Formerly City College Brighton and Hove and Northbrook College

Lighting & Sound Design - FdA (Foundation Degree)/BA (Hons) Degree

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Course Code: HE0047-1C Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2019 Duration: 2/3 Years

The lighting and sound pathways begin by providing an introduction to the skills, techniques and equipment used in the entertainment industries, across live events and theatre. The department is well known in the industry and our students go on to work in prestigious venues such as the Royal Opera House and National Theatre.

Key features

  • Etc ION lighting desk
  • DiGiCo SD Series consoles with digital system drive and state-of-the-art WAVES soundgrid systems 
  • Large selection of moving lights as well as conventional fixtures 
  • 160 seat configurable theatre space with fly tower and scenic flying system
  • Selection of truss and chain hoists for rigging for events 
  • Roland AV mixer, projectors and video-mapping software available
  • Access to fully equipped workshop for scenery construction
  • Optional third year to gain BA (Hons) degree


See list of all our creative industries degrees >

Course requirements

Interview and portfolio.

Individual offer conditions will vary. Normally a relevant A Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma.   

Industry experience may be taken into account.

The lighting and sound pathways start by providing an introduction to the skills, techniques and equipment used in the entertainment industries across live events and theatre. In the first year the emphasis is on gaining knowledge and experience in order to develop more independent practice and an emphasis on design and leadership in the second year.

The course aims to take learners from a starting point that assumes no prior knowledge through to a level at which they can function as independent practitioners in their chosen pathway. This is achieved through lectures and practical exercises which are then applied to specific events and productions. 

Students learn through stimulating projects in a realistic environment and gain work experience at prestigious theatres. There are also opportunities to collaborate with other students on different courses, including designers, props makers, artists and musicians.

Our theatre department is well known in the industry and many of our alumni now offer work experience opportunities as well as employment to students. All students will have the opportunity to undertake a minimum of two weeks of work experience, which will provide invaluable links with local and/or national employers. These include Chichester Festival Theatre, Royal National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival, Brighton Festival, Kinky Boots, Aladdin, Wicked, Sweeney Todd, Hamilton, Royal Albert Hall, Worthing Theatres and Eastbourne Theatres to name just a few.

See our FdA course Instagram



Years 1 & 2

Course modules:

  • Introduction to discipline practice
  • Contextual studies
  • Discipline-based skills
  • Applied discipline-based skills
  • Inter-discipline practice
  • Discipline-based skills development
  • Specialist-based skills development
  • Applied specialist discipline skills
  • Collaborative practice
  • Applied academic practice
  • Industry practice
  • Negotiated project

Year 3

On successful completion of two years, students are awarded the FdA qualification, after which the third year BA top-up is optional. Click here for more information about the BA top-up year.

See the Northbrook Theatre Instagram

On successful completion of the two-year FdA course, students can either progress to the third year BA top-up year, or enter employment. 

Potential careers

  • Lighting technician
  • Stage technician
  • Live sound engineer
  • Head of lighting
  • Head of sound
  • Technical manager

Our students work both nationally & internationally. Recent employers include the Royal Opera House, the Royal National Theatre, Cameron Macintosh, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Chichester Festival Theatre. Recent production credits include Dreamgirls, Kinky Boots, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, One Man, Two Guvnors, War Horse & Gypsy.

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