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Please note: if you are not from the EU you must be enrolled on an undergraduate degree program and must demonstrate that you will be transferring the credit from this program towards your degree. Preference will be given to undergraduates studying the history of art. EU/UK applicants with limited work experience will be considered for this program. If you do not qualify for an internship placement or already have substantial work experience, you should consider the Art Business course, where you will be able to draw on the support of the Institute’s career services to find jobs or internships. To discuss your eligibility or to find the Semester program that is right for you, please contact Ben Stephenson at

This intensive semester program is designed for those who are interested in learning about business practices in the art world both through study and through an internship which is embedded in the program.

Students undertake a work experience placement in an art-related work environment in London such as an auction house, an online visual arts organization, a commercial gallery or an art fair. This is combined with seminars and workshops which are designed to prepare students for the internship and to help them reflect on the experience.

In the business component of the program, students examine established art markets in the developed world and emerging art markets in the developing world, together with legal and management issues related to global art business practice, with a particular emphasis on the international auction house system. The program offers practical skills connected to accessing and analyzing art market data, and to evaluating market value for art works across key sectors. Students are introduced to contemporary management models for commercial and non-commercial practices through theory, case studies and practical work. Branding and marketing issues are explored, and essential art market professional roles (e.g. conservator, curator, gallerist, collector, journalist, art fund manager, etc.) are investigated, together with innovative new art business models, including online initiatives.

The program equips students with knowledge and skills appropriate to a wide range of careers in the art world or for further study on one of the Institute’s postgraduate programs.

The program requires no prior knowledge of the field.

The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    Fall 2018: 10th September - 19th December, 2018.
    Spring 2019: 21st January to 3rd May, 2019.
  • Structure, Teaching Methods And Assignments

    Structure, Teaching Methods And Assignments

    The program is divided into two units, one comprising the internship and one exploring art business.

    The business unit, entitled Foundations of Art Business, contains a further two components: Foundations of the Global Art Market, and The Art Market in Practice. These classes are taught on two days a week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) across the entire semester, while the internship takes place on Thursdays and Fridays, with occasional additional classes on Monday afternoons. All internships are identified, arranged, coordinated and supervised by the Director of Career Services, a member of academic faculty and a supervisor from the host organisation. During the internship the Director of Career Services and a faculty supervisor work closely with each student to ensure that the placement is delivering useful and meaningful outcomes.

    For the internship component students undertake a number of assignments: a portfolio relating to the work experience, an art-world sector paper, and an oral presentation. These have been designed to help students reflect on the skills they are learning and the benefits gained from the internship experience, and also to help them determine if their current career goals are the correct fit for them. In the business unit students are assessed by seminar presentations, an examination on international art and auction law, and a detailed and comprehensive group business proposal.

    Click here to download a printable version.
  • Internship Sectors And Sample Topics

    Internship Sectors And Sample Topics


    • Public sector museums and galleries

    • Not-for-profit galleries and foundations

    • Commercial galleries

    • Auction houses

    • Art fairs

    • Art consultancies

    • Art publications and publishing houses

    • Art law firms

    • Artists’ studios

    • Art PR firms

    • Restoration companies and framers

    • Art Restitution Organisation

    • Art Insurance

    • Art and antique associations

    • Online art market services



    • Auction and art market history

    • The growth of the contemporary art market

    • Analysing the art market

    • The role of art fairs in the global art market

    • The Old Masters art market

    • The Impressionist and modern art market

    • The 19th century art market

    • Indian modern and contemporary art market

    • Middle-Eastern modern and contemporary art market

    • Chinese modern and contemporary art market

    • The photography art market

    • Innovations in public and private patronage

    • Art finance and investment

    • Non-art commodities at auction (e.g. wine)

    • International business frameworks

    • Contractual relations: legal and management issues

    • Analytical tools: seeing the art market through numbers

    • Galleries, museums and collections: business and legal structures

    • Intellectual property

    • Marketing for the art world: marketing campaigns / social media case studies

    • Branding and the art market

    • Art business feasibility case studies

    • Art business strategic development/planning

    • Presentation skills

    • Art business proposals

    • The role of the Curator/ curating exhibitions

    • The market for New Media and Performance Art

    • Buying and selling art online

  • Field Trips And Study Visits

    Field Trips And Study Visits

    London is a major center for the art world. A wide variety of faculty-led visits to museums, galleries, auction houses and other locations forms an integral part of the learning experience.

    Sample venues:

    • Frieze Art Fair

    • Sotheby’s Auction House and Warehouse

  • Credits And Validation

    Credits And Validation

    The program is validated by The University of Manchester, one of the UK’s leading universities. Students who complete the program successfully will gain 60 University of Manchester undergraduate credits.
    This generally translates to 16 undergraduate credits or 12 graduate in the US system and 30 credits in the European (ECTS) system. Students currently enrolled at other colleges or universities should be aware that transfer of credit is always made at the discretion of the accepting institution. Therefore, applicants should confirm the feasibility of credit transfer with faculty advisors at their home school in advance of registration
  • Faculty


    Jeffrey Boloten
    Gareth Fletcher
    Henry Lydiate
    Anders Petterson
    Zoe Mogridge - Director of Careers Services - Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

    Visiting lecturers have included:
    Alia Al Senussi
    – Curator, art advisor and patron.
    Louisa BuckArt critic, author and contemporary art correspondent for The Art Newspaper.
    Jonathan Carroll – Co-founder of Carroll/Fletcher Gallery in Fitrovia.
    Kirsten Dunne Senior Cultural Policy Officer, Mayor of London’s Office.
    Ruth Knowles – Director of Global Marketing and Business Development, The Art Fund Group Ltd.
    Ezra Konvitz – Co-founder of the art-based social media site ArtStack.
    Sylvain Levy – Co-founder of the major Paris-based Chinese contemporary art collection DSL.
    Julie Molloy – Managing Director- National Gallery Company (London).
    Dr Catherine Morel – Associate Professor, Audencia Nantes School of Management.
    Eugenio Re Rebaudengo – Founder of the online art platform Artunder.
    Freya Simms – Managing Director of Golden Squared Consulting.
    Virginie Puertolas-Syn – Founder of the ART SYN (art advisory).
    Tot Taylor – Co-founder of Riflemaker Gallery in Soho.
    Damian Tillson – Director of Sotheby’s wine department.
  • Admission To The Program

    Admission To The Program

    If you are not from the EU you must be enrolled on an undergraduate degree program at another institution and you must be able to demonstrate that you will be transferring the credit from this program towards your degree. Preference will be given to undergraduates studying the history of art. Students are also expected to demonstrate a good level of English language competence (a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or TOEFL score of 78 IBT, for those for whom English is not a first language).

    Students should apply via the Institute’s online application system. On completion of the online application they will be asked to send via email to Victoria Nicholl ( the following:

    • Scans of university transcripts.

    • A 500-word motivation statement indicating a preference for three art world internship sectors from the selection listed above, and explaining the reasoning behind the choices.

    • One letter of reference/recommendation from a tutor or employer.

    • Curriculum Vitae.

    Applicants for this program are asked to email Umi Chilemba at expressing their interest prior to submitting an application (this applies to spring 2018 applicants).

  • Program Fees

    Program Fees


    Click here to apply.

  • Contact And Request Information

    Contact And Request Information

    For further information, please contact:
    Benjamin Stephenson Admissions or Request Information
    T +44 (0)20 7462 3221

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