involve working with students and staff from other Dramatic Arts courses.

Course Structure

The course structure comprises 15 core and elective units. The elective units have already been chosen by Melbourne Polytechnic based on the needs of industry, graduate pathways, and to fulfil the requirements for attaining the Diploma of Screen and Media CUA51020.

Units of Study

The hours displayed are nominal, actual classroom hours delivered may differ. Please contact us for the latest student contact hours information.

Code Subject Elective Hours
BSBCRT413 Collaborate in creative processes Elective 40
BSBPMG430 Undertake project work Elective 60
CUAACD511 Make moulds and casts Elective 50
CUADES412 Interpret and respond to a design brief Elective 30
CUADES413 Develop and extend design skills and practice Elective 30
CUAIND412 Provide freelance services Core 40
CUAIND512 Enhance professional practice using creative arts industry knowledge Core 60
CUAMUP411 Design, apply and remove make-up Elective 160
CUAMUP412 Maintain make-up and hair continuity Elective 160
CUAMUP413 Style hair for productions Elective 60
CUAMUP414 Style wigs and hairpieces for productions Elective 120
CUAMUP512 Design and apply specialised make-up Elective 65
CUAPPR411 Realise a creative project Core 90
CUAPPR515 Establish and maintain safe creative practice Core 40
CUASFX411 Create special effects items Elective 50

Fees & Costs

Tuition Fees
Government subsidised fee Non-subsidised fee
Tuition fee $14200 $19950
Maximum annual amenities $250 $250
Total payable $14450 $20200
Per year $22800
Per semester $11400

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment.

Displayed course fees are indicative only. There are many variables that impact the total amount of your full course costs including qualification for government subsidies, concessions or recognition of prior learning. Tuition fees do not include the cost of student amenities or material costs.

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. Contact us to find out if you’re eligible for a Government subsidy.

Melbourne Polytechnic offers a range of payment options to help you pay your tuition fees, so you can get on with your studies.

Fees displayed are effective for new applications received on or after 1st of November. Tuition fees do not include textbooks, course materials or overseas student health insurance and visa fees.

After initial deposit, international students are able to pay tuition fees in installments, four times per year.

For more detailed information please read the International Student Fees.

Fees explained

The fees for those ineligible for a government-funded enrolment. 

Check your eligibility here.

The cost of tuition for those eligible for government funding.

Check your eligibility here.

Additional expenses

The Student Services and Amenities Fee is charged at forty cents (40 cents) per student contact hour and is capped over a twelve (12) month period, effective from the enrolment date, to:

  • $250 for full fee-paying students; and
  • $175 for concession-paying students studying Certificate I, II, III, or IV.

Amenities fees are used to improve non-academic services including libraries, counselling services, student support, and recreational activities.

Included in the course fees is access to a comprehensive range of makeup products, tools and appliances so that all students can work confidently with current industry grade products from day one. Timetable and list of any other required materials will be provided at course induction or class enrolment by the teaching department.e

Book an interview

This course requires an interview for entry. Please make a booking for your interview time by clicking book an interview


To assess applicants meet Entry Requirements - It is required that candidates undergo an interview before offer of a place can be made and submit:
  • Resume or CV of work and study experience
  • A Written Statement with the reasons for wanting to undertake course
  • Photograph of yourself – head and shoulders only
  • Make-up folio presentation

The interview is conducted on the Prahran campus. In the interview you will be asked to present a folio of work. This could include any of the following:

  • makeup you may have designed or applied in productions through school, self-taught or as part of previous work employment
  • examples of application of make-up on yourself or others
  • design ideas
  • images of hair and make-up styling that inspire you. These may come from magazines, or from film or stage performances

This folio can be shown digitally in the interview or as a word document or art journal. The folio is used as a talking point for the interview. Our teachers understand that some applicants may have no prior make-up design skills, so images of make-up and hair designs that inspire you are just as relevant.

Academic: Australian Year 11 equivalency
English: Academic IELTS 5.5 with no individual band below 5.0, or Melbourne Polytechnic recognised equivalency.
Other: An interview is required before an offer can be processed.

To assess applicants meet Entry Requirements - It is required that candidates undergo an interview before offer of a place can be made and submit:
  • Resume or CV of work and study experience.
  • A Written Statement with the reasons for wanting to undertake course.
  • Photograph of themselves – head and shoulders only.
  • A Folio of photographs, or drawings, or examples of application of make-up on themselves or others, design ideas and images of hair and make-up styling that inspire.
Those skills and knowledge may have been acquired through personal or work experience, or through formal study at secondary or tertiary level.

Next Steps

The first step to enrolling is completing the application short form from the Apply Now page.

After you complete that form we will send you an email with a link to an application form webpage. If you don’t receive the email, check your spam and junk folders.

Complete the application form on the application form webpage.

You will be required to complete an online literacy and numeracy assessment.

We’ll ask you to attend an interview to ensure that this is the right course for you.

Once you are ready to enrol, you will be invited to attend an enrolment appointment over the phone or on campus.

For Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas, you may be eligible for a VET Student Loan. Read more about them here.

If you need assistance with your application and the next steps, you can contact one of our Education and Course Advisors on 1300 635 276 or follow a step-by-step guide to enrolling for vocational education local students.

When we receive your application, the International Office will be in contact with you shortly to discuss your application and provide you additional instructions.

If you'd like to speak to one of our International Office staff directly, call 1300 635 276

Recognising Organisations

Nationally Recognised Training

Nationally Recognised Training This course is government accredited and has national recognition.

You are currently looking at information for local students

Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.