General information about applying for our undergraduate courses and the interview process.
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Studying on the Production Lighting pathway of the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice course, you will:
The course trains students in the practical and managerial skills of realising performance lighting systems, video and projection. You will benefit from Central’s industry-focused research culture, which ensures your developing skills and experience are at the cutting-edge of knowledge and industry practice in theatre, live events and concert touring.
As you progress through the course, there are opportunities to develop specialist skills in the areas of most interest to you as a developing practitioner, giving you the best possible preparation for employment upon graduation.
Tuition is structured around practical projects in Central’s well-equipped studios, theatre and performance spaces, supported by taught sessions on, for example, computer-aided drafting, making electrical props and programming. You will also study video and projection systems, working on productions and on more experimental projects.
Central offers opportunities, within the course and on placement in industry, to broaden your experience beyond the traditional theatre roles for production lighting practitioners. Past projects have included programming for music, conference and event lighting, site-specific work and architectural projection.
Although the January UCAS application deadline has passed, we are still able to accept applications to the course through UCAS. If you are interested in finding out more about the course before applying, please email us. We may also be able to provide a personal tour of the campus and talk to you in person about the course.
Our standard academic entry requirements range between 120 and 64 UCAS tariff points. You can see how many tariff points your qualifications would gain on the UCAS Tariff Calculator. International qualifications and others not covered within the UCAS tariff can also be accepted. Please email us if you need further clarification.
Please note that we make lower offers (including unconditional) to exceptional candidates and those who have alternative or prior experience to offer. All candidates invited to interview are asked to bring a portfolio. Interview and portfolio are key factors in determining which applicants are accepted on to the course.
For information on alternative entry requirements see www.ucas.com.
We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.
All candidates invited to interview are asked to bring a portfolio, which should demonstrate their experience of stage lighting (no matter how small that might be) and their understanding of, and passion for, the industry they wish to train for. For more on preparing a portfolio for a lighting course, see the Association of Lighting Designers website - Training section, where the Course Leader Nick Moran has written some guidance.
Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.
Graduated 2014, recent projects include Associate Video Designer for Reisende auf einem Bein, Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg and for Schatten, Schaubühne.
The course was a great way to form strong contacts for the future. Straight after leaving Central, I collaborated with Katie Mitchell on The Forbidden Zone at the Salzburg Festival, as Video Production Technician. I also worked as Video Supervisor for The Driver’s Seat with the National Theatre of Scotland and a co-production with Battersea Arts Centre, The Destroyed Room, with Vanishing Point on their Scottish Tour.
There are opportunities – within the course and on placement in industry – to broaden students’ experience outside the traditional theatre roles for production lighting practitioners.
Past projects have included:
Central’s lighting courses are generously supported by major industry partners, including White Light, HSL and PRG UK.
Central also has strong links with smaller companies, several of which were started by graduates, including Liteup Events, Cassius Creative and DBSL.
In addition, members of the Mesmer Collective (behind many large-scale video designs for theatre and opera productions) are regular visitors and placement hosts, as are 59 Productions and other high-profile video design companies.
A regular panel of industry experts helps final year students launch their professional careers. Many opportunities for lighting students come through the network of graduates already well-placed in theatre, concert touring and event industries.
The course has strong links with the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) and local theatres, which helps students to network in the industry, and to find placements and job opportunities.
Graduate employment and career pathways include:
National Theatre London, Rambert Dance Company, Northern Ballet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, English National Opera, Sadler’s Wells, The Place, Hampstead Theatre, Young Vic, Royal Court Theatre, Tricycle Theatre.
PRG UK, White Light, working on events at the Royal Albert Hall, Roundhouse, Chelsea Football Club, The O2 Arena and venues throughout the UK and Europe.
Including Glastonbury Festival, Latitude Festival, V Festival, The Big Chill and touring with companies such as Cyan Lighting, Neg Earth, GLS Lighting and HSL worldwide.
Including world tours with leading concert artists, as media server specialists on d3 and Hippotizer, and nominations for awards for concert lighting and video design.
Adam Bassett (2000) Partner, Company Director and Lighting Designer for Woodruffe Bassett Design. Was the Associate Lighting Designer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics.
Marc Callaghan (2005) Joint Managing Director of Lite-Up Events and regular crew chief for concert tours and festival stages. www.liteup.co.uk
Cameron Banister (2008) Project Manager for PRG Europe working on large scale lighting and video rigs for concert touring and events worldwide.
Jo Richardson (2006) Director of Full Production Limited, a successful creative and technical services provider to the entertainment industry - http://www.fullproduction.co.uk/
Chris Purnell (2012) Touring chief for Rambert Dance.
Find out more about our 2017 Production Lighting graduates.
View profiles of Production Lighting students graduating in 2018.