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Program Overview

About the Program

The Master’s Degree in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art provides students with critical tools for understanding the growing field of Asian art. It will enable them to appreciate how Asian art has developed in the modern and contemporary period in relation to its complex historical backdrop and artistic sensibilities for application in the professional art world. It is anticipated that there will be an increasing need for professionals with expertise in museums, galleries, art fairs and biennials. This MA will address this need by equipping students with skills for a high degree of employability in public and private art institutions and dealerships worldwide.

About Our MA Students

Students on this program will be looking to specialise in the diverse and exciting field of modern and contemporary Asian art. They will contribute to a growing area of expertise in the international art world where Asia and Asian art plays an increasingly significant role. This MA program is suitable for students with a first degree in art history or other relevant degree, or a strong demonstrable interest in the culture of Asia. Graduates of this program take up a range of positions in galleries, art fairs, museums, and auction houses, working in major cultural centres around the world. Graduates may also embark on doctoral studies for deeper specialisation towards an academic career or a museum curatorship.

Navigating the Art World

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 understanding of art business principles, professional skills and critical understanding to mobilise at the completion of their degrees.

Program Structure

The program is of twelve months’ duration, beginning in September. Semester 1 begins with Navigating the Art World, after which students progress to the specialist study of modern and contemporary Asian art.

Students study two compulsory core units in Semesters 1 and 2 focusing on the evolution and cultural context of modern and contemporary Asian art. They then choose two elective units, either pursuing further specialisation in Asian art or undertaking options that will broaden and enhance their understanding of other areas of study, such as fine and decorative arts and design, photography or art business.

One of the program highlights is a field study to Asia, enabling students to experience at first hand the environment of the Asian art world in a major centre, through visits to art districts, museums and galleries. The last few months of the program involve the preparation and writing of the dissertation, which allows students to develop skills in independent research.

Build Your Concentration

The flexible structure of the Master’s program allows students to concentrate their studies on a chosen field by selecting 2 elective units. Specialist subject areas in which Sotheby’s Institute of Art - London faculty have high level of expertise include Contemporary Design, Photography, East Asian Art and Curating.

Access a copy of the MA structure 2019/20 and explore our Viewbook, click here to receive a copy.

MA Modern and Contemporary Asian Art MA Modern and Contemporary Asian Art
The Details
  • Curriculum-at-a-Glance


    ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020

    Units of Study
    Core Units

    • Navigating the Art World – Shared Core Curriculum

    • Modern Asian Art

    • Contemporary Asian Art

    Elective Units
    (Choose any two of the below)

    • Court and Literati Painting of East Asia

    • East Asian Ceramics: Court, Domestic and Trade

    • Curating Asian Art

    • Contemporary Chinese Art: Process, Medium and Critical Practice

    • 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

    • Curating Contemporary Art

    • Performance Art

    • Photography: Image and Power

    • Photography and its Markets

    • Modernism and its Markets

    • Art World Logistics and Operations

    • Work Placement (accredited internship)

    Dissertation or Practice-Based Dissertation (MA only) 

    Click here for the program electives summary.
  • Faculty


    Dr. Katie Hill, Program Director
    Dr. Anne Farrer
  • Course Fees & Application

    Course Fees & Application

    ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020

    Deposit: £500
    Semester 1: £10,050
    Semester 2: £10,550
    Semester 3: £5,200
    MA total: £26,300
    PG Dip total: £21,100

    Deposit: £500
    Semester 1: £12,000
    Semester 2: £12,500
    Semester 3: £6,100
    MA total: £31,100
    PG Dip total: £25,000

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

    Travel costs: £4,150

    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 the 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

    This course visits art fairs, auction houses and  private and public collections in London including during the first semester, the modern Indian art preview at Sotheby’s auction house;  Frieze Art Fair and Frieze Masters – to see Asia-related galleries,  plus Asian Art in London for events, previews and talks. Exhibitions in modern Indian art and modern Chinese art will also be visited in Manchester and Oxford. During this first semester, there will be a field-trip Paris to visit Asia Now Paris and FIAC.  Here we will have the opportunity to meet many gallerists, collectors and artists, especially as Asia Now Paris is a cutting edge Asian art fair that brings together many dealers and artists in one place.   We will also visit artists' studios and there will be a talk hosted by DSL Collector Sylvain Levy. In the second semester we will experience a first-hand encounter with the art world in Singapore and China, taking a two-week trip in February/March 2017, when we will visit major centres of art and visit at least one important art academy, numerous galleries and artists' studios.

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