Master's programme in Architectural Lighting Design

There is an increasing understanding of the importance of good lighting design in urban areas, buildings and interiors. Light is fundamental to architecture and essential for human well-being, and its quality affects human behaviour, comfort, health, efficiency, safety and security. The programme is based on a new approach to light and light planning – a combination of visual, physical and biological-based experience and knowledge applied to design, technology and health.

16 October 2018: Application opens
15 January 2019: Application deadline
1 February 2019: Deadline for supporting academic documents (all applicants) and documentation of fee exempt status (if required) or receipt of application fee (if required)
4 April 2019: Notification of selection results

Application open

Application through University Admissions in Sweden.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: The full programme tuition fee is SEK 155,000.
Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are generally required to pay an application fee of SEK 900.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: There are no tuition fees for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are not required to pay an application fee.

Read more about tuition and application fees

Degree awarded: Master of Science
Language of instruction: English
Duration: One year (60 ECTS credits)
Programme start: Late August
Location: KTH Campus, Stockholm
School: School of Architecture and Built Environment (at KTH)

For questions regarding programme content and specific entry requirements, feel free to contact the programme.

Programme director: Federico Favero
Contact for further information: ​​​​​​​Martin Sjöstrand​​​​​​​

Architectural Lighting Design at KTH

The programme provides in-depth understanding of the field of architectural lighting design through scientific-based knowledge and practical experience in the area of artificial light and daylight. The aim of the programme is to teach the ability to apply advanced knowledge in this area, in both practical and academic situations.

The programme uses innovative teaching and learning methods such as structured lectures and peer-review methods. Interactive sessions create a constructive learning environment in which understanding of the subject is built through the interaction of students and teachers via presentations and open discussions, tutoring and workshops. The education mixes theory and practice and, for this reason, we perform full-scale studies, via prototypes and mock-ups, in order to trigger first-hand experience of light within architecture. Furthermore, laboratory sessions allow in-depth understanding of physical and visual phenomena. A series of motivational lectures are offered throughout the programme, where acclaimed international and national lighting designers, architects and researchers share their knowledge and expertise.

The students’ assessment is performed via a combination of individual and group work assignments.

The Lighting Laboratory organizes a series of events to interface the academy with companies and research institutions on specific topics, for instance the seminar series Lighting Vision and the Digital Lighting. In 2018 KTH, will host the Light Symposium, a two-day international event focused on light and health.

The Lighting Laboratory carry out several research projects together with companies and other institutions where students are involved. Students from the master's programme in Architectural Lighting Design have been granted consistent national and international research funding and scholarships for the development of their thesis.

Please check the Lighting Laboratory's Yearly report and follow the Lighting Laboratory's activities on Facebook.

Four courses are given and a degree project is conducted during the one-year programme.

  • Light and Humans
    The aim of the module is to learn about the relationship between light and humans, which is mediated by the physical space. Knowledge related to light qualities, cultural and human aspects, light sources and materials is combined with experience of the design process. The outcome should be the ability to develop a complete solution for a lighting design object.
  • Light and Space – outdoor
    The connection between light and outdoor environments – especially urban contexts, in its physical and cultural character – is addressed through the expansion of lighting knowledge and vocabulary. The design task in this track concludes with a full-scale outdoor installation. The ability to work with light sources and the design process is expanded and critical assessment of the design solution is promoted.
  • Light and Space – indoor
    The importance of dealing with daylight as well as artificial lighting in indoor spaces is addressed through activities related to sources and technology, space theory, visual ergonomics and performance. Design process, planning and presentation techniques will be handled in activities and tasks.
  • Light and Science
    Theoretical knowledge about light and its relationship to space and humans is further developed through discussions between students and researchers in the field. Lectures combine with experimental sessions and study visits. The ability to analyse lighting conditions through the understanding of the visual and physical concepts of light will be developed in a case study and presented as an academic paper.
  • Degree project
    The programme is concluded with a degree project, the focus of which may be chosen from a wide variety of topics within the field of architectural lighting design. Theoretical papers about light and health, light and time, urban lighting, perception and information, as well as practical projects with a theoretical frame in rural lighting and interactive lighting design are a few examples of previous degree projects.

Topics covered

Lighting design, architecture, well-being, sustainability, perception, psychophysical studies, quantitative and qualitative approach, lighting laboratory and user-oriented approach.



Lighting is an expanding field of knowledge. In recent years there has been a growing demand for lighting design expertise, as lighting designers understand the role of light and lighting in architecture, interior spaces and urban environment. They can add important value to a project by enhancing visual performance, energy efficiency, sustainability, safety, well-being and health. There are plentiful job opportunities for architects, designers and engineers with lighting design competence.

Graduates primarily work in lighting design or architectural studios or as self-employed consultants. Employers might also be construction companies, lighting manufacturers and public or private operators. Students graduating from the master's programme in Architectural Lighting Design have also pursued doctoral studies (PhD studies) at KTH or in other national or international universities.

After graduation

Independent lighting designer, lighting designer working for companies or studios, architect and urban planner with knowledge of lighting design, lighting and day-lighting expert, esearcher, decision maker working in private or public institutions.


Find out what students from the programme think about their time at KTH.

Bojana Nikolic, Serbia

"Being an admirer of minimalism in design, Sweden was an obvious choice." 

Meet the students

​​​​​​​Changes in the programme may occur.

Top page top