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Program Overview

The Master’s degree in Art Business offers a unique opportunity to study the art market right at the hub of the cultural and commercial art world: London. It provides students with an academic but highly practical understanding of those areas considered most important by art world professionals and employers: finance and management; law and ethics; and global art market dynamics. The MA in Art Business provides students with the necessary theories and skills to enable them to develop both a critical and practical understanding of art business. Students are also equipped with the necessary mathematical skills to enable them to engage in sophisticated financial analysis and business planning. Graduates of his program will thus emerge with the ability to place the art object within both its aesthetic and commercial context, and to discuss the legal/ethical implications of its historical provenance and current location.

Academic Structure

The program is of twelve months’ duration, from September to September. The first two semesters (before and after Christmas) are intensively taught on three to four days per week. All students attend morning lectures, usually followed by a one-hour seminar in the early afternoons. After seminars, students have access to tutors for individual instruction. In the second semester, specialist electives can be chosen from across all Institute Master’s programs, allowing a student to build a personalized Master’s profile.

During the third semester (June through September) there is no formal teaching, with students researching their dissertation topics under the guidance of individual supervisors. At the start of the year, students are allocated a personal tutor who supports their academic and personal development throughout the program. Lectures are given by members of the faculty as well as by consultants whose main work is within the art world, thus facilitating networking opportunities.

Study visits and trips are an important part of the program, with traditional and contemporary art fairs forming the subject of European trips. In addition, weekly visits to museums and commercial galleries provide privileged exposure to the London art scene.

The Details
  • Curriculum

    Curriculum

    The Master’s degree is awarded for 120 taught credits across two semesters, as well as the completion of a 60-credit dissertation over the course of an additional semester.
    In the first semester, Navigating the Art World (30 Credits) brings students from all MAs together for an introduction to the art world and to a variety of postgraduate research skills and methodologies within the disciplines of art history and art business.
    Core units (60 credits) for the Art Business degree include Art Business: Management and Finance and International Art World. Students take two 15-credit electives across a variety of offerings for deeper expertise or to develop specialties. This completes the taught Postgraduate Diploma element of the degree. For the MA degree, students must complete the 60-credit dissertation in their third semester.
    Download the Curriculum
    Note: Course offerings subject to change
  • Faculty

    Faculty

    Dr David Bellingham (Program Director) is an art historian and author. In addition to his role as Program Director, he also sits on the education committee of the Guild of Arts Scholars, which supports and promotes the study of art history in schools across London and the South-East. He has published numerous books and articles on a variety of subjects, including: art fairs, art business ethics, Greek & Celtic mythology, the art market for classical sculpture and frescoes, the paintings of Sandro Botticelli, and authenticity issues in the paintings of Frans Hals.
    Dr Iain Robertson is an art business consultant and expert. He has written over one hundred articles in the arts and national press. He consults for banks in Asia and Europe and is visiting professor to Tsinghua and Lisbon Universities. His books include: Understanding International Art Markets and Management (2005), The Art Business (2008), and Art Business Today: 20 Key Topics (2016).
    View all faculty
  • Admissions

    Admissions

    Now accepting applications for MA programs starting in fall 2020. For admissions requirements and an overview of the application process, please click here.
    Space is limited so we strongly encourage qualified candidates to submit their applications as early as possible.
    Deadlines for Fall 2020 MA program:

    • Early Decision Deadline: January 15, 2020

    • Regular Decision/Final Financial Aid Deadline: March 2, 2020

  • Tuition

    Tuition

    Semester 1: £10,850 (UK/EU citizens) or £13,000 (other countries)
    Semester 2: £11,350 (UK/EU citizens) or £13,500 (other countries)
    Semester 3*: £5,500 (UK/EU citizens) or £6,700 (other countries)
    Fees:
    Deposit: £1,000
    Field Study Trip fee: £3,550 (to be paid in Semester 1)
    *Students pursuing a two-semester Postgraduate Diploma do not incur Semester 3 tuition.
    For more information on tuition and program fees, click here.
  • Field Study Trips

    Field Study Trips

    European study visits provide first-hand experience of international art fairs. Previous visits have included: the Venice Art Biennale, Artissima Contemporary Art Fair Torino, Amsterdam, and the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht. We also organize visits to English commercial and public galleries and other art institutions, including Chatsworth House and the St Ives art colony.
  • Questions?

    Questions?

    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. All prospective students are encouraged to contact our Admissions Office to schedule a one-on-one information session to learn more about the program, the application process, tuition, financial aid, and more.
    Email us: admissionslondon@sothebysinstitute.com
    Call us: +44 (0)20 7462 3219
MA Art Business Meet David Bellingham, Program Director of the MA in Art Business at Sotheby's Institute of Art - London

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