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Admissions

Now accepting applications for Fall 2023.
Admissions Application Deadlines Eligibility Required Documentation Tuition & Fees Scholarships After You Apply Term Dates Visas Contact us

Application Deadlines

  • Priority Decision Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • Regular Decision Deadline: May 1, 2023

Eligibility

To be eligible for admission, applicants must have earned a Bachelor's degree with at least a Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2) - or equivalent - from an accredited institution by the date on which they enrol at the Institute.  

Please be advised that a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is a mandatory requirement, work experience cannot be accepted in lieu of this qualification. 

International applicants who are unsure whether their overall mark is equivalent to a Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2) are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office before applying. 

We welcome applicants from a range of academic backgrounds. Where an applicant to one of our programmes (excluding MA Luxury Business) does not have a first degree in art history or a related subject, the offer may include a recommendation or requirement to complete an introductory Art History course prior to enrolment.

Required Documentation

All prospective students must apply using the online application. A complete application includes:

  • Academic transcripts/mark sheets: from all undergraduate and post-secondary academic institutions attended. If the document is not in English, an officially certified translation must be submitted in accompaniment. Provisional transcripts are acceptable for the admissions process. Final, official, transcripts and certificates will be required prior to enrolment (or CAS issuance for Student Route Visa applicants). 

  • Two (2) reference letters: from an academic or professional contact. Candidates who graduated more than 2 years prior to applying may present two professional references if they are no longer in contact with the faculty at their undergraduate institution. The application form includes a section to list your referees name and contact information, our online reference form is then sent out on submission of the application to collect the recommendation letter.

  • A personal statement (1,000 words maximum): Please tell us about yourself, your reasons for your choice of program, any relevant academic or art related experience, and your future career goals. The statement should clearly reference both the Institute and the programme you are applying for. 

  • A writing sample: A graded paper of no fewer than 1,000 words from an art history or art-related course OR

MA Contemporary Art and MA Fine and Decorative Art and Design applicants a gallery/museum/exhibition review written as if it were to be published in an art publication or website (1,000 words minimum).

MA Luxury Business applicants an essay about an aspect of luxury/the luxury industry. A suggested title is “what is the trend that in your opinion will define the luxury industry in the coming years?" (1,000 words minimum).

MA Art Business applicants a critical review of the last 12 months’ significant events in the art market, using and quoting from any available online sources (1,000 words minimum).

Footnotes are required for any citations in all writing samples.

  • A curriculum vitae or résumé

  • A valid English language proficiency exam (required for all international students (EU included): A minimum overall score of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL IBT 100 or Pearsons PTE Academic 61 must be achieved. We also accept a number of additional Secure English Language tests. Please contact the Admissions Team for guidance if you are planning to take (or have completed) another test.

Please note if you are from, or completed an undergraduate degree in, an English-speaking country, you may be exempt from the need to provide additional evidence of your English language ability. Please visit our FAQ section for detailed guidance on this.

  • Payment of the application fee: A nonrefundable fee of £75 (GBP) is required to submit an online application. Applications will not be assessed until they have been submitted through the online form.

GRE test scores are not required, but can be submitted. The GRE code for Sotheby’s Institute of Art is 4161.

Tuition & Fees

Note: Fees are subject to annual review

Home*

Semester 1: £13,000 (includes deposit of £3,000.00) plus travel fee (see below for travel fee by programme)

Semester 2: £12,500

Semester 3: £6,100

 

International 

Semester 1: £16,000 (includes deposit of £3,000) plus travel fee (see below for travel fee by programme)

Semester 2: £15,500

Semester 3: £7,690

*Circumstances that may entitle you to a “home” fee status include:

  • you have settled or pre-settled status under the UK's EU Settlement Scheme
  • you are from the Republic of Ireland and living in the UK prior to December 31, 2020
  • you are British but live in the EU
  • you hold dual citizenship with the UK and live in the UK

Travel fees 

  • MA Art Business: £3,950 
  • MA Luxury Business: £3,100 
  • MA Contemporary Art: £2,900 
  • MA Fine and Decorative Art and Design: £3,000 

Travel fees are mandatory. They cover all mandatory study trips outside of London, including transportation from the departure hub (airport or train station) to the destination, and all transportation, entry tickets and 3 or 4 star accommodation at the destination during the trip. Where the accommodation includes breakfast, this is covered by the fee. Otherwise all expenses for meals and other costs are the responsibility of the student.

Students pursuing a two-semester Postgraduate Diploma do not incur Semester 3 tuition.

A non-refundable deposit of £3,000 upon acceptance is required to secure your place on all programs.

Sotheby's Institute of Art tuition and fees are updated annually based on the curriculum and field study destinations. Course work is completed in semesters 1 and 2. For students pursuing a Master’s degree, a dissertation or practice-based dissertation is undertaken in the third semester.

Deferrals:

The Institute permits deferrals over one academic year only. To secure the place in the following year, a second non-refundable ‘deferral fee’ payment of £2,250 will be due to the Institute. Any scholarship awarded will not be transferred. Deferrals are approved at the discretion of the Institute. 

Scholarships

Sotheby’s Institute of Art offers partial-tuition scholarships to qualified domestic and international candidates. The scholarship award acts as a partial fee waiver and is evenly divided and applied to semester one and two tuition.  

Merit awards 

Applicants who are on track to achieve (or completed undergraduate study with) a First-Class degree (or equivalent) will be eligible for a partial-tuition merit-based award and will automatically be considered. Awards are not guaranteed, and the decision will be based on the program application materials submitted and faculty assessment. Award decisions will be communicated at the point of an offer being made. 

Need-based awards 

Students seeking a partial-tuition scholarship based on financial need will be asked to submit evidence of a household income of £27,500 or below following submission of their application. Award decisions will be communicated at the point of an offer being made. 

Please select 'Sotheby's Institute of Art Scholarship' as one of the funding sources on our application form to indicate you wish to be sent a need-based scholarship form after the completed application has been submitted.

Scholarship Deadline

Applicants must have applied to the program on or before March 1, 2023 


British Chevening Scholarships

Join a diverse network of future leaders and study with us on a fully funded Chevening Scholarship, the UK government's scholarships program for international students studying master's degrees.

To apply for this scholarship you must have:

  • An undergraduate degree
  • At least two years' work experience (including voluntary experience)
  • Leadership skills such as excellent communication skills, a positive attitude, and the sheer determination to achieve your goals.

For more information about Chevening, please visit chevening.org. The process of selecting Chevening Scholars takes a minimum of eight months from the application deadline to when applicants are conditionally selected for an award.

How to apply: You'll need to apply for both a full time SIA master's degree and a Chevening Scholarship. We recommend applying for your chosen SIA program before or at the same time as applying for a Chevening Scholarship. The Chevening Scholarship application form closes on November 1, 2022. 

After You Apply

Our admissions team will follow up with you regarding any outstanding documentation or required information. Applicants whose documentation is complete will receive an invitation to attend an academic interview by email to the address used in the application. Applicants may be required to attend an interview with a member of the Admissions team before being progressed to academic interview.

If you receive an offer, a non-refundable deposit of £3,000 is required within 14 days to secure your place.

Term Dates

Academic Calendar

Fall 2023 Entry*

*Provisional dates, subject to change

Semester one

Registration sessions: w/c 11th September, 2023

Orientation: 18th September

Classes begin: 19th September

Reading week: 6th – 10th November

End of semester one: 20th December

Semester two

Classes begin: 15th January, 2024

Reading week: 12th – 16th February

Spring break: 18th March – 5th April

Classes end: 24th May

Dissertation presentations: 28th May – 7th June

Summer break: 10th – 21st June

Semester three

Begins: 24th June

Dissertation hand in / completion of programme: 2nd October

Visas

We provide guidance and support to incoming students through the CAS request and Student Route Visa application process.

The section is for applicants to the London campus who require a student visa to study in the United Kingdom. The Student Route Visa is the appropriate immigration permission for full time study. The Student Route applies to EU/EEA nationals who do not have settlement rights under the EU Settlement Scheme. 

Please note the Home Office change immigration rules and requirements regularly. Whilst we aim to ensure that the information contained in these pages is kept up to date there may be times when this is not the case. Please do not rely on these pages alone. Check the Home Office for all the latest immigration updates and information. For information and guidance about how to apply for a student visa click here.

Where there are delays in obtaining your UK student visa, we will assess your situation on a case-by-case basis, to determine whether you are still able to join the program.

Applicants are encouraged to contact our Visa Compliance team at visa.compliance@sothebysinstitute.com to discuss visa requirements. 

Contact us

Some of your questions may be answered in the frequently asked questions section of our website. If you do not see your question, we are happy to help.

Prospective students can book in a one to one session to discuss the application process through this link, or alternatively email us at admissions@sia.edu.