General information about applying for our undergraduate courses and the interview process.
Discover Central's Lighting, Design, Study and Social spaces on our VR tour.
Studying on the Theatre Lighting Design specialism of the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice degree course, you will:
Our emphasis on practical as well as aesthetic training gives you the best chance of being able to create work of which you are proud, and from which you can earn a living upon graduation. Tuition is structured around practical projects in Central’s well-equipped studio and performance spaces, with rigorous investigation of the design process.
As you progress through the course, you will be encouraged to develop your own design style, supported by tutors, mentors and visiting professionals.
You will benefit from Central’s industry focused research culture, which ensures that what we do and what we teach is at the forefront of knowledge and industry practice in theatre, events and concert touring.
Throughout the course, but especially in the third year, you will create links in your chosen area of the industry and spend some time working outside Central, to make the journey from the academic world to the professional world as smooth as possible.
You are encouraged to build and maintain valuable contacts with industry professionals and recent graduates working in theatre, events and concert touring.
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.
or 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.
Central’s lighting courses are supported by major industry partners, including White Light and PRG UK, Mesmer and 59 Productions (the video companies behind many large-scale theatre and opera productions). We also have strong links with smaller companies that were started by graduates, such as DBSL, Liteup Events and Cassius Creative.
A 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 excellent links with the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD), and local theatres and other venues which helps you to network in the industry, and to find placements and job opportunities.
Graduated 2015, freelance Lighting Designer working across theatre, dance and live art. Recent credits include new plays directed by Nadia Fall and Simon Evans for Hampstead Theatre, and new work at Battersea Arts Centre, Nuffield Theatres, The Vaults and The Place.
Central helped me interrogate what it means to be a valuable collaborator, and understand how my specialism can enhance the process of theatre making. Being part of such an eclectic community of theatre makers, enablers and facilitators fostered a safe space for creative risk taking. Overwhelmingly, the course has helped me find my voice and encouraged me to be bold in my approach.
Graduate employment and career pathways include:
Including as Programmer and Assistant Lighting Designer:
Graduate traineeships with White Light and Imagination
Working on events at The Royal Albert Hall, the Roundhouse, Chelsea Football Club, The O2 Arena, Geneva Motor Show and venues throughout the UK and Europe.
Team members at:
Including Glastonbury Festival, Latitude Festival and V Festival.
Worldwide with bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club, The Streets, The Script and Mark Ronson.
Richard Pilbrow, (1955) Founder and Emeritus Chairman of Theatre Projects, and one of the world’s leading theatre design consultants and lighting designers.
David Howe (1993) Long term associate of Paul Pyant on award-winning shows such as Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, and award-winning international lighting designer in his own right.
Jamie Thompson (2003) Winner of Knights of Illumination 2012 for his work as Lighting Designer for the concert tours of the band The Script.
Matt Daw (2005) Associate Lighting Designer to multi award-winning lighting designers Bruno Poet (Sigur Ros & Miss Saigon) Paule Constable (War Horse, Berlin) and Hugh Vanstone (Shrek The Musical).
View profiles of the Class of 2018 for this course. Click on each student to find out more about them.