Rose Bruford College Lighting Design Students in the Rose Theatre

What you'll study

This course is intended to support and guide your development towards a successful career in lighting.

You will learn in fully equipped lighting labs on industry-standard equipment. Your training will be rooted in lighting design for theatre, but we will also introduce you to related lighting disciplines such as corporate events, architecture, and live music. Together, we will develop your creative skills and ambitions, so you can become a powerful and resourceful performance maker and artist.

Rose Bruford College Lighting Design students attaching lights to a lighting rig

Why choose this course?

Practical learning

Learn how to create original designs through collaboration and experimentation.
You will learn through practice, designing and creating your own original work and projects through collaboration and experimentation across all three years of the course

Industry real facilities

Three fully equipped scale lighting laboratories on campus where you can experiment and create complex and subtle lighting rigs to reflect lighting schemes. You will be trained on Vectorworks, WYSIWYG and AutoCAD. We also have Q Lab and lighting consuls from ION, GrandMA and AdoLights

Learn from visiting professionals

Visiting professional tutors: Tim Deiling (American Idiot, Six), Kevin Sleep (Head of Lighting, ENO), Lucy Carter (award winner, specialising in dance), Rick Fisher (Billy Elliot, Swan Lake), Willie Williams (U2, Lady Gaga, David Bowie) and Patrick Woodroffe (Jubilee Concert, Rolling Stones, Take That, Elton John)

Build your portfolio with real experience

You will take part in and lead a number of realised projects across theatre, live music, events and architecture. From large projects to small-scale experimental work, installations to full-scale performances in central London

Professional contacts and experience

We connect you with leading professional lighting designers, managers and lighting companies, and in your second year, you will undertake an industry placement. We also encourage non-assessed placements and work within the industry throughout the course.

Rose Bruford College lighting effect in a show

Course breakdown

Course content is regularly reviewed to keep it relevant and current. Course modules are therefore subject to change.

Year 1

  • Introduction to lighting design
  • Light and culture – lighting design in its wider cultural and artistic context
  • Lighting design practice – light as part of time-based art forms, visual perception and communication, storyboarding, CAD, production paperwork
  • Light and performance – light and narrative, lighting as an integral part of a performance, working with directors, performers and other designers
  • Research and analysis of performance and the industry

Year 2

  • Production practice – Lighting Designer, Lighting Manager, Assistant Lighting Designer or Industry study/placement
  • Production processes and techniques
  • Creative practice and research – light as a pure art-form
  • Research and context

Year 3

  • Lighting practice – one or more in-College roles as Lighting Designer or Head of Lighting
  • Researching an aspect of lighting through a live experiment (collaborative project)
  • Professional preparation
  • Independent research project
  • Graduate exhibition

Teaching and assessment methods

  • In your first year, you will complete around 390 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 810 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios
  • In your second year, you will complete around 200 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 1000 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios
  • In your third year, you will complete around 170 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 1030 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios

Programme summaries

Get a flavour

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Your future career

Rose Bruford College Lighting Design students
Lighting Design Student from Rose Bruford College on stage programming a show

We aim to put you in front of and amongst the profession. This includes the opportunity to network and undertake a placement as well as introducing your work to the industry at our graduate exhibition in London.

We will also help you plan your career and build a portfolio by working on productions and projects either in the College, in external venues or with outside partners and organisations.

Alumni success

Adam Carree

Production Manager, Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Charlie Morgan Jones

Wagner Ring Cycle, Avenue Q, Derren Brown: Underground, London Fashion Week, Eden Project - Rainforest at Christmas

Hayden Borgars

International rock events and tours including for designer for Fever 333 tour and technician at Reading & Leeds Festival 2018

Jessica Hung Han Yun

Includes work at Royal Court, Lyric Hammersmith, Sheffield Crucible, Manchester Royal Exchange, Donmar Warehouse, Edinburgh Festival

Joe Vose

Designer, Orlight

Joshua Drualus Pharo

2018 Theatre and Technology Award Winner for The Claim and The Shape of Pain

4 graduates shortlisted for 2019 Knight of Illumination (KOI) awards

Wins for Ben Cracknell - Concert Touring & Events category and Jessica Hung Han Yun - Theatre category

Careers options

Our graduates leave us as creative and resourceful lighting artists and engineers, able to marry art with technology and the conceptual with the practical. Graduates have gone on to work in lighting roles for theatre, dance, opera, architecture, concert and corporate events. And studying an Arts related subject gives you a wide range of transferable skills that can be put to use in many careers. Recent graduates have gone on to become:

  • Lighting Designer, Theatre
  • Lighting Designer, Theme Park
  • Lighting Designer, Concert/Touring
  • Lighting Designer, Architecture
  • Associate Lighting Designer
  • Head of Lighting
  • Lighting Programmer
  • Production Electrician/Chief Lx
  • Photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators
  • Electricians and electrical fitters
  • Science, engineering and production technicians
  • Arts officers producers and directors
  • Set designers
  • Business sales executives
  • Freelance and Creative start-ups

Meet the staff

Rose Bruford College Lighting Design Subject leader Ben Ratcliffe
Ben Ratcliffe

Subject Leader Lighting Design

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Chloe Kenward Lighting Design Lecturer at Rose Bruford College
Chloe Kenward

Lecturer in Lighting Design

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How to join

UK/Republic of Ireland applicants

For 2022 entry, please apply via UCAS by the UCAS deadline on 26 January to guarantee audition or portfolio.

Institution code: 10005523

Course code: W4W2

UCAS Points

64 UCAS points*

This is equivalent to two C’s at ‘A’ level or one Merit and two Passes at BTEC (QCF) National Diploma or equivalent.

*We offer places based upon your future potential. We may offer you a place based on lower UCAS points than shown here, or an offer that is not linked to UCAS points if we have evidence of your potential from your application or audition/portfolio review.


Our Portfolio and Audition pages give an overview of the process and a video of useful interview tips from current and former students. *exemptions from this audition charge

Portfolio Audition Fee Exemption

Please contact us at [email protected] for information on entry criteria if you are applying from outside the UK or require assistance

Course Summary


3 years

Mode of study

Full time

Start date

Sep 2022

Course Type

Undergraduate Course


BA (Hons)

Course Fees (2021 Entry)

UK/Republic of Ireland students


International students


Additional Costs

So, ready?