Sotheby's Institute of Art

Sotheby's Institute of Art (London)

Sotheby's Institute of Art (London)

The institution

Since 1969, Sotheby’s Institute of Art has been educating generations of art world professionals. With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, the Institute’s courses uniquely integrate connoisseurship, art historical scholarship and market expertise. Being an art professional means not only having the ability to identify and analyze works of art, but also having a firm understanding of the global art market. This holistic approach is the cornerstone of Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Here, students explore art from a range of social, cultural, economic, and object-based perspectives. Our rigorous academic curriculum includes privileged access to major art world players and networking with key professionals, site visits and travel opportunities to art fairs, biennials, museums, galleries, auction houses, and private collections around the globe, as well as career development support to help students secure jobs as experts or consultants in the art world and other creative industries.

Postgraduate study

Sotheby’s Institute of Art offers many paths of study including Master’s degrees, postgraduate diplomas, semester programmes and short courses specializing in Art Business, Contemporary Art, Fine and Decorative Art & Design, and Modern and Contemporary Asia Art. Our MA programmes require the successful completion of two semesters of coursework plus either the writing of a research dissertation (Master’s thesis) or the completion of a third semester of full-time coursework in a different campus that includes a final capstone project. MA programmes at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London are validated by the University of Manchester.


Our faculty members are leading scholars and art world professionals who are experts in subject areas that are central to the history and ongoing development of the international art world. Together this diverse group of scholars and professionals brings a broad range of knowledge and experience to the classroom. Further insight is provided by the Institute’s frequent guest lecturers including museum directors and curators, auction house executives, gallery directors, private dealers, art lawyers, marketing specialists, conservators, critics, writers, artists, and consultants. Lectures and research subjects are topical and wide-ranging -- from the nuances of curatorial and art-historical scholarship to the subtleties of art valuation, copyright and tax law, macroeconomics of the global art markets, or the inner workings of art fairs, galleries and auction houses.


Sotheby’s Institute students (depending on working restrictions imposed by their student visas) may apply for highly sought after positions at Sotheby’s auction house. According to recent surveys, 87% of Sotheby’s Institute MA students are employed within the first year after graduation. Of these students, 40% gain employment during their thesis semester. 26% of Sotheby’s Institute graduates find their jobs through undertaking internships. Students and graduates of our Master’s programmes have access to our exclusive online job portal with over 1000 registered art world employers –many of which regularly recruit exclusively from our graduate talent. 40% of students gain their jobs through networking and contacts that they make through the Institute. The Institute has over 6,000 alumni worldwide, encompassing a broad spectrum of art-related professions. Former students remain connected to the Institute through the Alumni Association and its programmes.

Campus visits

Appointments to visit the London Campus can be arranged via the Admissions Office where you can discuss any questions about the admissions process. If you are unable to visit the campus we can also arrange a telephone appointment if more convenient.

Open Day – 5 February 2016

Join us on 5 February to learn more about our academic programmes (master’s degrees, semester and summer courses) and the Institute’s unique curricular approach to the study of art and the international art market.

Our faculty, students and staff members will be on-site to answer your questions.

This event is free of charge, but prior booking is essential.

Location: 30 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EE
Event time: Friday, 5 February. Start time: 14.00 (2pm)

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

30 Bedford Square
Telephone number: 
020 7462 3232