Leaving School?

Your specialist training as a make-up artist can begin after leaving school

Training with Brushstroke after leaving school shows how seriously you take your career.

Goodbye School, hello Make-Up Artist Career

Leaving school at 16* or not going to university when you turn 18 are now clever options for a lot of young people. It means you can start training for a specific career straight away such as a make-up artist working in film and TV. You could concentrate on special effects make-up or working in fashion. This is a highly skilled profession and the best artists ensure they have the proper training behind them to help build up their knowledge and develop important technical skills right from the word go. If you are leaving school, training as a make-up artist at Brushstroke will show that you take your career seriously.

At Brushstroke, we welcome students from the age of 16 and offer a range of courses including BTEC, ITEC, VTCT & HND make-up qualification courses. Based at Longcross and Elstree Studios, Brushstroke offers an exciting as well as safe and structured environment to train as a make-up artist. Like many industries, working in film, TV, stage and fashion is very competitive so being properly trained and prepared for the real world of work is important – and key to what we do at Brushstroke.

Leaving School to learn new Skills

We give our students the opportunity to become truly versatile artists so they’re leaving school but learning new skills. Our tutors teach the basics as well as new ‘hacks’ and modern techniques. You’ll learn how to select and use the right equipment, products and materials. We’ll ensure you work with hair and wigs – not just make-up so you become a good all-rounder. At Brushstroke, you’ll also learn how to move easily from glamour one minute to horror the next. Our courses have the right balance of hands-on, practical training together with some theory and study sessions (eg business skills) because we recognise that students learn differently. And, should any student require help with their course work, to work around their dyslexia, for example, we are ready to provide support.

GCSE Re-Takes

All 16-year-olds are required to achieve at least grade 4 in their GCSE maths and English or retake them (up until age 18). Re-taking GCSE English or maths need not delay your dream of leaving school and becoming a professional make-up and hair artist. Simply enrol on one of our BTEC or ITEC courses and re-take your GCSE exams at the same time.

Students studying and re-taking their GCSEs, usually spend around 2 hours, per subject a week and we ensure that they are able to catch up on any Brushstroke classes missed during this period. Please note that we do not run GCSE courses so if you need to retake an exam you can simply enrol at another further or higher education college.

* In England, you can leave school at 16 but until you’re 18 you must stay in full-time education (eg a college) or start an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Take a look at our make-up training facilities then see which of our diploma courses might be of interest to you.

Brushstroke Training Benefits

These are the key training benefits we offer at Brushstroke:

  1. Purpose-built training facilities within Longcross and Elstree Studios. Students must be willing to travel between any location that Brushstroke operates from.
  2. Thorough industry-ready skills and knowledge (our make-up artists are trained in hair too).
  3. Practical, hands-on training with working make-up artists – all specialists in their subject area.
  4. Recognised BTEC, ITEC, VTCT & HND qualifications (important vocational qualifications).
  5. Opportunities for on-set work experience and employment.
  6. Familiarity with relevant products, equipment and techniques.
  7. Business skills and self-employment preparation.

Where could Brushstroke training could take you – film, TV, working with celebrities, fashion, special effects..?


Working in fashion as a make-up artist includes shows, photoshoots, online and in print.

SFX Prosthetics

Wounds, scars, bald caps and prosthetics – welcome to the world of special effects make-up.

Film, TV & Stage

There are endless options for makeup artists working in film and TV, from Sci-fi movie sets, to West End shows and soaps.


Working with celebrities means keeping their makeup and hair looking as it should – on and off-set.