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Light and Lighting - MSc

Course Description

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.

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.


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.

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.

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

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

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. Those 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.

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