Learner Case Study: Chandni Patel (HNC in Lighting Design and Technology)

Student Profile

Chandni Patel
HNC student and Former Trainee Lighting Designer, it does Lighting Ltd


Chandni always had a creative flair and had intentions of pursuing a career in design while doing her Fine Arts Degree. It was during the final year of her undergraduate studies that she got interested in lighting and architecture and found herself searching the internet for a career in lighting.

As lighting isn’t offered as a vocational qualification at most educational institutions, Chandni wasn’t quite sure how to pursue it as a career. Her first plan of action was to make speculative applications to lighting companies who were offering apprenticeship/ trainee positions.

Chandni’s application was responded by ‘it does Lighting Ltd’ who offered her the position of Trainee Lighting Designer.

Working in lighting, Chandni has utilised her formal education in Fine Arts to sculpt spaces using light as her primary medium. She did some work-based training on using software such as Lighting Reality for street lighting applications, however, didn’t have any prior training in lighting.


Chandni was looking to train herself in lighting through formal education and initially approached the Lighting Industry Academy for an apprenticeship using a few of their modules.

However, it does Lighting’s Managing Director recommended Chandni to go for HNC in Lighting Design and Technology as the course modules were at a level to suit her educational level, had the University backed content, and were more relevant to her role.

The HNC modules offered the technical knowledge that Chandni was looking for to improve her understanding of light and lighting in a design and technical form which she could apply directly to her role.

The part-time nature of the course also fitted around her training budget, and the scheduled learning blocks gave her the flexibility to manage time around work commitments.

Learning Experience

Chandni has enjoyed her learning experience on the course. She has found it challenging at times, especially the maths and electrical side of lighting, but has been supported by the Academy through it all.

Chandni has particularly enjoyed the practical sessions at the testing laboratory, which allowed her to put her theoretical learning into practical sessions at the state-of-the-art facilities.

Going into the next part of her course, Chandni is looking forward to learning about the creative design side of lighting, which is the area she wants to focus on in her career.

Chandni believes the course has lived up to her expectations and recommends others to go for it if they have the desire, time and commitment for it.


“I joined the HNC early on in my career with no previous lighting qualifications, and the course has helped me to understand not only the fundamentals of light but also be able to apply them in my job role.

“The mixture of theory-based knowledge and practical work has allowed me to grasp concepts easily with the support of tutors who have been excellent.

"The course is spread broadly, covering various areas of lighting, and I would strongly recommend the course to any new starters to the industry or for people wanting to embark a career in lighting.”

- Chandni Patel

Course Summary

The Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Lighting Design and Technology is the first, and as things stand, the only qualification in lighting at this level in the UK available for new entrants and those looking to further develop existing careers within the lighting industry.

The qualification was created in partnership between the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) and the University of South Wales (USW), and is delivered jointly by leading industry experts through the Lighting Industry Academy and USW.

The course is available as both part-time and full-time, with the modules scheduled in blocks to enable students to work around their home and work commitments. It is suitable for those looking to develop their understanding of light, lighting technologies, design and their applications.

  • Delivered in partnership with University of South Wales
  • Taught by the leading lighting industry experts
  • Gain knowledge to apply directly to your role
  • Scheduled learning blocks to manage time around work commitments
  • Option to take your education in lighting to the degree level