Sotheby´s Institute of Art London

London, United Kingdom

Funding type: Public
Listed programmes:
Type of education:

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Sothebys Institute of Art offers a unique academic approach to studying the global art market. In addition to a rigorous core curriculum, which introduces students to key concepts and builds foundational knowledge, Sothebys Institute also provides exposure to specialized topics that are central to the history and ongoing development of the international art world. Our faculty members are leading scholars and art world professionals who are experts in these subjects.


Our location in London is in the heart of Bloomsbury, only minutes away from the British Museum and within walking distance of the National Gallery and Sotheby's auction house, as well as the University of London.
Students at the Institute learn by studying, observing and handling original objects. The acquisition of practical knowledge such as professional catalogue entry or installing an exhibition coupled with academic requirements form the basis of the unique learning experience at Sothebys Institute of Art.
Sotheby's auction house provides students with privileged access to pre-sale viewings, talks by experts, and handling sessions. In addition, students visit the many commercial galleries, artists' studios and museums available in London. Such knowledge prepares students for a variety of careers in the art world

In London, we offer six Master's Degree programmes in Art Business, Contemporary Art, Photography, Fine & Decorative Art, East Asian Art and Contemporary Design.
These MA programmes require two semesters of full-time study plus a third semester of independent study to complete a research dissertation.
The four 15-week semester programmes are run in autumn and spring of each academic year, some of which can be taken on a part-time basis, and cover a range of subject areas. Five 4-week intensive summer courses also take place each summer in London.
Short courses take place throughout the year and we offer a number of day, week and evening courses.
Applications may be sent to us throughout the year before the course start date. Applications are being accepted for entry in early September, 2011 and Financial Aid is available.



Sotheby's Institute of Art Library is a small, specialised resource that supports teaching at the Institute. The library provides key resources for the taught elements of the MA/PgDip courses during the first two semesters.

These resources enable students to fulfill course work including seminar papers, group projects and cataloging exercises.

Library Collection
The library has a collection of around 15,000 books and pamphlets covering the fine and decorative arts including painting, drawing, ceramics, furniture, interiors and design.

Coverage of specific subject areas includes art business, Asian art and design, photography, museum collections, exhibition catalogues, patronage and connoisseurship.

In addition, the library holds the last 10 years of Christie's and Sotheby's sales catalogues. The library takes 50 current journal titles in hardcopy format including Artforum, Art in America, Art Newspaper, Apollo and the Burlington Magazine.

Bound copies of Sotheby's Institute MA dissertations dating back to 1992 are available for consultation in the library.

Your pathway to a career in the international artworld

The Institute has over 6,000 alumni worldwide, many of whom direct galleries, work in museums, foundations and auction houses, or pursue careers in art journalism, consulting and related professions. Many others have become collectors or enrich their lives with an informed passion for art.
Graduates become members of our Alumni Association who have access to a range of services which help graduates with their careers.

Although the Institute does not arrange accommodation on behalf of students, we do have a comprehensive accommodation list that we give to students once they have registered.

This list provides a broad range of options to choose from - from flats (apartments) to bed-sits (studios). Most students choose the option of renting a flat whilst in London.

You can usually find a flat or room for a fixed short-term period, e.g. six months. It is also common to find fully furnished flats which can include linens, kitchen ware, etc. As with most large cities rent prices are extremely variable depending on the area and amenities.

When searching for accommodation we also recommend students consult accommodation guides or rental agencies. The Institute staff are always happy to advise.

Student life

Events Around London
Besides the rich array of museums and galleries, London is a major centre for the performing arts, offering exceptional theatre, ballet, modern dance and opera.

In addition to a vibrant student life, this sophisticated international capital boasts a huge and diverse selection of restaurants, clubs, shops and parks.

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