The VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Fashion and Photographic Make-up is a vocational qualification aimed at learners aged 16+ who want to study this subject on a flexible basis.

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification although it is likely that learners will hold associated level 2 or 3 equivalent qualifications in similar or complementary subjects.


Level 3 courses are funded through Student Finance England using a learner loan. The learner loan is not means tested, which, provided you meet the criteria, does not look at any debts or outstanding loans, etc.

Primary Outcome

The primary outcome of the VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Fashion and Photographic Make-up is to prepare you to enter the beauty or media sector as a specialist make-up artist, with the specific skill of providing fashion and photographic make-up services. All the units in this qualification directly relate to the role of a specialist make-up artist.

What does this qualification cover?

The VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Fashion and Photographic Make-up is a vocationally related qualification based on National Occupational Standards (NOS) that will prepare you to provide a wide variety of make-up services to a high level of occupational ability, to enable you to provide your own services for clients.

This is a vocationally related qualification and includes all the required elements to develop your practical skills. The four mandatory units include the practical and theoretical knowledge required to provide fashion and photographic make-up services and monitoring and maintaining health and safety practices in the salon, to ensure all treatments are carried out with health and safety of yourself and your client, as a priority. The two remaining mandatory units provide the wider skills required to be a successful therapist of client care and communication in beauty-related industries and promote and sell products and services. Both of these units address the need for a successful make-up artist to understand the importance of retail and client care.

Why is this qualification the most suitable?

This is one of two VTCT qualifications in fashion and photographic make-up at level 3. Whilst both qualifications will qualify you to become a make-up artist specialising in fashion and photographic make-up, this qualification allows you to gather evidence in a realistic working environment or real working environment without the need for fee paying clients. In contrast the VTCT Level 3 NVQ Award in Fashion and Photographic Make-up requires you to work in a commercial environment whereby assessments must be carried out on real paying clients in line with commercial service times.

What could this qualification lead to?

This qualification will prepare you for role as a specialist make-up artist in the beauty, media or arts sector. On successful completion of this qualification you could progress directly into employment in a variety of context, which include:

  • Theatre, film, print media, photographic studios
  • Beauty and/or hair salons
  • Independent/self-employed/mobile/home based settings
  • Product distribution and training