MSc Cosmetic Science
Dr Maria Labedzka
|Study Level||Undergraduate and Postgraduate|
|Study Mode||Full Time|
|Course Length||4 years or 5 years sandwich|
|IELTS level||6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill|
£9,000 per year
£13,800 per year
|Autumn Term Dates||24 Sept 2012 - 07 Dec 2012|
|Spring Term Dates||07 Jan 2013 - 15 March 2013|
|Summer Term Dates||15 April 2013 - 21 June 2013|
MSc Cosmetic Science is an exciting new applied science course situated in the School of Management and Science. It is designed for students who want a career within the cosmetic and toiletry industry, and focuses on the needs of the cosmetic industry and its consumers, at the same time as providing students with the critical and evaluative skills to be able to function as professional scientists. It is an integrated MSc, with a BSc exit point, and an optional placement year in industry in the third year of the course. This provides a unique offer in cosmetic science education world-wide, enabling students to start as undergraduates and exit with a postgraduate qualification. The MSc qualification offers a distinct advantage in today’s competitive environment.
The course provides you with knowledge and understanding of the various disciplines within Cosmetic Science and the organisation and function of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery industries. These industries have expanded in recent years as consumers have become more aware of the potential benefits of their products. Industry partners involved in the design and delivery of the course include Procter and Gamble, The Body Shop, Unilever, L’Oreal, Boots and Molton Brown.
The Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA), the industry trade association, has supported the development of the MSc from the successful BSc, in response to industry demand for graduates with a high level of scientific and technical knowledge coupled with business awareness. CTPA recognises that the course offers immediate relevance to the industry, with graduates who will already have an understanding of the way the industry operates and the challenges it faces. CTPA provides generous bursaries for the two best performing students in each year of study.
On this course you will study a range of sciences, both pure and applied, formulation development and industry operations, all of which give you a broad range of career opportunities. Some students take advantage of the option of doing a placement year between the second and third year of the course. Successful completion of this year will give an additional qualification, the Diploma in Professional Studies, and students will have the opportunity to make contacts and build relationships within the industry before the end of their studies. Graduates from the BSc course, which has now developed into this MSc course, are employed throughout the industry, both in the UK and internationally, in a wide range of roles. These include research and development, product manufacturing, marketing, technical sales, product testing, quality assurance, logistics, regulation and legislation departments. Some multinational companies, for example, Procter and Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser, recruit directly from the course.
MSc Cosmetic Science is based at John Prince’s Street, Oxford Circus, in the heart of the West End. The area is one of the prime shopping centres in London, with the majority of London’s department stores, including Selfridges, Liberty, Fenwick and John Lewis, within a short walk of five minutes or less. The green spaces of Hyde Park and Regent’s Park are close, as is Soho, with its many bars, restaurants and clubs, and the Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, where the Society of Cosmetic Scientists holds its evening lectures. The Wallace Collection, the Royal Academy of Arts, and the West End art galleries are all within walking distance.
Year One - Stage One - Level 4 - 120 credits
Term One: Introduction to Study in Higher Education (20 credits); Scientific Principles (20 credits);
Term Two: Marketing with Perfumery (20 credits); Formulation Principles (20 credits);
Term Three: Formulation Practice (40 credits);
Year Two - Stage Two - Level 5 - 120 credits
Term One: Packaging Development and Technology (20 credits); Formulation and Legislation (20 credits);
Term Two: Research Methods in Marketing and Quality Management (20 credits); Formulation and Evaluation (20 credits)
Term Three: Hair Care Formulation and Evaluation (40 credits);
Professional Placement Year (optional)
Diploma in Professional Studies
Third / Fourth Year - Stage Three - Level 6 and Level 7 - 120 credits
Product Development and Claim Support (20 credits) (level 6)
Terms One and Two
Production and Distribution Management (40 credits) (level 6)
Terms Two and Three
Product Launch Project (60 credits) (level 7)
Final Year - Stage Four - Level 7 - 120 credits
Strategic Management (20 credits)
Terms One and Two
Advanced Cosmetic Science (40 credits)
Terms One Two and Three
MSc Project for Cosmetic Science (60 credits)
In the first term you will study two units.
Introduction to Study in Higher Education gives you an understanding of your personal and professional development at university, with three core purposes: to introduce you to the necessary learning skills for undergraduate study; to show you where you are situated within the College and the University; and to help you understand what you will learn on your course and how you will develop your skills. This unit will be closely linked to the underpinning subject of Skin Biology.
Scientific Principles provides you with a range of underpinning sciences required in cosmetic science. You will study chemistry, microbiology, and the structure and properties of the raw materials used in the cosmetics and toiletry industry. You will be introduced to practical laboratory skills, and will develop your problem-solving skills through an analytical approach.
In the second term you will study two units.
Marketing with Perfumery gives you an overview of the cosmetics industry and introduces you to the fundamental concepts in Marketing and Perfumery. You will study marketing theory and applications, learn how to retrieve, analyse and present data from secondary sources, and how to write reports in the scientific style required in the industry. You will also learn the basic concepts of perfumery, including specific terminology, and have the opportunity to practise the olfactory skills needed in product development.
Formulation Principles provides you with the opportunity to apply your scientific knowledge to product formulation. You will learn how the raw materials interact within the product and how they influence product performance on skin and hair. You will learn the basic principles of surface and colloidal chemistry, and the structure and properties of surfactants. You will gain further insights into the properties of young and aged skin, and explore the approaches used to help delay the signs of ageing. You will also look at the interactions between the skin and various environmental factors, including UV radiation and cosmetics and toiletries.
In the third term you will undertake the Formulation Practice unit. This gives you the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills that you need to formulate and produce cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery products in the laboratory. You will study the theory, including an overview of the types and composition of cosmetics and toiletries, and an introduction to emulsion technology. You will be introduced to the principles of project management, and the use of safe working procedures, including risk assessment. Laboratory work will be carried out in small groups and will focus on a given formulation problem. The work will be structured and supervised, whilst allowing both groups and individual students a certain level of independence and creativity. This means that groups may take different approaches to the project brief, while achieving equally acceptable solutions to the problem.
In the first term you will study two units.
Packaging Development and Technology provides a framework for the cosmetic scientist to make informed decisions on the selection and use of packaging materials. You will learn to evaluate the requirements of the product, the demands of the market, and the hazards encountered during production, packaging, distribution and display. Total pack cost will be considered, along with the requirement to conform to current legislation, and the need to make packaging decisions based on sound environmental data and aiming for sustainable solutions.
Also in the first term, the Formulation and Legislation unit gives you knowledge and understanding of the processes used in the development and manufacture of skin care products, including the legislative requirements for both global and European markets, and the factors which have an impact on product safety and stability. You will concentrate on the formulation and development of skin care products. This unit gives you the opportunity to further develop your formulating skills, building on your underpinning knowledge and understanding of skin biology, microbiology, surface chemistry and the chemistry of raw materials, and to analyse the impact of the different raw materials on their structure, function and properties, including the sustainability of supply.
In the second term you will study two units.
Research Methods in Marketing and Quality Management gives you the necessary knowledge and understanding of the requirements for providing the consumer with safe and legal products, which are fit for purpose and of acceptable quality. You will develop and extend your knowledge of marketing research and the methods used to understand, determine and specify consumer needs.
Also in the second term, the Formulation and Evaluation unit gives you the opportunity to further develop your formulating skills, building on your underpinning knowledge and understanding of formulation principles, legislative requirements and the chemistry of raw materials. You will learn about the composition, structure and properties of decorative cosmetic products (for example, lipstick, foundation, eye shadow). You will be introduced to the principles, methods and practical aspects of product evaluation, an essential tool in product development. During practical laboratory sessions you will choose raw materials to make cosmetic products, evaluate these products using sensory and instrumental techniques, and use statistical methods to analyse your results.
In the third term the Hair Care Formulation and Evaluation unit gives you the opportunity to consolidate your theoretical knowledge and practical skills acquired so far. You will undertake a relatively complex project, which will have an element of choice. You will further develop your understanding of research methodology, including primary and secondary research processes, and your formulation skills through studying the hair care sector. You will revisit and apply your perfumery knowledge, and your research, formulation and PPD (personal and professional development) skills to realise the project.
Professional Placement Year
This year is optional. If you take up this opportunity you will undertake a 30-week industrial placement, where you will experience the atmosphere, pace and discipline of working within the cosmetic industry by your involvement in the day to day activities of a particular business. The placement year will give you practical experience of the roles, functions and operations in the cosmetics, toiletry or perfumery industry that you have studied on your course. You will be required to write a negotiated report on your placement, which will focus on issues or opportunities related to the placement company. This will develop your study skills and allow you to demonstrate your research, analytical and evaluative skills.
There is an option to spend your placement year abroad by taking part in the Erasmus scheme, where you can combine an overseas work placement (minimum 20 weeks) with a period of overseas study (minimum 10 weeks).
Successful completion of the year will give you the additional qualification of a Diploma in Professional Studies.
In the first term you will undertake the Product Development and Claim Support unit. This unit integrates two important components of the life cycle of a commercial cosmetic product. Product development and innovation pave the way for the future of the company. You will learn how the various departments in a commercial organisation interact to introduce a new product into the market place. Claim support is a critical part of the product life cycle because comprehensive technical substantiation of claims is required by law, and because properly supported aggressive claims are drivers of the commercial success of products.
In the first and second terms you will undertake the Production and Distribution Management unit. You will explore the areas of production, inventory and distribution management and you will be introduced to the principles of supply chain management. This allows you to contextualise your knowledge of other disciplines studied on the course and apply them to a commercial environment. You have the opportunity, through theoretical situations, to experience some of the issues and activities associated with the production and distribution of cosmetics and toiletries.
In the second and third terms you will undertake the Product Launch Project. This unit consolidates the knowledge and skills you have acquired so far, and gives you the opportunity to apply these to the complex process of launching a product. You will be expected to demonstrate your critical understanding of market drivers, the legislative environment, the stages in product development and the nature of product claims. You will also be required to apply your knowledge and problem-solving skills to the product realisation, namely the production, packaging and delivery of the product into the market, in line with business objectives including timeliness, cost and acceptability by the consumer.
Students who successfully complete this year have the option of exiting the course at this point with a BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science award.
In the first term you will undertake the Strategic Management unit. This will allow you to consolidate your understanding of the business environment in which the cosmetic and toiletries industries are situated. You will learn about key concepts, business models and management techniques that can be used within the industry. This knowledge will enable you to understand the key drivers in both large and small business enterprises, and how to evaluate the risks associated with entrepreneurial activities. You will look at the application of these tools to the management of technical functions responsible for new and continuing product and process development, and the many internal and external inter-dependencies of these functions.
Also in the first term and in the second term you will undertake the Advanced Cosmetic Science unit. This consolidates your learning in cosmetic science and technology and introduces new complex ideas and concepts. The major part of this unit gives you advanced knowledge of specific technologies and procedures, including sustainability and environmental aspects, intellectual property rights (patents and trademarks), alternatives to animal testing, relevant computer modelling and advanced aspects of consumer relations. The smaller part of this unit allows you choose your area of interest and respond to an aspect of new developments in cosmetic ingredients, information technology and underpinning sciences.
Throughout terms one, two and three you will be working on your MSc Project for Cosmetic Science. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and autonomy in planning and implementing complex tasks. You will have the opportunity to integrate your knowledge and skills acquired so far and apply them to a project of your choice. Your choice will reflect your personal and professional interests and career aspirations. It will deal with a problem/issue of practical or theoretical importance in the area of cosmetic science and technology. You will need to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the methods used in your chosen subject area so that you can construct an appropriate research methodology. It is expected that academic writing conventions will be used in your MSc project report. Your skills in project and risk management will be fully utilised in this unit.
There will be opportunities for a student to collaborate with a specific company, where a project can be negotiated that has practical outcomes for the company, and at the same time meets the requirements of the Master’s level study.
There are also opportunities for students to engage with the ongoing research within the School by further developing a specific topic through their Master’s project.
Learning and Teaching at UAL
Courses in UAL span a broad range of art, design, communication, business, media, science and communication subjects. So the ways in which you learn and how your time is used will vary according to the specific course you are studying; this may be in studios, labs, classes, involve working alone, learning from peers in pairs or groups, or with external partners. Most importantly, no matter which course you enrol on, you will learn not only about your subject but also about how you learn and how to increase your knowledge base.
Our courses will guide you to take increasing responsibility and ownership of your work and your learning. We do this so that you will be ready and able to take full advantage of the full range of opportunities offered by the creative industries in the global economy.
Assessment Methods at UAL
Assessment always sounds austere and foreboding, but it is not. We see assessment as a very real part of learning, rather than just a means of looking back at past work and measuring achievement; we believe that assessment helps you plan future work and develop new ideas.
Your work will be assessed through projects or portfolios, with written papers or research journals, and, on some courses, examinations. You will be graded according to a set of marking criteria that relate to such things as research, subject knowledge, methodology, and your capacity to analyse and reflect on your achievements. So don’t be afraid of assessment - it is the way to progress.
Developing your skills
All our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. PPD (Personal and Professional Development) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry. Where relevant, students have the chance to attend trade fairs, enter industry competitions, visit exhibitions and go on field trips and visits. The central position of our John Prince’s Street site in the West End affords students easy access to all sectors of the fashion retail market. In addition, our position as a constituent College in the University of the Arts London means that our students have access to the wide range of activities and events that occur in all the Colleges and at the University’s centre. Last but not least, being in London gives every student opportunities to explore and be inspired by the cultural, intellectual and social life of one of the great capital cities of the world.
Our excellent resources for educating our students are two-fold: people and premises. People includes everyone at the College who contributes directly in some way to your education, whether as a subject tutor, a technician, an Open Access Officer, a librarian or a study support tutor. Premises include the buildings and the facilities contained in them, such as specialist machinery, design studios and workshops, lecture and seminar rooms, and the library.
Undergraduate courses in Cosmetic Science are very rare worldwide, because they require resources not normally available in either traditional universities or vocational colleges. The breadth and nature of the disciplines encompassed by the term ‘Cosmetic Science’ demand both subject experts with industrial experience and specialised facilities. Here at LCF you will be taught by current industry professionals in our well-equipped laboratories, where you will have access to industry-standard product formulation and testing equipment. You will also have access to a well-stocked library of books and journals on cosmetic science and related disciplines.
Dr Maria Labedzka is the Course Leader and had a PhD in Biochemistry. She has twenty-two years of research and development experience with a leading manufacturer of personal care products, with particular expertise in the development of hair and skin care products. She has worked with cosmetic claims development and support, and has undertaken research in skin cleansing technologies. She currently combines course leadership with teaching and research.
Dr Danka Tamburic is the Programme Director for Science and Professor in Cosmetic Science. She has a PhD in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Sciences, and has taught for twenty-five years in higher education. She established the BSc Cosmetic Science course at the College in October 2000 and has developed its successor, the integrated MSc in Cosmetic Science. Professor Tamburic is running, alongside other research, an innovative multi-disciplinary research project exploring the effects of 'non-medical' vs. 'medical' approaches to the management of skin ageing in women over sixty.
Future Careers and Graduate Prospects
Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.
Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies, and graduates from the BSc course are working in the cosmetics industry in a number of roles, including, for example, formulating chemist at Boots, research assistant at the University of Leeds, formulating chemist at Oriflame, formulating technologist at Molton Brown, product development manager at Sleek, technical assistant at Glyndwr University, haircare sensory design scientist at Unilever, fragrance analyst at CPL Aromas and colour analyst at Procter and Gamble.
Enterprise and Employability at UAL
We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. Staff in our dedicated Centre for Student Enterprise and Employability Service (SEE) are specialists at supporting you onto the right career path and at helping you to build up work‐relevant skills, knowledge and experience throughout your time here. You will also benefit from our many relationships with industry, which give our students exclusive opportunities and access to networks and funding.
Artists and designers tell us they value UAL’s informed engagement with their career development concerns across a whole spectrum of activities and practice interests and our ability to offer them practical advice, guidance and opportunities across the possible pathways open to them - as entrepreneurs and employees. Staff value the resources and skills UAL makes available to help them deliver effective professional and career development through the curriculum.
Showing your work
All final year students are given the opportunity to profile their work online via Showtime. London College of Fashion can make no guarantee that your work (either in sum or in part) will be shown, exhibited or profiled in any way as part of your course. All student work appearing in College organised events, catwalk shows, exhibitions and other forms of showcase, is selected by a panel of senior staff and, in some instances, external industry judges.
For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers Support page.
Opportunities for All
We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.
Course Entry Requirements
Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.
Three ‘A’ level passes at grades BBC or above, where at least two must be in Science subjects and one of the Science subjects must be Chemistry*
PLUS passes in five GCSE subjects at grade C or above, including Maths and two Science subjects
OR equivalent awards
This course requires a minimum 280 UCAS tariff points.
*Exceptionally, applicants may be eligible for a preparatory Chemistry course run in the summer.
This course may interview candidates who meet, or expect to meet, the entry requirements. Evidence of work experience and some form of laboratory experience is an advantage.
English Language Requirements
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.
The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill.
read carefully and look at the relevant documents.
Student Selection Criteria
What We Look For
The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:
- An enthusiasm for a career in Cosmetic Science
- The potential to complete a multi-disciplinary and scientifically based programme of study
- An ability to engage with analytical and evaluative activities
- A good command of oral and written English
This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
This course may interview candidates who meet, or expect to meet, the entry requirements. Evidence of work experience and some form of laboratory experience is an advantage.
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the above at interview.
You apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) at http://www.ucas.com
Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.
The University code is U65.
The UCAS code for this course is W297.
The deadline for equal consideration of your application is 15 January 2013.
Contact us on:
- Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7563 / 7582 / 7344
- Course enquiry form
For specific details on how to apply as an international applicant please click on the following link:
The International Recruitment Office at the London College of Fashion will help to guide you through the application process and answer any specific questions that you may have regarding our courses. This may include portfolio advice, the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information. Please contact us for further information on this facility. We can also arrange a tour of our facilities if we are given prior notice.
Our contact details are: International Recruitment Office London College of Fashion 20 John Prince’s Street London W1G 0BJ.
- Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7656/7678/7629
- Course enquiry form
Deferred Entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.
What Happens Next?
All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed under What We Look For. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed an interview.
Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.
If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack, sent by email, including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.
Applicants have the right to ask for feedback if their application is unsuccessful. Requests must be made in writing to the Student Administrator, and we will respond within 20 working days.
Some courses charge a fee for the bulk purchase of materials and/or equipment used on the course. Further details will be supplied at a later date.
Kristin Katakami, a 2012 graduate, an international student from Canada
“I’ve been at Laleham for 6 months now and have taken on more and more responsibility each day. I am extremely happy with my role, I am learning so much and using everything I have learnt at LCF and at BASF during my placement. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, or be where I am without the course and the staff at LCF, so thank you for that. My first product should hit the market in a couple of months time; it’s a Sanctuary Body Butter, very exciting!"
Anonymous 2012 graduate, quote from NSS survey
“The course is fantastically well funded, with prizes for good results and even train tickets to school trips, and all raw material costs covered by the course. The library has a wide selection of resources, which is surprising for such a small course... The external teachers are always of great quality and the actual course content is fantastic; it covers every aspect of the industry, some of the modules you would not learn on any other course in the country.”
Dr Chris Flower, Director-General of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA)
"Under the leadership of Professor Danka Tamburic, the University of the Arts at the London College of Fashion has developed an integrated Master of Science course that successfully combines academic rigour with the breadth of practical skills and knowledge that equips graduates to enter the cosmetics industry in a wide variety of roles. After many years operating as a Bachelor of Science degree, this welcome extension of the course to the Master level enhances the match between the skills needed by the cosmetics industry in today’s challenging operational climate and the attributes offered by new graduates seeking that key first employment opportunity."
Dr Emma Meredith, Head of Scientific and Technical Services at CTPA
"I have really enjoyed the role of External Examiner. It has given me the opportunity to see at first-hand what an amazing course the BSc in Cosmetic Science is. The fact that the course is now evolving into an MSc is an excellent indication that the industry as a whole sees the value of the course, too."
Holly Grenfell, previously Director of Product Development, Akademikliniken Cosmeceuticals, Stockholm, Sweden
“Over the years, we had the pleasure to have with us 3 intern students from the BSc Cosmetic Science at London College of Fashion. It was a delight to work with them and I found I really discovered a keen interest in developing and mentoring the next generation of talent in the cosmetics industry. Thank you again for the great quality of students and the pleasure to work them.”
Acheson & Acheson:
"As a company that has been supporting the Cosmetic Science Degree course for five years, it gives us an opportunity to employ enthusiastic new-comers to the industry who already have some insight into cosmetic formulating.
"Our first student not only continued to work with us during her final year where she completed a skin care study as part of her project, she also rejoined us as a chemist to become part of our technical team after she graduated. Her development as a formulator has continued and she has recently been promoted to Product Development Manager. I can think of no better endorsement of the degree course than this excellent contribution to our business."
The Body Shop:
"The range of subjects in the course is considered to be comprehensive and all of the subjects are relevant to the requirements of the technical functions within the Cosmetics Industry. As a result, graduates from this course have a distinct advantage when joining the Cosmetics Industry because of their specialist knowledge."
Placement supervisor at Proctor & Gamble:
"The BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science at London College of Fashion seems to perfectly prepare the student for a formulation role in the cosmetic industry. The formulation lab becomes a natural environment to the student. The familiarity with making cosmetic formulations and handling cosmetic ingredients enables the student to quickly make strong contributions after a very short on-boarding."
"What better way to support our vision of being the high street's fashion led beauty retailer than to employ the best young graduates? London College of Fashion is known as the centre of excellence in fashion and beauty education. We are delighted that currently 3 recent graduates from the BSc Cosmetics Science course work within Superdrug's Own Brand Development Team. Their expertise and knowledge helps us to create products that Superdrug is proud of."
Society of Cosmetic Scientists, after an evening of student presentations:
"If this is the future of the industry, then it is being left in good hands."