UCL Graduate degrees


Light and Lighting MSc

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. 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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: 2-5 years

Full-time students are expected to study for 37.5 hours per week during term. Part-time and flexible students normally attend half this amount. Typically, teaching occurs on two days per week.

Application dates

Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£16,000 (FT)
£28,500 (FT)

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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.


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.

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

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

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:

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 lamp and luminaire technologies, the impact of light on architectural form and the human reaction 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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), and a light and lighting dissertation (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Light and Lighting.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Lighting Fundamentals (15 credits)
  • Lighting: Applied Calculations (15 credits)
  • Lighting Research (15 credits)
  • Evolution of Lighting Design (15 credits)
  • Advanced Lighting Control Design (15 credits)
  • Advanced Lighting Design (30 credits)

Optional modules

Students choose the Lighting Practice module (15 credits) or another relevant optional module to the value of 15 credits from the department. The Lighting Practice module aims to prepare the future lighting designer by covering the legislative, contractual, and technological constraints which must be met to achieve sustainable lighting solutions.

  • Lighting Practice (15 credits)

Please note that this is subject to availability and the approval of the relevant Programme Leader.

Dissertation/research project

All students submit a 10,000-word dissertation (60 credits) on a topic associated with light and lighting in the built environment.


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

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.

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.


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


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.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2021
Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Based on financial need

Lamport Hall Preservation Trust Scholarship

Deadline: 16 July 2021
Up to £10,000 (Duration of programme)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

GREAT Scholarships for a Sustainable Future

Deadline: 5pm (BST), Thursday 21 April 2021
£10,000 (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

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


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. 


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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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 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.

Department: Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

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.

Application deadlines

31 May 2021
31 May 2021

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021