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Program Overview

About the Program
The MA/PG diploma in Contemporary Art is the longest running specialized Master’s program of its kind in the world. Established in 1991, it focuses on art in the period from 1968 to the present, with strands on art history, curatorial studies, and critical theory, and a strong emphasis throughout on professional career development. We have a proven track record of academic excellence and high-level graduate employment worldwide. The program covers developments in contemporary art from around the world, examining the most established and the more recent practice and institutional networks and structures. An intensive program of lectures by faculty members and guest speakers of international standing, visits to major London venues including Tate Modern and Frieze, and small group seminars, workshops and student presentations, help students gain confidence in reflecting and speaking on all forms of contemporary art – from painting and sculpture to video and installation as well as the most recent web-based, collaborative, and multidisciplinary practices.

During the first semester, following the institute-wide shared core curriculum, Navigating the Art World, students move on to the specialist study of contemporary art, focusing on the period between 1968 and 1995.  Semester 1 includes regular gallery visits in London and an extended study visits to a major European centre for arts (Venice for the Biennale or German cities). In Semester 2 we look at the period between 1995 and the present, concentrating on a number of topical issues and debates. The second semester also includes two extended study visits (to two of the following: the Venice Biennale, Germany, Amsterdam and Paris).

The flexible structure of the Master’s program allows students to concentrate their studies on a chosen field by selecting two elective units, either pursuing further specialization in contemporary art or undertaking options that will broaden their understanding of other areas of study, such as fine and decorative art and design, modern and contemporary Asian art, or art business. In Semester 3 (MA-registered students only) prepare and write their dissertations under the supervision of their tutors.

About Our Students
The MA in Contemporary Art program welcomes prospective students who have an interest in gaining a strong understanding of historical developments, critical debates, and institutional networks in the increasingly global world of contemporary art. Students graduate from this intensive nine-month (PG diploma) or year-long program (MA) with in-depth knowledge and professional preparation to work in any area of contemporary art. Graduates gain employment in private and commercial galleries, art fairs, auction houses, museums and foundations, private and public collections, art publishing, art investing and consulting, visual archives, not-for-profit organizations, art services and e-commerce, and academia.

Our Curriculum
Access a copy of the 2020-21 London Master's degree curriculum and course descriptions.

Viewbook
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The Details
  • Curriculum

    Curriculum

    In the first semester, Navigating the Art World brings students from all MAs together for an introduction to a variety of postgraduate research skills and methodologies within the disciplines of art history and art business. 

    Core units for the Contemporary Art degree include Contemporary Art Histories and Debates in Contemporary Art.  Students take two 15-credit electives across a variety of offerings for deeper expertise or to develop specialties.

    Download the curriculum grid and course descriptions here.
  • Faculty

    Faculty

    Dr. Juliet Hacking, Program Director
    Dr. Pierre Saurisse
    Dr. Marcus Verhagen

    Consultant Lecturers:
    J.J. Charlesworth
    Dr. Mike Cooter
    Professor Anthony Downey
    Dr. Flavia Frigeri
    Dr. Klara Kemp-Welch
    Dr. Anna Moszynska
    Professor Richard Noble
    Filipa Ramos

    Dr. Tom Snow
    Dr. Emilia Terracciano
    Jennifer Thatcher

    Dr. Gilda Williams
  • Course Fees & Application

    Course Fees & Application

    ACADEMIC YEAR 2020-2021

    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 fee: £2,350 

    *Students pursuing a two-semester Post-graduate Diploma do not incur Semester 3 tuition.

    Click here to Apply

    Click here to read Terms and Conditions.
  • Program Prospectus

    Program Prospectus

    Click here to download the program prospectus.

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

    Contact And Request Information

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

    Field Trips

    Students on the MA in Contemporary Art program visit a variety of art spaces in London--public and commercial galleries, auction houses, art colleges, project spaces, and artists' studios. They also go on three international study trips during the program. Past trips in Semester One have included a visit to Venice for the Biennale (and to visit other venues such as the Prada Foundation) or a stay in Northern Germany, where students visit a number of particularly strong public collections as well as smaller spaces and private foundations, including one entirely devoted to contemporary video and film. The second semester has two study visits to one of the following four destinations: Northern Germany, Paris, Amsterdam or Venice. The purpose of these trips and visits is to gain a more fine-grained and responsive understanding of artistic and curatorial practices while also developing first-hand knowledge of the different roles played by various institutions in the art world.
MA Contemporary Art Meet Juliet Hacking, Director of MA Contemporary Art, London

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