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Light and Lighting MSc

This MSc is Europe's long-standing specialist graduate lighting programme. It provides a 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 component of architecture and the built environment.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: 2-5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£12,950 (FT)
£23,050 (FT)

Application dates

Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Accreditation: CIBSE, Engineering Council
Location: London, Bloomsbury

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 Bachelor's 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 UCL Bartlett's Graduate Faculty Office.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

Students develop an understanding of a wide range of topics associated with the design of the lit environment including lamp and luminaire technologies, the impact of light on architectural form and the human reaction to light. The programme provides a holistic approach to light and lighting so that graduates have both the vision to design beautiful lit environments and the skills necessary to ensure that they are successfully engineered.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits), and a light and lighting dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

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

Optional modules

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

Dissertation/research project

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

Teaching and learning

The programme has formal elements of lectures and tutorials that are complemented with project work and site visits to study lighting. There are also other visits to laboratories and other facilities associated with the subject. Assessment is through coursework (essays and design projects), written examination and a 15,000-word dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Light and Lighting MSc


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

There is also funding available to lighting students from such bodies as the International Association of Lighting Designers Education Trust and the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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 degree

  • Lighting Designer, Arup
  • Architect / Lighting Designer, Demicoli Associates
  • Research- Architectural Lighting, University College London (UCL)
  • Lighting Designer, Paul Nulty Lighting Design
  • Lighting Designer, Projection Lighting


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, the RHS Silver Gilt Medal, and Lighting Designer of the Year. Several Light and Lighting graduates have received the Society of Light and Lighting Young Lighters of the Year award. Graduates have also delivered conference presentations at PLDC Madrid and Copenhagen.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary 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.


The course is recognised to meet the requirements of the NCQLP Internship LC program.

Department: Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources

Student / staff numbers › 25 staff including 10 postdocs › 100 taught students › 45 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps


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.

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 countries around the world as well as the UK. Many students have studied part-time while employed in some element of the lighting profession and industries.

Application deadlines

28 July 2017
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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