Light in Performance MA

  • Light in Performance MA
    Clod ensemble, On The High Road Photography by Hugo Glendinning Lighting by Hansjörg Schmidt
  • Light in Performance MA
    Photography by Andi Watson
  • Light in Performance MA
    Photography by Andi Watson
  • Light in Performance MA
    Willie Williams, Visual Designer
  • Light in Performance MA
    Credit: Under Glass. Lighting by Hansjörg Schmidt. Photo by Hugo Glendinning.
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About this course


13 months

Term Start

October 2021

Entry Requirements

The programme is for graduates who have studied relevant subjects such as lighting design, technical theatre or drama, or for those with relevant professional experience as a performance maker, such as a director, technician, designer, choreographer, artist or performer. If you do not have the necessary specialist lighting skills, you will be invited to attend an intensive practical lighting workshop before teaching on the programme starts.

Sidcup and London

The Light in Performance MA offers a unique opportunity to explore current uses and applications of light as a material for performance.

The programme is aimed at lighting specialists who want to develop and expand their practice in designing with light, as well as non-specialists who want to expand their knowledge of working with light, such as directors, designers, choreographers, dancers, musicians and artists.

Watch: Programme Director Hansjörg Schmidt talks about the programme.

The programme includes 8 weeks of practical workshops in fully-equipped performance spaces, led by four world-leading lighting designers. For 2021-22, these will be Andi Watson, Michael Hulls, Paule Constable, and Willie Williams (subject to confirmation). You will work with each of the designers one at a time, learning from their working methods and processes.

The programme also offers a range of practice-based opportunities to explore collaborative and interdisciplinary creative processes, work placements at a range of partner organisations both in the UK and abroad, and an opportunity to further develop your personal practice through an individual or collaborative realised lighting design project.

A recent project on 70mm film with visual designer Willie Williams 



Why choose this course?

This is a unique programme that allows you to explore ways of working with light. You will have the opportunity to learn and work with world-leading designers, learning from their working methods and practices, before moving on to develop and test your own practice as a performance maker working with light. On completion of the course, you may wish to work as an independent lighting designer for performance or return to your own specialist practice with an enhanced understanding of how light can be used in performance. 

The course is international in nature and ambition and is strongly supported by a range of key industry partners.

View our Webinar for more details

Fee and Application Information

How to Apply

The programme is practical in nature, and students are required to have a basic level of proficiency with simple lighting systems, equipment and processes. If you are offered a place and do not have the necessary skills and experience, the course includes an intensive lighting workshop to prepare you for the practical work.

UK/Republic of Ireland Student Fees: £10,900
International Fees: £16,000


Apply now for 2021 entry. 

Alumni Discount

A 5% alumni discount is available for Rose Bruford College BA (Hons) alumni undertaking a full time 13 months MA programme or the first year of an MFA programme. 

Postgraduate Loans
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills provide a loan for eligible UK/Republic of Ireland students of up to £11,222 per student for postgraduate Masters study. Please see the video below for guidance and click here for more information about loans available for programmes starting in 2021.

Contact Us
For more information about this programme and your application, please contact our Admissions Team

Course content

Click here to download the Programme Specification. 

There are 4 modules in the MA over 13 months:

MAL701, Ways of Looking 
A taught module exploring context and inter-disciplinary working methods, including practical workshops. Led by Hansjörg Schmidt.
Download the module specification

MAL702: Ways of Lighting
A practice-based module, led in 2021-22 by Paule Constable, Michael Hulls, Willie Williams and Andi Watson*. Two one-week workshops with each designer, exploring their working methods and processes.
Download the module specification

MAL703: Ways of Working
A module examining different ways of working, preparing you for your future practice. You may undertake a placement, arranged in liaison with students, designers, and industry partners.
Download the module specification

MAL704: Final Project
An independent realised lighting project supported by a documented process of research and investigation.
Download the module specification

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