Light in Performance MA at Rose Bruford College

What you'll study

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 and non-specialists who want to expand their knowledge of working with light, such as directors, designers, choreographers, dancers, and musicians and artists.

You will also get the opportunity to work with world-leading designers.

Light in Performance MA at Rose Bruford College

Why choose this course?

Expert training

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


The programme includes up to 8 weeks of practical workshops in fully-equipped performance spaces, led by four world-leading lighting designers


You will carefully explore the creation
of visual works through a range of research-led, process-driven working methods

Independent learning

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

Practice-based opportunities

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

Get a flavour

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Course breakdown

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.
  • MAL702: Ways of Lighting
    A practice-based module, led in 2022-23 by Paule Constable, Michael Hulls, Willie Williams and Andi Watson*. Up to two one-week workshops with each designer, exploring their working methods and processes.
  • 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.
  • MAL704: Final Project
    An independent realised lighting project supported by a documented process of research and investigation.

Hansjörg Schmidt

Programme Director, MA Light in Performance. Subject Leader, Visual Design for Public Spaces

Read their profile

Institution code: Not required for this course.

Course code: Not required for this course.

Entry requirements

Applicants for Masters Programmes will be expected to have a good Honours Degree (usually a 2.1) in a related subject area. The College also encourages applications from those without formal qualifications who may be accepted on the basis of extensive professional experience.

Application Guidance

Once you have filled out an expression of interest online, a member of our admissions team will contact you with an invitation to apply.

You will be asked to provide a portfolio submission with your application form.

Portfolio Guidance

There is no expected standard or format for your portfolio, so it can be in any shape or form, although ideally digital so you can e-mail it as a PDF (if you have a website you would like to use as your portfolio, please include the link on the portfolio submission form).

The aim for the portfolio is to reflect on how you work with light – this may be through sketches, lighting plans, found images, written text. It can be anything that you feel gives an adequate sense of how you work with, and think about, light.


If successful at the first portfolio submission stage, you will be invited to attend a live online interview. The outcome will either be an offer made or unsuccessful application.

Funding and Financial Support

Course Summary


13 months

Mode of study

Full time

Start date

October 2023

Course Type

Postgraduate Course



Course Fees (2022 Entry)

Fees for 2023 entry have not been published yet.

UK & Republic of Ireland Students


International Students