BSc (Hons) Lighting Design and Technology (Including Foundation Year)

Our foundation course in Lighting Design and Technology allows you to build up the knowledge and confidence to progress on to the BSc (Hons) Lighting Design and Technology degree, and to the lighting and live event industry. 

Accredited by The Institution of Engineering and Technology, this Lighting Design degree will give you the skills to bring light into spaces and performances, using a combination of art and science.

You'll study lighting design and its technical application in a wide range of disciplines, including theatrical, concert, TV, corporate and architecture. As well as technological skills, you'll gain an insight into business practices to prepare you for freelance work or consultancy.

Industry professionals were consulted in the development of our lighting course. You'll have access to a range of cutting edge technologies, learning how to programme lighting consoles, control platforms and media servers. You can also get creative, producing video content and working as a lighting designer or programmer on a range of performances and events.

You'll gain more hands-on experience through real-life projects, and by developing a lighting product with support from an industrial partner. We also offer a HNC / HND with our partner the LIA. 

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2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
J993 Full-time 4 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
J993 Full-time 4 Years September Treforest A

As part of your Lighting Design course, you'll get plenty of practical experience - The Cube is a dedicated space on campus where you can practise and realise your creative ideas and designs. Media servers and console programming also form an extensive part of our lighting design course.

As part of the lighting course, you can also become qualified to the IET's 17th Edition Wiring Regulations (additional costs apply), which means that what you learn meets industry requirements.

Foundation Year: Lighting Design Degree

  • Foundation Calculus - 10 credits
  • Foundations of Mathematics - 20 credits
  • Understanding Signals - 10 credits
  • Introduction to Live Event Technology - 10 credits
  • Introduction to Renewable Energy - 10 credits
  • Fundamentals of Embedded Systems - 10 credits
  • Study Skills for Engineers - 10 credits
  • Electrical Science - 20 credits
  • Foundation Integrative Group Project - 20 credits

Year One: Lighting Design Degree

  • Independent Study for Engineers - 10 credits (optional)
  • Electrical Principles and Design - 20 credits 
  • Introduction to Lighting Design and Technology - 20 credits
  • Video and Sound Technology - 20 credits
  • Business and Event Safety - 20 credits
  • Concept Design and Professional Development - 20 credits
  • Electronics 1 - 20 credits

Year Two: Lighting Design Degree

  • Independent Study for Engineers - 10 credits (optional)
  • Flying and Rigging Design - 20 credits
  • Entertainment Lighting Design - 20 credits
  • Architectural Lighting Design - 20 credits
  • Power Systems Verification - 20 credits
  • Lighting Control and Network Technology - 20 credits
  • Optical Technology - 20 credits

Year Three: Lighting Design Degree

  • Group Project - 40 credits
  • Independent Study for Engineers - 10 credits (optional)
  • Independent Study - 20 credits
  • Lighting Practice - 20 credits
  • Lighting Design and Technology - 20 credits
  • Professional Preparation - 20 credits
  • Supervised Work Experience (SWE) - 120 credits


The Lighting Design course is delivered in lectures, workshops and laboratories, as well as television studios and other creative spaces.


Assessment involves a mixture of assignments, coursework, presentations and class tests throughout the year, with exams for some modules.


The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has accredited this lighting design course and it meets the educational requirements to become an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).


During your foundation course in Lighting Design you will gain hands-on experience working on a range of performances and events. We encourage all students to complete a placement as part of their lighting degree.

On a sandwich placement, you can spend up to a year working in the industry to apply your new knowledge and learn new skills – it’s a great boost to your CV and can lead directly to employment when you graduate.


We have exceptionally close ties with industry. Many of the industry’s leading companies donate or loan equipment, give guest lectures and demonstrations, or invite us to their head quarters to look around and meet their staff. These include A.C Lighting; Ambersphere; Avolites; Aurora Lighting; ADB Lighting Technologies; BEGA/Zumtobel; Chamsys; City Theatrical; Durham Marenghi Lighting Design; ETC; Green Hippo; Just FX Pyrotechnics; LEE Filters; Lumen Radio; Martin; Pharos Controls; Philips Lighting; Robe Lighting; Thorn Lighting; Wales Millennium Centre; Whitelight; Wireless Solution and Zero88.


Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer


Typical Welsh BACC Offer


Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points from Higher Levels

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 3 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C/Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

The UK is a world leader in lighting, so now is a prime opportunity to become a part of this exciting industry. The lighting industry continues to expand and demand for qualified staff remains. This well respected course in lighting design has an excellent employment record and will prepare you for a career as Event or Touring Lighting Crew; Lighting Programmer; Production Electrician; Project Manager; Suitable grounding for master’s level or PGCE study; Theatre; Touring Crew, aspiring to Crew Chief or Chief Electrician. Assistant or Associate Lighting Designer; Lighting Designer; Suitable grounding for master’s level or PGCE study; Theatre; Theatre, Event or Concert Lighting Specialist; Touring Crew; Touring Crew, aspiring to Crew Chief or Chief Electrician.

Industry endorsements

"We found the students were highly enthusiastic in applying their knowledge of lighting to architectural and entertainment-based installations. The lighting design course covers all elements, providing good grounding in real-life applications. Students get real experiencesand we utilise their feedback." Louise L’Homme, Artistic Licence

"It’s great to have University of South Wales students working so close with the industry. University of South Wales' lighting design degree has great ties to the industry so students get hands-on experience. It is something which we at MA Lighting are very keen on and know employers support." Callum Howie, MA Lighting

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.