Note: these FAQs mostly relate to our NZQA-accredited Certificate course

What is SRA?

The Samala Robinson Academy (SRA) is New Zealand's leading academy of fashion makeup.  We were established in 2000 by top New Zealand makeup artist Samala Robinson.  Our goal is to train makeup artists worthy of working at the highest levels whether it be fashion, cosmetic companies, retail, freelance, special events or film and television.  SRA's vision is to take the mystery out of makeup and to produce world-class artists who are capable of creating beauty.

What makes SRA unique?

SRA is one of New Zealand's very few schools of fashion makeup that is NZQA accredited, which means you are a recognised qualified makeup artist on successfully completing the course.  Our tutors are not only praticing freelance makeup artists (which means what they teach is current and up to date), but they are also trained and NZQA-accredited in adult training. This means our teaching is optimised for different learning styles. We are known for creating confident and professional makeup artists with the highest standards, ready for careers in the fashion, beauty, film and television industries.  We train tomorrow's makeup artists, foster their creativity and help them to become masters of their craft at a professional, international standard.

What courses does SRA offer?

Our main full-time course until September is the Certificate in Fashion Makeup.  From late July onwards we will be offering the brand new  New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare (Level 3) in a part-time version, and in a full-time version from September. Both courses are designed for people who want to build a career as a professional makeup artist.  The courses will teach you the latest skills and techniques to start work in the makeup industry. They are NZQA-accredited, which means they are industry-recognised qualifications. Diplomas or certificates from other makeup schools may not be. Also, because the courses are approved by TEC and NZQA, most students wishing to take them will be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of the course. Alternatively, many students may be eligible for the new government 'Fees Free' scheme where the tuition cost of our couses may be fully covered. Refer to the website www.feesfree.govt.nz to see if you are eligible.

In addition various short courses and workshops are held at SRA. These include an Extensive Introduction to Professional Makeup Artistry [evenings, over 10 weeks], and our School Holidays programmes.

What kind of job can I get after this course?

A career in makeup can be stimulating and creative with a lot variety, and the chance to freelance, run your own business or work for a major cosmetics brand.  We've had graduates who started on cosmetics counters in department stores and within a few years became managers and then creative directors in TV and film.  Some have even become makeup artists to celebrities, models, actors and singers.

What are the chances of getting a job after the course?

Our courses have a very strong focus on ensuring our graduates get work after they finish.  Nearly 80% of our 2015 graduates are working in the fashion, makeup or releated industries, while 7% have gone on to further studies, and a further 13% are employed in other areas, often using skills such as customer service which they learnt as part of their SRA Certificate. Only 1% are unemployed. The new New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare is especially targetted to producing graduates who are immediately employable in makeup & skincare workplaces.

Can SRA help me find a job?

SRA has strong relationships with leading cosmetic brands like Darphin Paris, Thin Lizzy, Bobbi Brown, L'Oréal Paris and MAC many of whom employ makeup artists to demo their products at leading department stores and beauty spas. Our new course (the New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare) is especially oriented towards this type of employment. Our tutors are well networked in the industry and often know of upcoming job postions. They are usually pleased to act as a reference for ex-students. Other major employers regularly contact SRA when they are planning an intake of new employees.

Do I have to be very creative to be a makeup artist?

We love creativity, but alone it is of limited value to a makeup artist without good technique.  We teach techniques that can help you uncover and confidently express your creativity.  The SRA training team works hard to help inspire the creativity of our students. We love seeing students discover how creative they can be.

However, even creativity and good technique must be supplemented with good people skills and a professional attitude if a makeup artist is to be popular and successful. We emphasise the importance of these 'soft skills' in additonal to the technical skills and the fostering of creativity.

Can I study full-time or part-time?

You can study for the SRA Certificate in Fashion Makeup full-time by joining the August 2018 course. That full-time programme is a 17 week course. 

The new New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare is available in full-time (from September 2018) and part-time (from July 2018) versions. The part-time programme runs over 36.5 weeks.  Full-time students will attend class 5 days per week (a full morning and a part-afternoon) and are expected to do a further 10 hours of self-directed study per week, as well as having opportunities during the course of their studies to gain valuable work experience (eg photo shoots, or various shows and events). Part-time students attend class for three hours two evenings per week (Mondays and Wednesdays) plus (usually) every third Sauturday, seven hours. Thus the total amount of taught hours is virtually identical between the full-time and part-time versions of the course.

What qualification do I get?

Full time classes: Up until August 2018, a Level 3 Certificate in Fashion Makeup.  Students are assessed against New Zealand National Qualifications (NZQA) unit standards and provider standards for makeup.  There is a formal assessment which determines the certificate pass level. The SRA Certificate in Fashion Makeup is well recognised and well regarded in the industry.

Part-time classes: from July 2018 onwards, the new New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare, Level 3. This is a new national qualification, highly geared towards producing graduates immediately employable in the makeup industry with an emphasis on beauty counters, major brands, spas or freelancing as a beauty makeup artist. Students are assessed against 14 New Zealand National Qualifications (NZQA) unit standards for makeup, First Aid and basic business and career-devleopment skills.

Full-time classes: from September 2018 onwards, the new New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare, Level 3. This is a new national qualification, highly geared towards producing graduates immediately employable in the makeup industry with an emphasis on beauty counters, major brands, spas or freelancing as a beauty makeup artist. Students are assessed against 14 New Zealand National Qualifications (NZQA) unit standards for makeup, First Aid and basic business and career-devleopment skills.

What will I learn in the course?

Our Certificate in Fashion Makeup (availalble until August 2018) has been designed by top industry professionals with leading specialists in fashion, film and television production.  You will learn fashion makeup and personal development skills that will prepare you for a job in the fashion, beauty, film and television industries.

The skills and techniques you will learn include:

  •  Character makeup
  •  Fashion makeup
  •  Special effects makeup
  •  Costume & makeup throughout history
  •  Customer service and foundational retail training
  •  Skincare

You will also learn to create the latest fashion and special effects looks, such as:

  •  Sugar skulls
  •  Zombies
  •  Living doll
  •  Masquerade

We adjust our teaching and learning methods as much as possible to suit the different learning styles of our students. Also, since we work within a constantly evolving industry, our teaching methodology and materials are similarly constantly evolving to remain current and relevant. 

In the new New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare (availalble part-time from July 2018, and full-time from September 2018) you will learn the fundamentals of the skills necessary to be employed in the modern world of makeup in a variety of workplaces providing a range of makeup & skincare service. What you'll learn: Natural Makeup; Client Elegant; Client Sultry; Ball Makeup; Bridal Makeup; Indian/Eastern Bridal; Fashion Elegant; Fashion Sultry; Skin Analysis; Skincare; Colour Correcting; Corrective Makeup; Tools & Equipment; Business Principles; Retail Training; Sales Techniques; Customer Service; Blogging; basic Hair Styling, Braiding; Manicure & Effleurage - plus a taste of SFX/Performance makeup.

Is the course NZQA approved?

Yes. SRA is a Private Training Establishment (PTE) that is fully registered and accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. All our certificate courses are NZQA approved.

When does the course start?

Our courses start at different times of the year.  We offer eight full-time and three or four part-time courses each year. This means that there is usually a new Full-Time course starting every six weeks, and a new part-time class starting approximately every 13 weeks. Check the website for upcoming class dates.

What do I need to get into the SRA courses?

You must be at least 16 years of age.  You must also have a satisfactory level of written and spoken English skills.  A minimum of Level 1 for domestic students and 5 ELTS for international students. You must also have no major physical disabilities (such as neck or back injuries), which would adversely affect your chances of achieving the outcomes of the unit standards. 

How do I apply?

You can apply for the courses by filling out an online application form here and sending it to SRA. Or you can even book a free tour of SRA online right now

We will then contact you to arrange a time to tour SRA. 

How long does the course take?

The Certificate in Fashion Makeup is offered as a 17 week full-time programme, 5 mornings per week, plus 10 hours per week self-directed study. 

The New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare is offered as a full-time programme over an intensive 14 weeks (5 mornings plus short afternoons per week) plus self-directed study. The part-time version takes places over 36.5 weeks, usually Monday & Wednesday evenings and a full day every third Saturday, plus self-directed study.

How much does the course cost?

The course fee for 2018 for the Certificate in Fashion Makeup is $8,048 (including GST) and the same for the New Zealand Certificate in Makeup & Skincare.  This covers primarily tuition. There are in addition Compulsory Course-Related costs of $850 to cover all the various materials used in the course (for example, a well-equipped classroom kit of cosmetics resources controlled by the tutor, skincare products, towels, Special Effects materials, as well as a generous individual Starter Kit which students get to keep). In addition there is non-refundable admin & registration fee of $150. We explain everything you need to know about our fees and payment arrangements in your interview. 

Can I get a student loan?

Because SRA is NZQA-accredited, and because our certificate courses are NZQA-approved, yes, in the majority of cases student loans are available for our courses. To find out more information about how to get a student loan and check your eligibility  visit: www.studylink.govt.nz

However, additionally early in 2018 the government introduced a new 'Fees Free' scheme for tertiary education courses. You may be eligible for Fees Free. Because SRA is fully registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and our courses are approved by NZQA and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) you may qualify to have your 2018 fees paid for by the government under the new Fees Free scheme. Refer to the website www.feesfree.govt.nz to see if you are eligible. Alternatively, most students wishing to take our courses should be eligible for an interest-free loan from Studylink (www.studylink.govt.nz). Even if you are eligible for the Fees Free scheme, you may be able to get further support from Study Link or WINZ if you are going to claim living costs.

Can I get a refund if I stop the course?

Students who withdraw from our certificate courses before 10% of a course has elapsed after their start date will get a refund of all fees minus $500 to cover administration costs. For example the full-time Certificate in Fashion Makeup course has 85 taught days, so a student attending the full-time course and wishing to withdraw may withdraw and get a refund up to the beginning of the 9th day. This refund protocol only applies to students paying fees via a Study Link student loan or privately. Students whose fees are paid via the Fees-Free scheme do not receive a monetary refund, but their fees-free allowance is considered 'consumed' to the same degree as actual monetary fees would be.

Is my student fee protected?

Yes. The New Zealand Government requires all Private Training Establishments registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to protect all student fees paid to them in advance. SRA operates a trust account to ensure that all fees are protected. We have appointed the Public Trust to manage this trust account and use their Fee Protect service. Public Trust is a government-owned Trustee Company that has been in existence for over 130 years and all fees deposited with Public Trust have an unsecured capital guarantee from the New Zealand Government. The way this works is that your fees are deposited into a trust account at Public Trust and are paid to us over the duration of your study in accordance with an agreed payment schedule. This ensures that sufficient money is available at any time to refund the unused protion of student fees in the unlikely event that we are unable to complete the delivery of your course.

For more information visit Public Trust's website at www.ptnz.co.nz or cotact the Public Trust on freephone 0800 494 733.

What cosmetics do we use in the course?

Since our aim is to develop students to be ready to take their place in the industry, our tutors may at their discretion expose students to a wide range of professional and high-end consumer products and brands or at least discussion of such. However, the purpose of the course is to teach techniques and impart knowledge rather than to focus on products or brands. SRA's aim is to provide students with sufficient access to products which will allow them to gain the skills, knowledge and techniques which allow & equip them to pass the assessments. A wide variety of classroom resources and products are provided, distributed and made available at tutors' discretion, such as a very well stocked 'classroom/tutors' kit which contains a full range of cosmetics which at the tutor's discretion (and given time constraints) may allow for experimentation with advanced techniques or those which cover unusual circumstances. In additon to this, each student is provided with their own individual Starter Kit of cosmetics comprised of industry-standard makeup products sufficient to allow a student to pass the course assessments. The cost of all these products (both classroom and individual) are covered by a compulsory purchase of $850 , in the majority of cases funded by a Course Related Costs loan from Study Link or for students under the Fees-Free scheme they are covered by that scheme. 

The Starter Kit, backed up occasionally or as required by the tutors/classroom kit, is designed to support student learning, and ensures consistency and equity for all students, and importantly ensures that each student has all the industry-standard tools necessary to successfully complete all mandatory assignments & assessments within the course. 

The Starter Kit (and indeed all the supporting classroom marterials) provided to students is constantly evolving in line with changing fashions and trends in the industry, and may sometimes be impacted or changed by supplier constraints outside SRA's control, and as new products become available or existing products become discontinued, or may change from time to time for other reasons, be they reasons of aesthetic, commercial or other consideration. It is important to remember that the emphasis of the Academy is on learning, knowledge and technique - a focus on product is secondary, the products being merely tools to facilitate learning. 

Do I have to pay for my own cosmetics while doing the course?

In order for students to be guaranteed of having the right tools to complete all parts of the course and all assignments/assessments, we provide many resources & materials designed to support students in passing the course (some being provided in-class, and some provided directly to the student), so that between the various materials provided, the aim is for students have access to materials sufficient to achieve all assignments. These resources include such things as materials for the Special Effects 'taster' classes, some consumables/disposables/skin-care prodcuts, and a very well stocked tutors/class kit of cosmetics containing a wide range of products which at the tutors' discretion allows students to experiment with certain advanced techniques. In addition to this each student is provided with their own individual Starter Kit near the outset of the course. This kit is designed to be sufficient in the majority of cases to allow students to complete all assignments. Students have passed the course with Excellence using nothing but their basic Starter Kit. This kit and all the supporting classroom materials are funded via a 'Compulsory Course Related Costs' purchase of $850 (as without funding these materials, it would be impossible to complete the highly practical and hands-on course). In the majority of cases, students will be able to obtain a loan of up to $1000 from Study Link specifically to cover Course Related Costs such as the kit and supporting classroom materials (this amount is tacked on to the normal student loan that typically pays for tuition costs). The ability of most students to access this loan is possible because SRA is NZQA-accredited. Access to these funds is not possible for students attending other non-accredited schools.

The individual Starter Kit contains a variety of products, mostly from a major worldwide brand.  We have arrangements with various manufacturers to benefit our students by way of offering access to products at a discount.

As a professional makeup artist it's important to keep up to date with fashion trends, therefore buying makeup as you go is important for you, your creativity and career. You will gradually build up your own makeup kit to allow you to work as a makeup artist in a wide variety of circumstances and with a wide variety of client types. However, the materials purchased by the Course Related Costs fee ($850) - whether in the individual Starter Kit or whether as class resources - will together be guaranteed sufficient to allow students to pass all modules of the course.

Where is the academy?

The academy is situated in the heart of New Zealand's fashion capital Newmarket, Auckland. It's at: Level 1, 3 Melrose St, Newmarket, Auckland. Good public transport links are clsoe by.