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MSc Light and Lighting


Established in 1987, our MSc Light and Lighting (LL) at the UCL Bartlett School of Graduate Studies is Europe's long-standing specialist graduate lighting course and attracts participants with diverse backgrounds in architecture, interior design, industrial design, various engineering disciplines, science, arts and theatre subjects. Students are drawn from around the world, though predominantly from the UK, and many study part-time while employed in some element of the lighting profession and industries.

At your disposal, our programme houses the Lighting Simulator, an advanced sunlight and daylight modelling facility, employing both computer simulation and a sophisticated variable luminance artificial sky.

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For administration queries -  Contact the Teaching Programme Manager

For courses content queries -  Contact the Programme Director


To obtain the MSc Light and Lighting, all students must successfully complete and pass 90 approved credits plus the dissertation. These 90 approved credits must contain a specified number of credits (at least 75) from the course curriculum, including all core modules of the course. 

Students must have obtained in advance the approval of both their course director and the relevant module director in order to take any other modules.

Compulsory Core Modules

BENVGLG1 Lighting Fundamentals
Module tutor: Dr Stephen Cannon-Brookes
Credits: 15
Assessment: Coursework
Term 1

BENVGLG2 Lighting Applied Calculations
Module tutor: Peter Raynham
Credits: 15
Assessment: Coursework
Term 2

BENVGLG3 Lighting Research
Credits: 15
Assessment: Coursework
Term 1

BENVGLG4 Advanced Lighting Design

Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Terms 1 and 2


BENVGBE3 MSc LL Dissertation
Credits: 90
Assessment: Dissertation
Terms 2 and 3

Approved Module

BENVGLG5 Lighting Practice
Credits: 15
Assessment: Unseen written examination
Term 1


The MSc in Light and Lighting is taught through lecture/seminars supplemented by project design work. The course lasts one calendar year full-time or two calendar years part-time (flexible-modular) and commences in late September.

First year flexible-modular students take modules BENVGLG1, BENVGLG2 and BENVGLG4 while second year flexible-modular students take modules BENGLG3 and BENVGLG5. Full-time students take all modules.

Course Director:
Dr Kevin P Mansfield

BENVGLG1 Lighting Fundamentals

Module staff: Dr K P Mansfield and Dr Stephen Cannon-Brookes
Assessment: Coursework
Acting as a fundamental module, this is an introduction to the tools of lighting: natural daylight, lighting technologies and the design calculations used. This module deals with the human response to lighting, the fundamental definitions of the subject and lighting engineering calculations (both daylighting and electric lighting).

BENVGLG2 Lighting Applied Calculations
Module staff: Peter Raynham
Assessment: Coursework
This module takes the mathematical models and physical concepts of illumination and matches them with the reality of the luminous environment. This module deals with the application of engineering and mathematical models to the lit environment.

BENVGLG3 Lighting Research
Module staff: Dr Kevin P Mansfield
Assessment: Coursework
Lighting research results and the resulting theoretical models are introduced to the student in the area of human factors in lighting and illuminating engineering.This module introduces research-based results and theoretical model-building in the human response to lighting and lighting engineering calculations.

BENVGLG4 Advanced Lighting Design

Module staff: Dr K P Mansfield and Dr Stephen Cannon-Brookes
Assessment: Group and Individual project work
To produce confident, articulate lighting designers who can demonstrate the ability to use lighting design techniques to produce conceptual lighting designs and luminaire product designs. This module consists of a set of focused lighting design projects covering the appraisal of lighting, luminaire (light fitting) design and a major design project covering all the issues involved in the integration of daylighting and electric lighting.

BENVGLG5 Lighting Practice
Module staff: Dr K P Mansfield, Dr S Cannon-Brookes, P Raynham
Assessment: 2 hour Examination
To prepare the future lighting designer for lighting practice by a description of the context in which they will work and the constraints upon them. This module covers material relevant to those who wish to practice as a lighting consultant and the legislative, contractual and the technological constraints.

BENVGBE3 MSc LL Dissertation
Module staff: Dr K P Mansfield, Dr S Cannon-Brookes, P Raynham
Assessment: 15000 word dissertation
To allow the future lighting specialist to demonstrate a deep understanding of the lighting knowledge base. Preparation and submission of 15000 word report on a topic associated with light and lighting in the built environment.

Examples of recent student dissertations include:

  • Brightness-luminance relationships in real environments
  • The convivial city: towards a strategy for dynamic urban lighting
  • Lighting for ocean liners and city ships of the future
  • A critique of Building Regulations Part L, in relation to lighting
  • The development of a prototype lighting notation system
  • Innovator or imitator: a critical review of Sir John Soane's mastery of daylighting     
  • Re-lighting post-war modern buildings
  • Light, shadow and ambiguity
  • Light in sacred buildings
  • Luminance intensity and distribution of exterior LED screens
  • Whiteness evaluation.
  • Attentional capture in retail
  • Luminous media facades


The Bartlett School of Architecture's Lighting Centre plays an active part in lighting research. Recent studies have investigated the human response to light patterns and their importance in lighting design, the development of user-friendly interfaces to sophisticated lighting visualisation software and site-specific studies of urban lighting strategies. Much of the research actively informs the teaching on the course.


Programme Director

Dr Kevin Mansfield - Course Director
Send Kevin an email

Staff teaching on the programme currently include:

Dr Stephen Cannon-Brookes - Lecturer
Module tutor: Lighting Fundamentals
Send Stephen an email

Peter Raynham - Senior Lecturer
Module tutor: Lighting Applied Calculations
Send Peter an email

The course also benefits from presentations by experts within the profession to provide added depth, and course content is reviewed for relevance by senior practitioners in the lighting industry.


Please click through to the UCL graduate prospectus page for this course, from where you can find information on application fees, eligibility, tuition fees, scholarships, and then complete the online application process.

Applicants should also review the faculty specific admissions information and the FAQ on admissions.


The majority of past students have either continued to work in, or have gained employment in the lighting profession either in the lighting manufacturing industry or in lighting design.

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 (2000), the RHS Silver Gilt Medal (2004) and Lighting Designer of the Year (2006). Several Light and Lighting graduates have received the Society of Light and Lighting's Young Lighters of the Year award - most recently in 2011.

Students have also used the MSc as a foundation for MPhil/PhD research.