Light and Lighting MSc

London, Bloomsbury and London, Hackney Wick (Here East)

UCL offers one of the world's most comprehensive MSc's in Light and Lighting. We bring together the technical and creative sides of lighting design, offering an extensive package of knowledge and skills that are employed across the lighting industry and the built environment. As a student you will learn how to design lighting as an integrated component of architecture, utilising exciting advances in science and technology whilst taking into consideration human responses to the lit environment.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 30 Jun 2022

Applications closed


Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

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.

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: Good

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

From gas lamps to LEDs, as technology has progressed the lighting industry has become increasingly specialist. An in-depth expertise is required to understand the implications and act on the opportunities of technological advancements. As a student on UCL's Light and Lighting MSc you'll learn about the science of light, lamp and luminaire technologies, the impact of light on architectural form and the human response to light. This knowledge will give you both the vision to design beautiful lit environments and the skills to ensure that they are successfully engineered.

Who this course is for

People passionate about lighting are welcome to apply, preferably with a background in architecture, interior design, industrial design, various engineering disciplines, science, arts and theatre subjects. However, we encourage all prospective students with an interest in lighting to apply and go through the selection process. 

Many students have studied part-time while employed in some element of the lighting profession and industries.

What this course will give you

As a student you will benefit from: 

  • A world leading, multidisciplinary learning environment. 
  • Studying in London, the world's centre for architectural lighting. 
  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities including the Bartlett Lighting Simulator, an advanced sunlight and daylight modelling facility employing both computer simulation and a sophisticated variable luminance artificial sky.
  • Our Institute's long-standing track-record of excellence in lighting research.
  • Our close ties with professional bodies and links with practices and manufacturers across the UK, providing regular inspiration for live projects.
  • An inclusive environment that promotes global citizenship, and an ethos of equality and diversity

Graduates of this programme have been able to demonstrate their ability in industry. Many of our alumni 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.

This Masters is taught at the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering in The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, home to specialist institutes in energy, environmental design and engineering, resources and heritage. 

The Bartlett Faculty brings together specialisms required to research, design, construct and operate the built environment of the future.

The QS World University Rankings (2021) ranks The Bartlett, our faculty, as #1 for Architecture/Built Environment studies in the UK and #2 in the World. The Bartlett's research received the UK's most world-leading ratings for Built Environment research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

The foundation of your career

This degree gives you a comprehensive package of lighting knowledge widely employed across industry. During the Master's we welcome design practitioners, manufacturers and researchers to give presentations. This puts you in touch with the lighting innovators, sharing the latest from industry and giving added depth to your studies through their practice.


We have a rich network of alumni who have who have progressed or made a career in the lighting industry. Our graduates now work in global engineering consultancies, lighting design practices, architecture offices and luminaire manufacturers. A number of students have also used the MSc as a foundation for MPhil/PhD research. You can read about their experiences in our alumni profiles.

Several alumni 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. A number of graduates have also received the Society of Light and Lighting's Young Lighters of the Year award. 


The Light and Lighting MSc has been accredited by the United Kingdom's Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) as meeting the further learning requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.  CIBSE have registered the degree with the Engineering Council.

The course is recognised by the American National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions - NCQLP, making it easier for students achieve LC Certification.

Teaching and learning

The programme has lectures and tutorials, complemented by project work. Modules are assessed through coursework such as essays and design projects, as well as written examinations. Students will complete a 10,000-word dissertation.


You will take seven compulsory modules which will provide you with the knowledge and skills that underpin lighting research and design, including lighting fundamentals, applied calculations, lighting research skills and the use of lighting simulation equipment. You will also complete lighting design projects in Terms 1 and 2.

Since 2020, new modules in Evolution of Lighting Design and Advanced Lighting Control Design have been added to the Programme. The Evolution of Lighting Design module includes the evolution of design philosophies over time and lighting principles relevant to ancient and modern town planning. In the Advanced Lighting Control Design Module you will learn how to design a lighting control system to meet people’s needs in different environments and to understand the practical implications and consequences of your design.

All students will complete a research dissertation. You will undertake a research or design project that will allow you to demonstrate a deep understanding of the lighting knowledge base which will lead to an dissertation worth a third of the MSc.

Throughout the programme you will have the opportunity to undertake project work and design work, both on an individual basis and as part of a group. Design briefs are drawn from real-world lighting projects and engage with professionals in the field.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Light and Lighting.


The programme may include visits to sites, laboratories, and other facilities to study lighting. 


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Environmental Design and Engineering - The Bartlett Graduate Open Week

Discover the postgraduate programmes you can study at The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, meet the teaching staff and have your questions answered. Join our Faculty-wide 'In Conversation with Bartlett Alumni' session and Q&As for The Bartlett Promise Scholarship.

Online - Open day

Applying to The Bartlett Promise UK Master's Scholarship

Presentation and Q&A about the Bartlett Promise UK Master’s Scholarship.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500 £8,250
Tuition fees (2022/23) £29,400 £14,700

Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.

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

Additional costs

Students are expected to pay for local travel near the university. Travel for events outside London is provided if it forms part of the taught degree.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Additional funding is available from our Institute and Faculty and is advertised on  the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering scholarships page and The Bartlett scholarships page.

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

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Applications Open: 1 March 2022. Deadline: 31 May 2022
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 18 April 2022
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Ecclesiastical Insurance Bursary

Deadline: 13 May 2022
Value: Up to £24,150 (to cover the cost of fees and a stipend) (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.