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UCL offers one of the world's most comprehensive MSc programmes in Light and Lighting. The bespoke content provides a holistic approach to lighting and is widely accepted across industry. By joining Europe's long-standing specialist graduate lighting programme you will learn how to design lighting as an integrated component of architecture, considering the human response and exciting advances in science and technology.

About this degree

Given the progression in the lighting industry from gas lamps to LEDs, lighting has become an increasingly specialist subject area. Specialist knowledge is now required to understand the implications and opportunitites of fast advancements in technology. This programme provides this knowledge, you'll learn about lamp and luminaire technologies, the impact of light on architectural form and the human reaction to light. This knowledge is essential to give graduates 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).

Compulsory 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.


Site visits are part of coursework, classroom activities and dissertations.

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.


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

There is also funding available to lighting students from bodies such 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.


We have a rich network of Alumni who sucessfully entered and made a career in the lighting industry, whether it be for global engineering consultancies, lighting design practices, architecture offices or luminaire manufacturers. The majority of graduates have either continued to work, or have gained employment in the lighting profession. A number of students have used the MSc as a foundation for MPhil/PhD research.


The programme has enabled students to demonstrate their learning at national and international level competitions. 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 LuxLive, Museum lighting conferences and PLDC (Professional Lighting Design Convention) Madrid and Copenhagen.

Why study this degree at UCL?

You will benefit from both practical and theoretical learning. 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.

Alumni who have studied this course have been able to demonstrate their ability out in industry. 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 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.


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


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 £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at:

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


26 July 2019


30 August 2019

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.

Visit the Light and Lighting MSc page on the University College London website for more details!