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Program Overview

About the Program
The Master’s degree in Art Business was introduced in 1998 and has pioneered the study of art business and the art market as both an emerging academic discipline and a vocational bridge for art history students into the wider commercial art world. The Art Business MA faculty consists of both academics and art world practitioners, providing a balance between theory and practice to facilitate the understanding of the complexities of the art market and its main players.

All of the MA programs are enhanced by a shared core curriculum Navigating the Art World, which introduces students to the global art world and provides them with comprehensive knowledge of art business principles and professional skills as well as critical understanding to mobilize at the completion of their degrees.

Semester 1 begins with the shared core curriculum unit, Navigating the Art World, followed by core units covering key areas of art business and the market. In Semester 2, the flexible structure of the Master’s program allows students to concentrate their studies on a chosen field by selecting 2 elective units, either pursuing further specialization in art business or undertaking options that will broaden and enhance their understanding of other areas of study, such as fine and decorative art and design, photography, or Asian art.  During Semester 3 there is no formal teaching, with students researching their dissertation topics under the guidance of individual supervisors.

About Our Students
Art Business students are introduced to established art markets of Europe and North America, as well as the emerging markets of China and South-East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and Latin America. Field trips to art fairs as well as regular gallery and auction house visits develop firsthand knowledge of the art world and facilitate networking with its main players. Students also learn the skills of art business management and financial analysis. Elective units enable students to focus in depth on specific art market sectors and art businesses or on areas of art and related issues including contemporary Asian art, East Asian art, curating contemporary art, and performance art.

Access a copy of the MA structure 2019-2020 and explore our Viewbook, click here to download.

MA Art Business Meet David Bellingham, Program Director of the MA in Art Business at Sotheby's Institute of Art - London
The Details
  • Curriculum-at-a-Glance


    ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020

    Units of Study
    Core Units

    • Navigating the Art World – Shared Core Curriculum

    • Art Business: Management and Finance

    • International Art World: Markets, Laws and Ethics

    Elective Units
    (Choose any two of the below)

    • Photography: Image and Power (1968–Now)

    • Curating Contemporary Art

    • Performance Art

    • Photography and its Markets

    • Art and Authentication

    • Contemporary Design and its Markets

    • The International Art World: Public Sectors

    • The Market for Antiquities and Old Masters

    • Strategic Management and the Art World

    • Emerging Markets

    • Ethics, Law and the Art Trade

    • Contemporary Chinese Art

    • Court and Literati Painting in East Asia

    • East Asian Ceramics

    • Curating Asian art

    • Modernism and its Markets

    • Work Placement (accredited internship)

    Dissertation or Practice-Based Dissertation (MA only) 

    Click here for the program electives summary.
  • Faculty
  • Course Fees & Application

    Course Fees & Application

    ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020

    Deposit: £500
    Semester 1: £10,550
    Semester 2: £11,050
    Semester 3: £5,300
    MA total: £27,400
    PG Dip total: £22,100

    Deposit: £500
    Semester 1: £12,600
    Semester 2: £13,100
    Semester 3: £6,500
    MA total: £32,700
    PG Dip total: £26,200

    These fees are exclusive of the cost of travel for study visits.

    Travel costs: £3,450

    Click here to Apply

    Click here to read Terms and Conditions.

    Click here to find out about Scholarships, Grants and Loans at Sotheby's Institute - London.
  • Program Prospectus

    Program Prospectus

    Click here to download program prospectus.

    For further information, please contact: or Request Information
    T +44 (0)20 7462 3219
  • Contact And Request Information

    Contact And Request Information

    For further information, please contact: or Request Information
    T +44 (0)20 7462 3219
  • Field Trips

    Field Trips

    Regular visits to public and commercial galleries are a fundamental part of the program in London. These gallery visits focus not only on the art object but also on its context within the museum or the market, together with the triangular relationship between artist, curator, and collector. The symbiosis of the cultural and financial value of art is also a constant theme of these visits. In Semester 1 there is a 2-night visit to Chatsworth to see the Sotheby’s exhibition of modern and contemporary sculpture, and Liverpool Art Biennial.  The rationale is to study how Sotheby’s sells large-scale sculpture outside of London in a heritage context, and how Liverpool has created a cultural regeneration strategy as a city outside of London. European visits include a 6-night visit to Torino for Artissima Contemporary Art Fair and Venice Architectural Biennale. In semester 2 there is a visit to collections in Amsterdam. This is followed by an in-depth visit of the most important art fair for antiques, old masters, design and classic modern art: TEFAF in Maastricht.

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