When you have completed the SCS Diploma in Cosmetic Science you will have a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of raw materials and products in the cosmetics and toiletries and will be able to:

  • Work with a high degree of independence in formulating cosmetics and toiletries.
  • Evaluate and use appropriate raw materials, processes and equipment.
  • Be competent in identifing problems, making decisions and developing technical procedures.
  • Retrieve and evaluate information from a range of sources.
  • Become a full member of the SCS, which gives a variety of benefits, such as discounts on attending conferences and access to lectures, see

You will also have:

  • A responsible attitude to product safety and safe practice, and be fully aware of the  principles of Good Manufacturing Practice.
  • Competence in the application of the scientific principles to formulation, production and packaging of cosmetic and toiletry products.
  • A full understanding of the regulatory and quality requirements of cosmetic and toiletry products.
  • An appreciation of the marketing of cosmetics and toiletries.
  • An understanding or marketing trends.
SCS Logo with transparent text in White
This modular course has units written and assessed by industry experts covering the following;

  • Foundations in chemistry, physiology, biochemistry and microbiology
  • Key functional roles of product development, production, packaging and marketing
  • Vital auxiliary services such as stability testing, microbial preservation, quality assurance, legislation, safety assessment, performance evaluation and market research
  • Specific product categories; hair; skin; oral care; colour cosmetics; aerosols and perfumes

Short videos, on either laboratory work or aspects of production, that cannot fully be captured by the written word accompany some units.  The full list of subjects can be found in the course prospectus.

The first module introduces students to the basic sciences together with cosmetic raw materials and safety in the workplace.

The emphasis in Modules Two and Three is on formulating and manufacturing cosmetic and toiletry products. They include hair products (e.g. shampoos); skin products (e.g. moisturisers); cleansing agents (e.g. shower gels and body wash prodcts) and decorative cosmetics (e.g. lipsticks, eye shadows and foundations), together with their production and packaging.

The final module concentrates on finished product use and efficacy and includes legislation; product safety; the marketplace; environmental impact; marketing; consumer research; product evaluation; statistics and claim support.

All course material is the intellectual property of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists. It is for the sole use of the named student who has been accepted onto the course and paid in full. Access must not be shared or given to another person. No course material should be copied or used other than for the purpose of completion of the SCS Distance Learning Course.

Continuous assessment is provided by four pieces of coursework comprising of two essays and two case studies.

Final assessment takes the form of four formal two-hour examination papers covering all the modules of the course.

The Hibbott Memorial Prize is awarded to the student, who completes the SCS Diploma within one year, with the highest overall mark.

Dr H W Hibbott was President of the Society in 1960 and 1961 and the memorial prize is awarded in his honour.

There is also a prize for the best essay submitted as an assignment. The winning essay is published in SPC magazine.



Yes. If you decide to complete the course over two years, then you must let the Course Administrator know this, in writing, by mid June, before the examinations in September.  Marks for any course work that is completed within the first year are carried over to the next academic year.  There will be a fee payable of 10% of the original course fee for deferring your examinations for a year.

If you are struggling to open pages on this website, or have problems submitting your application form, please try using a different web browser.  If the problem persists, please contact the SCS Secretariat by email to

Once you have completed the application form and your application has been accepted, the Society will issue an invoice. The invoice must be paid in full before module access codes can be provided.  Payment over three termly instalments can be arranged and these are set termly fees. If you wish to pay over three terms please contact the SCS Secretariat at

The only work that has to be submitted for marking is the four pieces of coursework which are dispatched with deadline dates provided for submission.  The dates can be found on the course calendar.  This coursework consists of two essays and two case studies.

Two Laboratory Days are held at the London College of Fashion, in March.

The SCS Diploma Summer School takes place over a weekend June or July.

If you have any questions about any aspect of the course please contact the Course Administrator at the SCS Secretariat at

Yes provided you meet the entry requirements. All the materials that you need can be found online and you can contact the Course Administrator at the SCS Secretariat at any time by email ( The course has been designed to be self-contained but additional help is always available if needed via the Course Administrator.

Over the last few years we have had students from:-

Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Latvia, Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, Croatia, Malaysia, Philippines, United States of America, Trinidad, Dominica, Switzerland. Uruguay, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Columbia, Peru, Brazil, Singapore, Belgium, Poland,Thailand, Dubai, Canada, Mexico and South Africa as well as the UK.

No, unfortunately you cannot buy parts of the SCS Diploma in Cosmetic Science.

The SCS Diploma in Cosmetic Science is a distance learning course and this allows you to be flexible with your studying times.

The modules are interrelated so information in one unit can be linked to that in another, therefore we are unable to offer individual units for sale.

Full fees are to be paid in advance when you are accepted onto the course.  All fees must be paid by the end of August in the year of your enrolment.

Payment over three termly instalments can be arranged and will be due in September, December and April.

The course ends with four two hour written exams, which are held in the September after you enroll on the course.  Exams are held online from your home or office setting.  The Course Administrator will work with you to organise everything you  need.

To find the current courses fees please go to our enrolment page

If a student passes the SCS Diploma in Cosmetic Science with a merit or distinction pass and they already hold a good science degree they may apply to the London College of Fashion and join their MSc in Cosmetic Science programme.  You will be interviewed as normal with the London College of Fashion.  If you pass the SCS Diploma you may be accepted into year 2 of the MSc programme.  You can also be accepted into the University of Sunderland and join their 2nd year BSc Cosmetic Science course.

The SCS also run a week long residential course, Principles and Practice of Cosmetic Science.  Many SCS Diploma holders have gone on to participate in this course as the next phase of their education within the Cosmetics Industry.

Additionally the SCS run many lectures and regional events in the UK,

The SCS is affiliated to the IFSCC (International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists, see, who also run international conferences and congresses, SCS members receive disounted rates to attend these events.

Yes, the SCS Diploma in Cosmetic Science is well recognised within the Cosmetic Science Industry.

You can enroll on the SCS Diploma in Cosmetic Science from January to August each year.  Enrolment closes on 15 August.  This is to allow a sufficient amount of time to ensure all students have their access codes before commencement of the course in early September.

You can complete an application form to enrol on the course and the decision for applications is made by the Education Committee. It is important that you provide all supporting information within your application form. The pre-requisites for the course must be met before you will be considered for enrolment. The decision for accepting applications is made by the SCS Education Committee and their verdict is final.