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If you are thinking of submitting an application for our Master’s, Semester or Summer programs, please familiarise yourself with the admissions requirements for each program. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Open Day, or an Information Session near you or book an appointment to visit the Institute at our Bedford Square campus and meet with an Admissions Officer.

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 or Skype appointment if more convenient.

To schedule  a visit, telephone or Skype appointment, please contact


Our Master’s, Semester and Four-Week Summer programs are all validated by The University of Manchester, one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the U.K.

Master’s Programs

In London, we offer five Master's Degree programs: Art Business, Contemporary Art, Fine and Decorative Art and Design, Art Logistics, and Modern and Contemporary Asian Art. All MA’s start with an intensive shared unit ‘Navigating the Art World,’ which provides an in-depth introduction to the art world and development of professional and critical skills. In addition, the flexible structure of the Master’s programs allows students further to specialize in their studies, once they have completed the core units of their chosen MA, by choosing two electives from a broad range of expertly led units.
Learn more about the Master's program at the London campus here.

Postgraduate Diplomas

For each of the five Master’s programs a two-semester Postgraduate Diploma is available to students who complete the required coursework for an MA Degree program but who do not wish to write a Master's Degree Dissertation. Learn more about the Postgraduate Diploma at the London campus here.

Semester Programs

The Institute offers a number of full-time fifteen-week programs which run both in the Fall and the Spring semester and some of which can be taken on a part-time basis. These programs do not require any previous university qualifications and are designed for students who have a strong vocational or professional interest in a specific subject. They can also provide the necessary foundation for students who lack a formal education in art history and are applying to an MA program at the Institute. Learn more about the Semester Study programs at the London campus here.

Summer Study Programs

The Summer Study programs offer intensive courses in areas of art business, art history, finance, contemporary art and design. The programs are designed for undergraduates, graduates, career changers and all those interested in art and the art world. Full-time courses are offered over two sessions and students have the option to attend both. Learn more about the Summer Study program at the London campus here.

Apply Now

Now accepting applications for MA programs starting Fall 2019. Apply Now.

Now accepting applications for Semester programs
. Apply Now 

Admissions Deadlines Entrance Requirements Required Documentation Tuition Fees Financing Your Study Online Application After you apply Accommodation Brexit FAQ Contact


Sotheby’s Institute of Art operates a rolling admissions process, which means that applications are processed as soon as they are submitted. Therefore, it is advisable that applicants apply as early as possible to ensure places are still available.

Entrance Requirements

Entrance Requirements for the Master's Degree and Postgraduate Diploma

All MA and Postgraduate Diploma applicants are required to have achieved a 2:2 in 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 some formal study of art history, probably at undergraduate level. 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 course work 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.

To prepare for graduate study at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, there are select online, summer, and semester courses that will enable incoming MA students to secure a strong foundation, especially for those who do not have an art history background. These courses are recommended for students looking to improve their art history knowledge, or who receive an offer of enrollment contingent upon gaining foundational knowledge in a key area.  

GRE Test Scores

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is pleased to accept the GRE test.  The GRE is not a required element of our application process, however we will factor in test scores as part of our decision process for those candidates who have taken the test. The Code for Sotheby’s Institute of Art is 4161.

Entrance requirements for Semester and Summer Study programs

For students whose first language is not English the Institute requires certification of English language competence. We accept IELTS level 6.0 or equivalent for Semester and Four-Week Summer Programs. If you have been taught in English for two years or more, it may be possible to waive the English language Proficiency Exam, upon review of your application.

Click here to find out about applying for Semester Programs.

Click here to find out about Summer Study.

Required Documentation

Required Documentation for Master’s Degree and Postgraduate Diploma
  • Academic transcripts/mark sheets from all post-secondary academic institutions attended.
  • Two letters of (academic) reference. These should be sent directly from your referees/references either by mail to the London campus (30 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EE), or sent from a professional email address directly to using the Confidential Reference Form.
  • 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. The writing sample helps the Admission Committee understand how a prospective student develops ideas, creates a theme or a position, communicates and defends the work in writing. Please submit one of the following: 1) A paper of no fewer than 1000 words, from a formal art history course. Include citations as originally submitted. OR 2) A 1000-word original essay for an art magazine (Frieze, Art Review or Artforum for example). Look at examples in the magazine and consider both the profile of the publication and the purpose of the article. Your essay should be a mock review of a current art exhibition that you have experienced directly. You should address some or all of these components: analysis of the works of art, information on the artist and his/her career, commentary on the installation of the exhibition, profile of host gallery or museum. Remember that your editor has asked for 1000 words: if you send him/her fewer than 900 or over 1100 words it will not be accepted. Footnotes are required for any citations.
  • A CV/resume that includes all relevant art related background.
  • English language proficiency exam. The Institute requires an English language Proficiency Exam from applicants for whom English is not their first language. We require a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 for Masters and 6.5 for Postgraduate Diploma programs. If you have received an undergraduate degree from a University in a majority English speaking country, it may be possible to waive the English language Proficiency Exam, upon review of your application. If you require a Tier 4 (general) visa to study in the UK, you have to take the IELTS for UKVI Academic test. No other tests are accepted as part of the visa application process, this includes other tests offered by IELTS. Further information can be found here.
  • An Interview. This is an opportunity for candidates to discuss their interests and abilities as well as to explore ways in which the Institute can help them meet their educational and career goals. Interviews may be with a faculty member or the director of the applicant’s program of choice and generally include a discussion of art historical or art related subjects and images. In person interviews are preferable and encouraged although telephone or Skype interviews may be arranged in cases where travel to either the London or New York campus is a hardship.
  • A non-refundable application fee of £50 (GBP).

Tuition Fees

Fees for Master’s programs 2018-2019

Tuition and travel fees are calculated by program and other variables. Please visit the course pages for tuition details.

MA Art Business
MA Contemporary Art
MA Fine and Decorative Art and Design
MA Modern and Contemporary Asian Art

Fees for Semester programs

Click here to find out more...

Fees for Summer courses

Click here to find out more...

Estimated Living Expenses in London

Our programs require travel that may include visits to galleries, special collections, art fairs and art-related events including destinations abroad on semester and MA programs. Local travel costs, i.e. (public) transport within London, are borne by the student and vary from program to program. MA programmes and most semester courses charge a pre-set travel fee which is due at the same time as tuition ahead of the start of the programme. This travel fee covers the cost of all study trips abroad including travel, accommodation, and entry tickets for exhibitions and other art-related events. Travel costs relating to scheduled trips to collections or museums outside of London but within the UK are borne by Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

To help you estimate the financial obligations required to attend Sotheby’s Institute of Art - London, the following budget is provided. The figures were taken from a recent student survey. From the figures shown you will see that the level of expenditure incurred depends greatly upon lifestyle. You may find it helpful to research average rental prices in the area you’d like to live in, and consult the UKCISA guidance on Cost of Living in the UK.

Financing Your Study

Sotheby's Institute of Art offers a range of financial assistance through both full scholarships and grants. Eligible accepted students may apply for  appropriate scholarships and grants available for their chosen program.

Click here to find out about Scholarships, Grants and Loans at Sotheby's Institute - London.

Online Application

Now accepting applications for MA programs starting Fall 2019. Apply Now.

The online application system allows candidates to submit scanned copies of all required documents, with the exception of references. If necessary, transcripts, references and other relevant documents may be submitted separately from the application and at a later date. However, it is preferable that all documents be received prior to an applicant’s interview.

For more information please review our Frequently Asked Questions

After you apply

Applicants will receive an email from the Admissions team acknowledging receipt of their application within two working days. This email will include an update on any documents or required information that may still be outstanding. These should then be sent directly to the campus to which the application was submitted.


After the Admissions team has received sufficient documentation, eligible candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Admissions Decisions

The Admissions Committee reviews and processes applications on a “rolling basis.” This means that applications are considered throughout the year as long as space is available. Applicants whose documentation is complete generally receive an admissions decision within two weeks of their interview.

Confirmation of Attendance and Deposit

Admissions decisions will be sent by email. A deposit of £500 is required of accepted applicants which should be submitted via the Enrollment Form on the Welcome Site, where applicants also confirm they accept the Terms & Conditions of Enrollment. A digital Student Reply Form will be issued and sent as a PDF attachment both to the applicant and the Admissions Department. Accepted applicants who require additional time to make this decision and deposit must contact the Office of Admissions to request an extension.


Applicants who require visas are advised to apply through their appropriate consulate or other government agencies at least 10 weeks prior to the start of classes in order to ensure sufficient time for processing. Students who require visas will receive visa documentation after they confirm their intention to enroll by submitting their Enrolment Forms and deposits, but no earlier than three months prior to the start of classes.

Applicants to the London campus from non-EU countries who require visas to enter the UK are urged to begin the application process three months before the start of their course. UK processing time for a Tier 4 Points Based System General Adult student visa may take 10 weeks or more. For more information, please visit

Please note that UK visa regulations mean that students attending an Institute postgraduate program in London on a Tier 4 visa or a Semester or summer course in London on a Short Term Student Visa are not permitted to undertake any form of (paid or unpaid) work in the UK. For further information please consult the following:

Online Welcome Site

Applicants who have been accepted to the Institute will be given access to the Students' Welcome Site. This site will provide an opportunity to connect with other incoming students over the summer and to access important information about accommodation and health care. Reading lists and other academic information will be posted on the site during the summer.


Although the Institute does not arrange accommodation on behalf of students, we are pleased to work in partnership with the University of London Housing Service (ULHS).

Click here to find out about accommodation options during your time at Sotheby's Institute - London.

Brexit FAQ

In June 2016 the British public voted to leave the European Union. The official process of Britain leaving the EU began on March 29, 2017, with the Government invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union. There is now a two-year window for withdrawal.

Please note that EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member. The UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making.

As the current situation stands, the vote to leave the EU will not result in any changes to the immigration status of current or prospective EU students.

There are many negotiations in place, so this will be a slow and gradual process. No member state has ever left the EU, so this will be a complicated and lengthy procedure.

Click here to read Brexit Frequently Asked Questions.


London Admissions
T +44 (0)20 7462 3219

London Campus

Admissions Office
Sotheby's Institute of Art
30 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury
WC1B 3EE United Kingdom

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