M.A. Art Business

Sotheby´s Institute of Art | London, United Kingdom
The MA in Art Business prepares students for careers in the commercial art world. The programme is not a business degree but a degree in the business side of art, designed for students with an art historical background who want to understand business theories and practices as well as the technical and structural elements of the art market.

Description of Art Business


London is at the centre of the global art and antiques market, where dealers trade in British, European, Asian and Indian art. This $60 billion plus industry employs hundreds of thousands of professionals in small and medium-sized businesses as well as a number of large enterprises including auction houses, galleries, investment banks, insurance companies and other specialist service suppliers to the market.

An important theme of this programme is its analysis of a wide range of art market sectors. Students learn how to evaluate and market art objects from antiquity to the present day and participate in a large number of visits to commercial and public galleries and other art institutions in London, throughout Europe and other cultural centres internationally.

With an historic address at 30 Bedford Square, the Institute’s London campus is located in the heart of Bloomsbury as part of the broader “academy” that includes the British Museum, the Architectural Association, and the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art. The Institute is within walking distance of Sotheby's Auction House, the National Gallery, the Royal Academy, and the University of London. Other major galleries and museums are within easy reach such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Wallace Collection, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Kensington Palace, and Hampton Court Palace. The capitals and art centres of Europe are easily accessible from London, making their vibrant art markets and legendary cultural resources readily available to the Institute’s students and faculty.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline Rolling Admissions
Tuition fee

2015-2016UK & EU Nationals Deposit: £500
Semester 1: £ 9,450
Semester 2: £ 9,950
Semester 3: £4,800
Total: £24,700
Non-UK/EU Nationals Deposit: £500
Semester 1: £10,600
Semester 2: £11,100
Semester 3: £5,500
Total: £27,700
These fees are exclusive of the cost of travel for study visits.

Not specified
Start date September  2016 September 2015
Duration full-time 14 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

Curriculum-at-a-Glance for 2015 - 2016


September - December 2015

•Navigating the Art World [Part I]

•The International Art World: Private Sector and Public Sphere [Part I]

•Ethics & Law in the Art World [Part I]

•Art Business, Finance and Investment [Part I]


January - May 2016

•Navigating the Art World [Part II]

•The International Art World: Private Sector and Public Sphere [Part II]

•Ethics & Law in the Art World [Part II]

•Art Business, Finance and Investment [Part II]


May - September 2016

•Dissertation (MA only).

Students prepare a dissertation under the supervision of their tutor.

English Language Requirements

TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Requirements for Art Business

All MA, Postgraduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate applicants are required to have completed a BA degree or its equivalent. Students in their final undergraduate year may apply for admission and will be required to provide proof of graduation prior to registration.

Applicants should demonstrate the following skills:

·The ability to perform at a postgraduate level, as indicated by academic achievement and recommendations.

·Knowledge of art history. This generally requires an undergraduate art history major or minor. In special cases, art-related work experience or exceptional exposure to art making and/or collecting will satisfy this requirement. (Applicants with insufficient art history background may be required to take coursework at the Institute or an institution of their choice that is approved by the Institute’s faculty.)

·The ability to speak, write and analyze required subject matter fluently in English.

Required Documentation:

·Academic transcripts/marksheets.

·Two letters of reference.

·Personal Statement (max 1000 words). Please tell us about your reasons for your choice of program, any relevant academic or art related experience, and your future career goals.

·A writing sample.

·A CV/resume that includes all relevant art related background.

·English language proficiency exam. The Institute does require an English language Proficiency Exam for non-native English speakers. We require the following exam score for Masters and Postgraduate Diploma programmes: IELTS level 7

·An Interview.

·A non-refundable application fee of £50 (GBP).

Work Experience for Art Business

No work experience is required.

More Information


Our degrees are awarded by the University of Manchester in the UK and combine professional training with academic study.

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Sotheby´s Institute of Art, United Kingdom

United Kingdom For over forty years Sotheby’s Institute of Art has been preparing students for careers in the international art world. Our vision is to be universally acknowledged as the premier provider of advanced object-based art education, whose graduates combine passion for the visual arts with scholarship, connoisseurship and market sophistication in order to flourish as leaders in the global art market.

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