MA / MDes Lighting Design

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Explore the use of light in interior and exterior spaces, learn from internationally renowned designers, and develop your technical knowledge and creative skills.

  • Napier code:

    54768MM

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    1 year (3 trimesters)

  • Award:

    MA / MDes

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

This is one of only a small number of postgraduate lighting design courses in the world.

You’ll explore the use of light in interior and exterior spaces and light as a medium for creative practice. You’ll learn combined technical and creative skills, and user centred knowledge to apply lighting design principles.

You’ll have the opportunity to shape your own ideas, concepts and theories through a self-directed major project, informed by design research and critical enquiry.

Taught by award winning and internationally renowned lighting designers, you’ll develop specialised skills and knowledge to prepare you for a career in lighting design.


lighting design

In specialist lighting design, exhibition design and light art modules you’ll develop design skills which will inform and enable highly developed outcomes in your self-directed major project.

Working with specialist tutors, the major project allows you to create and develop design outcomes for public spaces, exhibitions, and/or site specific installations.

This course is part of a suite of post-graduate design courses and promotes an interdisciplinary approach. Collaboration with practitioners from other areas is encouraged. You have the option of taking an MA or MDes award, depending on whether you complete a dissertation or design project report.

We have a strong studio culture supported by our multidisciplinary staff team of academics and industry based practitioners. You’ll develop creative, professional, strategic and contextual knowledge and skills and apply design thinking to a range of creative outcomes and design interventions.

This is a one year full-time course starting in September and is split up into three trimesters.

Subjects include

  • Design Research Methods
  • Spatial Lighting Design
  • Exhibition Design
  • Major Design Project
  • Light Art & Projection
  • For MDes Degree - Design Project Report
  • For MA Degree - Design Dissertation

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

With a physical and digital/online portfolio demonstrating industry-ready skills, graduates can apply for design jobs, freelance work or establish entrepreneurial ventures.

You may also continue to study to MPhil or PhD level.


The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above in an art & design or related subject, or evidence of industry experience in an appropriate discipline.

All candidates are interviewed with a portfolio of creative work or technical/business projects. Applicants from overseas can be interviewed by teleconference with an online portfolio.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol on our nursing courses.

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Home/EU £3,750 £3,750
Overseas £12,620 £12,620

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships