Light and Lighting MSc

This MSc is Europe's long-standing specialist graduate lighting programme. It provides an holistic approach to lighting design considering the human response to light and lighting, the science and technology of the subject, together with the design of lighting as an integrated part of architecture and the built environment.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Flexible 3-5 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £10,800
  • Overseas Full-time: £19,050

Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students develop an understanding of the advantages of different simulation techniques for lighting, lamp and luminaire technologies, tools, materials and manufacturing processes, real world constraint on design, mathematical models of lighting, the technical basis of photometry, technical computational procedures and future lighting technologies and their impact on architectural form.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multi-disciplinary Faculty of the Built Environment, bringing together scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

This MSc has at its disposal the Lighting Simulator, an advanced sunlight and daylight modelling facility employing both computer simulation and a sophisticated variable luminance artificial sky.

Many of our graduates have been successful in gaining awards and prizes from around the world including Lighting Designer of the Year and the Society of Light and Lighting's Young Lighters of the Year award.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits), and a light and lighting report (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Lighting Fundamentals
  • Lighting Applied Calculations
  • Lighting Research
  • Advanced Lighting Design


  • Lighting Practice or another appropriate module from any UCL Bartlett MSc programme


All MSc students submit a 15,000-word report on a topic associated with light and lighting in the built environment.

Teaching and Learning

The programme's formally taught elements are complemented with design project work and visits to buildings to study lighting. There are also other visits to laboratories and design showrooms associated with the subject. Assessment is through coursework (essays and design projects), written examinations and the 15,000-word final report.

Further details available on subject website:


The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers make an award for Outstanding Achievement on the programme.

Scholarships available for this department

Brown Family Bursary

This award is based on financial need.

Bartlett Masters Scholarship

These scholarships are based on financial need.

Bartlett Masters Scholarship

These scholarships are based on financial need.

HRP Heritage Science Scholarship

Historic Royal Palaces is funding this scheme in order to increase the numbers of ethnic minority students in the Heritage Science sector.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

The normal minimum qualifications are a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

A second acceptable qualification is a degree of lower than second-class Honours standard, or an equivalent overseas qualification, in a subject appropriate to the programme, plus extensive background and experience in the field. The latter implies considerable experience as a professional at a senior level.

For applicants without a first degree or full professional membership, but with relevant and substantial work experience in the field, a special qualifying examination may be set. Details of this route can be obtained from the Bartlett's Graduate Faculty Office.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme attracts participants with backgrounds in architecture, interior design, industrial design, various engineering disciplines, science, arts and theatre subjects. Students have come from many places around the world, but predominantly from the UK. Many students have studied part-time while employed in some element of the lighting profession and industries.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Light and Lighting at graduate level
  • why you want to study Light and Lighting at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The majority of graduates have either continued to work, or have gained employment in the lighting profession either in the lighting manufacturing industry or in lighting design. A number of students have used the MSc as a foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • NDY Light, Lighting Designer, 2011
  • Arup & Partners, Lighting Designer, 2008
  • Holophane, Lighting Design Manager, 2009
  • Re-light, Lighting Designer, 2008


A number of students have gone on to win international awards in the field of lighting, including the Light Play prize at the Total Lighting Show (2000), the RHS Silver Gilt Medal (2004), and Lighting Designer of the Year (2006). Several Light and Lighting graduates have received the Society of Light and Lighting's Young Lighters of the Year award - most recently in 2011. Graduates have also delivered conference presentations at PLDC Madrid (2011) and Copenhagen (2013).

Next steps


Mr Craig Daraz

T: +44 (0)20 3108 9746


Bartlett School of Graduate Studies

Register your interest

Keep up to date with news from UCL and receive personalised email alerts. Register your interest

Make an application



View videos about UCL and its global impact on our YouTube channels: Study UCL and UCLTV.

Alumni View

"I established contacts with many researchers at UCL and with people outside the university through the various seminar series held at my institute, and most importantly through presenting my research at conferences in various parts of the world."

Fabian Kesicki

Energy Analyst, International Energy Agency, 2012

Subject: Energy Institute, Faculty: Built Environment

Staff View

"London is the hub of the most interesting things going on in the UK, with governmental organisations, built environment consultancies and some great academic institutions."

Dr Robin Hickman

Senior Lecturer in Transport Planning

Subject: Development Planning, Faculty: Built Environment