Introduction to Cosmetic Science introduces you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable you to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.
The Applied Chemistry unit provides a broad overview of the fundamental concepts of chemistry as applied to cosmetic science. You will gain the knowledge essential to understand the chemistry, origin, production, properties and functions of different classes of raw materials used in cosmetic products. You will also obtain a detailed understanding of the chemical interactions between molecular species in cosmetic products, building the foundation for your future cosmetic formulation work.
The Applied Biology unit introduces you to the aspects of biological sciences that underpin the development and use of cosmetic products. In particular, you will begin the study of the skin, which is of vital importance to any in-depth understanding of the actions of cosmetics and toiletries. In addition, you will be introduced to the study of human anatomy and physiology, from the cell through to organ system level. You will also gain an understanding of microbiology and its importance in the cosmetics industry.
In Colloidal Science you will be introduced to the principles of surface and colloidal chemistry and their specific applications to the development and manufacture of cosmetic products. You will gain knowledge of the chemical structure of surfactants, their colloidal behaviour, properties and functions. The scope of this unit also includes extensive overview of emulsion science and technology.
Formulation Science will apply your scientific knowledge to the formulation of cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery products in the laboratory. Your will be introduced to scientific research methods and will apply these to a given formulation problem. Your practical laboratory work will be carried out in small groups and it will be structured and supervised, whilst allowing both groups and individual students a certain level of independence and creativity.
London College of Fashion, UAL (LCF) is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. We have been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. We encourage students to examine the past and challenge the present. To have inventive, assertive ideas that challenge social and political agendas. We give students the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice. By leading the way in fashion design, business, and the media, we influence culture, economics and our society. This unit will provide you with a solid understanding of LCF’ core values and how they connect to your practice. As part of this unit you will explore diversity, social responsibility and sustainability, themes which you will then apply to a selected project. At this stage the emphasis is on how you apply your thinking across these important themes to your practice. Your thinking is more important than a finished piece of work at this point. Fashion can change lives. Through teaching, specialist research, and collaborative work, this unit will get you thinking differently. We want you to use fashion to examine the past, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. That’s why we call this unit ‘Better Lives’.
Skincare and Colour Cosmetics unit focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects underpinning the formulation of skincare and colour cosmetic products. It will provide you with a detailed insight into the composition, structure and properties of different categories of these products. You will be applying the scientific and formulation principles covered in Stage 1 units, enhanced by the knowledge of a wide range of raw materials and the further study of the skin structure and function.
The Product Evaluation unit, you will be introduced to the principles, methods and practical aspects of product evaluation, alongside the principles of statistical analysis. You will learn how to design product evaluation studies, including the selection of appropriate instrumental and/or sensory methods and corresponding statistical methods. This unit will enable you to develop and carry out evaluation studies, collect, analyse and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions on product efficacy.
The Product Safety, Quality and Legislation unit will provide you with the working knowledge of the requirements for producing safe and legal products, which are ‘fit for purpose’ and of acceptable quality. You will be introduced to the principles of quality management and will apply these to the context of the cosmetic industry. Key legislative requirements for cosmetics will be discussed and compared in global context. Finally, you will also learn the basis of toxicology and its application to safety assessment of cosmetics.
Product Packaging and Stability unit provides a framework to make informed decisions on the selection and use of packaging materials for cosmetics. 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. The principles of product stability will be introduced through theory, demonstration and practical work. You will consider the requirement to conform to relevant legislation and to make packaging decisions based on sound environmental data, aiming for sustainable solutions.
The Haircare unit you will learn about hair structure and how different ethnic hair characteristics impact on the variety of consumer needs. You will apply this knowledge to the formulation of different types of haircare products. Building on your raw materials and surface chemistry knowledge from Stage 1, you will research, develop and test product efficacy against defined consumer needs. You will plan and implement systematic data gathering and analysis for the purpose of product innovation.
The Perfumery unit will introduce you to the key concepts in perfumery and specific terminology. You will have an opportunity to develop and practice olfactory skills and to utilise them in developing fragrances for cosmetic and toiletry products. You will also work on a specific perfume brief in order to appreciate the creativity and consumer focus required in order to produce cosmetic products with perfumes that convey efficacy and meet consumer expectations.
The Diploma in Professional Studies (the Diploma) is a University of the Arts London Award for a period of professional placement of at least 30 weeks duration. The placement is undertaken after successful completion of stage 2 of the four-year Bachelor’s degree or a five-year Integrated Master’s degree. The 30 weeks must be completed in full.
The Applied Product Formulation unit is to critically apply scientific knowledge to the process of product formulation, by utilising both standard and novel technologies and testing methods. You will develop an in-depth understanding of the chemistry and properties of key cosmetic ingredients, and of the relevant aspects of colloidal and formulation science. You will revisit key underlining principles of perfumery and packaging and apply these to the process of product development. All elements of the formulation process will be brought together in order to produce stable, effective and innovative cosmetic products.
Production and Distribution Management unit explores the areas of production, inventory and distribution management and introduces you to the principles of supply chain management. It offers you an opportunity to contextualise and apply to a commercial environment your knowledge of other disciplines studied in this course. You will be able to experience, through case studies, some of the issues and activities associated with the complex processes of producing and distributing cosmetics products into global markets. In particular, you will explore sustainability-related issues and analyse sustainable practices used in the cosmetic industry.
The Strategic Marketing unit will introduce you to strategic corporate and business models, which you will apply in the analysis of cosmetic branding and marketing strategies. You will also explore the global business environment within which the cosmetic industry is situated and will apply your findings to a range of business scenarios. You will learn to formulate strategic plans for business growth with the emphasis on innovation and the ways in which the internet and e-commerce are influencing strategy.
Cosmetic Product Claims unit integrates two important components of the new product development process: product development and claim support. The application of scientific and commercial subject knowledge for the development of innovative products, combined with critical evaluation of the scientific strengths of claims will be at the core of this unit.
The Product Launch Project unit is to consolidate knowledge and skills across a number of areas important to the industry and to apply them to the complex process of product launch. You will be expected to demonstrate your critical understanding of the market drivers, legislative environment, the stages in product development and the nature of product claims. Crucially you will have an opportunity to apply your formulation, packaging, evaluation and statistical knowledge to the development of a new cosmetic product, taking into account the business objectives such as timeliness, cost and consumer acceptability. You will also outline a proposal for the manufacturing method and quality control. Your project planning, team work, time management and laboratory skills will be utilised in the realisation of this project.
The MSc Project Proposal unit is to build a formalised structure to the process of research, which underpins the master’s year of your course. It draws on your existing research skills and develops them, culminating in the production of your MSc project/MSc dissertation proposal. This is required to be clearly scoped, risk-assessed, time-estimated and activity-based. The subject of your MSc project/dissertation will be selected from a given list or you may use your own topic, based on your personal and professional interests and career aspirations. Topics are expected to address issues of practical or theoretical importance for the cosmetics industry.
The Advanced Cosmetic Science unit will consolidate your learning in cosmetic science and technology and will build on your knowledge by introducing you to current research advances and industry challenges. A major part of the unit has a 'fixed' content and provides you with the complex knowledge of specific technologies and processes, including sustainability, intellectual property rights, alternatives to animal testing and aspects of consumer relations. A smaller part of this unit is 'open' and variable, responding to new developments in raw materials and cosmetic actives, information technology and underpinning sciences.
MSc Project for Cosmetic Science unit will be the culmination of your Integrated Master’s study. You will demonstrate self-direction in the choice of topic and will be supported in the development of your research methodology. You will choose between an experimentally-based and a theoretical approach, resulting in the MSc project report and MSc dissertation, respectively. The choice of topic for your MSc project/dissertation will reflect your personal and professional interests and career aspirations. Preferably, it will deal with an issue of practical or theoretical importance in the area of cosmetic science and technology. Your work is expected to contain elements of originality and be at the forefront of the subject area.
Learning and teaching methods
- Briefings, tutorials and feedback
- Lectures and seminars
- Laboratory workshops
- Marketing research
- Collaborative group project work
- Independent laboratory work
- Academic skills and research methods
- Essays and dissertation
- Project and laboratory reports
- Exam papers and presentations
Showing your work
All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.