MA Lighting Design

Postgraduate, Part-time

Lighting Design MA

Learn from award-winning and internationally renowned lighting designers.


One of only a small number of postgraduate lighting design courses in the world, this programme explores 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 to apply lighting design principles. You’ll be taught by award-winning and internationally renowned lighting designers. 

Part of the MA/MFA Design Suite, the course benefits from bringing together designers from a range of disciplines into core modules, as well as modules specific to your chosen pathway such as 'Creative Lighting Design for Places and People' and 'Design for Heritage and Culture'. 

All students complete the Live Project and you will study 'Thinking: Research for Creative Practice', which will help you to determine your Research Portfolio (MA) or Major Project (MFA) topics.

To ensure there is sufficient time to process your application, we encourage you to submit your application by 30th June.

Detail of a student's exhibition at Edinburgh Napier University Degree Show 2018.

Mode of Study:


(available as Full-time)


2 years

Start date:


Course details

Well-designed lighting can transform a place or a space, and greatly enhance the user experience.

The MA Lighting Design will develop your skills and knowledge in the use of light and projection in designed spaces. You will learn how to exploit natural light, but also enhance interior and exterior spaces with the use of artificial lighting systems and art projections. 

You will explore different lighting types and qualities, and learn how to select appropriate lighting for the right setting. You will develop technical understanding of state-of the art hardware, as well as the use of more simple technical solutions to lighting spaces.
The programme is supported by the Edinburgh Napier University design team who are actively engaged in research, knowledge exchange and/or consultancy work as part of the Art & Design Research Centre (ADRC), as well as professional practice with Malcolm Innes’ work particularly relevant to this specialism. Malcolm Innes is an artist by training and has extensive experience of architectural lighting design and light art. Malcolm’s portfolio includes several multi-award winning projects including two IALD Radiance awards and nine IIDA awards. The programme also has input from industry based specialists and partners.

Malcolm Innes is a world-renowned expert in lighting design education. Euan Winton has expertise in digital imaging and light art and projection. They have both worked on a variety of heritage projects, most notably at the city’s Botanic Gardens, and with Edinburgh World Heritage on the revitalisation of some of the “closes” (the old medieval thoroughfares) that criss-cross the Royal Mile. Malcolm has also worked with Historic Scotland, most recently at Elgin Cathedral.

This pathway allows you to explore the application of lighting systems within new and existing spaces, both interior and exterior. You'll study a variety of modules during this course, including:

  • Spatial Lighting Design
  • Design for Heritage & Cultural Spaces
  • Light Art & Projection
  • calendar How you’ll be taught The programme uses practice-based learning, workshops, seminars, lectures, guest speakers and supported online learning in which core knowledge and understanding are acquired and assessed in tandem with their specific application to your own individual projects.
  • note and pen Assessments We take a common approach to learning, teaching and assessment in studio modules where practice-based student output is collated as a portfolio presentation.
  • briefcase Work placement The programme offers two modules (Live Project in trimester 1, Research Projects and Entrepreneurship in trimesters 2) where you have the option of working with external partners, which may include some work-based learning.
  • library Facilities All design programmes in the School of Arts & Creative Industries are delivered in studio learning environments with access to up-to-date technical resources and lighting equipment.


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

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above in an art & design or related discipline (architecture, creative computing & engineering design)

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry.

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.

The University does not sponsor students to study on part-time programmes in the UK under the Student Visa route. International Applicants must therefore have other valid immigration leave to study on this programme.

English language

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.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2022/23 2023/24
Stage 1 £3,630 tba
Stage 2 £4,410 tba
====== ======
Total - Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £8,040 tba
============================ ====== ======
Stage 1 £7,170 tba
Stage 2 £8,775 tba
====== ======
Overseas and EU-Total Fee £15,945 tba
============================ ====== ======

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.


Graduates from this programme pathway can pursue careers in: 

  • interior and spatial design
  • lighting design
  • urban design
  • exhibition and museum design
  • installation art
Projection map on a building.