Sotheby's Institute of Art

Sotheby's Institute of Art (London)

Modern and Contemporary Asian Art

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.

Students on this programme 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 programme 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 programme 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.

Entry requirements

All MA and Postgraduate Diploma 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 analyse required subject matter fluently in English.

Work experience is not required. However, relevant employment and/or internships enhance a student’s application.

Application deadlines

The priority deadline for MA applications is 1 March 2016. Applications received after 1 March 2016 will be considered based on space availability.

Course modules

ACADEMIC YEAR 2016 – 2017

Core units

  • Navigating the Art World – core curriculum
  • Modern Asian Art
  • Contemporary Asian Art

Optional units

  • 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 in the Twenty-first Century
  • 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
  • Dissertation projects (MA only)


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
PgDip Full-time £ 23,100 per Whole course (home fees) 8 months
MA Full-time £ 28,800 per Whole course (home fees) 12 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Sotheby's Institute of Art, London Camden WC1B 3EE South East