Lighting design, bachelor and master

After graduating from our programme, you will have a strong artistic vision and the skills needed to use lighting as a tool for expression.

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Why study here?

Are you interested in the visuals of a performance and its venue? Would you like to contribute to the experience of the audience, and work as part of a team? Lighting has a major effect on how we perceive and experiences different performances, events and our daily surroundings.

During your studies, you will acquire the skills needed to use light as well as lighting and video technology as a method of expression in performances and cultural productions. At the same time, you will strengthen your own artistic vision.

You will get to know interesting artist-teachers and join a tight-knit community of lighting and sound design students, as well as the large community of art students at Uniarts Helsinki. Together with your fellow students, you will be part of a group who will shape the future of art.

Content and objective of the programme

Bachelor’s (180 credits) and master’s studies (120 credits) in lighting design offer you the chance to develop into a versatile and professional artist with excellent teamwork skills in the field of performing arts and cultural productions. With us, you will acquire various academic, practical, social and ethical skills.

You will learn how to evaluate your own work as well as the work of others and give and receive feedback. Thanks to the close connection to performance production, you will develop your visual thinking and the knowledge required to work in different kinds of performances. This will allow you to expand your career horizons, for example, in event planning and architectural lighting design.

We will support your personal growth as an artist and help you discover your identity as a member of a working group. You will also explore the theme of interactivity as part of performance design (read more about the Interactivity in Performance Design project). You will grow into a responsible and cooperative professional, competent in your artistic field and capable of developing it further.

The primary language of instruction is Finnish. However, students have the right to use Swedish both orally and in writing in connection with teaching and examinations, unless otherwise specified in the curriculum or required by the nature of teaching.

Creative and collaborative studies

Performance activities are the common denominator of all the Theatre Academy’s degree programmes. In performances, the members of an artistic working group team up with a shared objective in mind, all utilising their own skills and methods of expression.

You will work closely with other students who want to become sound designers, dramaturges, directors, choreographers, costume designers and set designers. Moreover, during the performances you will interact with real audiences.

Master’s studies in lighting design

As a master’s student, you will have the opportunity to specialise according to your personal interests. You can choose from a wide selection of studies offered to you by your own degree programme or any of the other degree programmes in Uniarts Helsinki.

In your thesis project, you will deepen your knowledge of your selected area . In the written part of the thesis, you will demonstrate your academic ability to reflect on artistic activities.

After graduating with a master’s degree, you will be an independent artist who knows the traditions, theoretical concepts and current practices of lighting design. You will master the means and methods of visual expression and be able to execute planning processes that are of a high artistic and technical level.

You will learn to work as a responsible and active member of a multi-professional design team that produces artistic content. As a lighting designer, you will be able to review your own work from a critical standpoint and communicate your observations and thoughts to others.

Versatile career opportunities

After graduation, you will be able to apply your skills in diverse ways in different kinds of work environments and among different cultural operators. You will likely end up working, for example, in the fields of theatre, dance, opera, music, circus, or media art.

The performance-based studies help you adopt visual thinking that you can also utilise in various other fields, for example in event planning and architectural lighting design. After graduation, you will also be able to develop your own artistic field as part of various art forms and create independent works.


Our teachers are experienced experts in their field. In addition to the permanent teaching staff, the programme welcomes top talents as guest teachers on a regular basis.

Doctoral studies

You can complete a licentiate and a doctoral degree at Uniarts Helsinki as a third-cycle degree. After graduating with a master’s degree, you can apply for doctoral studies in theatre and drama and specialise in research-oriented, artistic or applied doctoral studies.

The first dissertation in lighting design in Finland was published in 2012. Doctoral studies in theatre and drama are offered by the Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke).

Admissions guide

Target degree and length of study

Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama)
5 years

Application period

Next possible time to apply is in January 2024. Studies begin in August 2024.

Application languages

Finnish Read more about the language skill requirements

Tuition fee

Annual tuition fee €5,000 for students studying in English and who come from outside the EU and EEA countries.
Read more about tuition fees

Supervising teacher

  • Tomi Humalisto

    Professor, Degree Programmes and Master's Degree Programme in Lightning Design, Theatre Academy


Theatre Academy

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