Close Request Information
Back to Semester Programs

Discover first-hand what it takes to work and succeed in today's art world with this unique program that combines academic study with practical experience.

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 that is embedded in the program.

Equal parts academic and practical, students undertake a work experience placement in an art-related work environment in London, such as a conservation studio, a commercial gallery, a small specialist auction house, an online visual arts organization, or an art fair. This is combined with seminars and workshops from our Art and Business curriculum that 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 prepares students for a wide range of careers in the art world or for further study on one of our postgraduate programs. Students learn 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 Details
  • Dates


    January 25 – May 7, 2021
    Download the Semester Booklet
  • Curriculum


    STRUCTURE: The program is comprised of two units, one dedicated to 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. Topics covered in this unit may include: the role of art fairs in the global art market, art finance and investment, intellectual property, marketing for the art world, and much more.
    - 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 organization. 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. Possible internship sectors include: commercial galleries, auction houses, PR firms, law firms, artists' studios, restoration companies, among many others.
    ASSESSMENT: 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.
  • Field Study Trips

    Field Study Trips

    First-hand encounters with art works and buildings are an integral part of the learning experience that enable students to gain a direct understanding of topics dealt with in the program. As London is a major center for art, the program includes a wide variety of faculty-led visits to museums and galleries, such as:
    - Sotheby’s auction house and storage facility
    - Greenwich
    We continue to monitor and respond to the public health situation regarding COVID-19. We will take every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and will adhere to all government travel recommendations.
  • Faculty


    Antonio Cartolano (Co-Course Leader) Cartolano's research and teaching interests are interdisciplinary and comparative and fall broadly into the fields of Renaissance History, Art History and Cultural Studies. His specialism is Northern Italian courtly culture in all its manifestations, and focuses in particular on the Estense court at Ferrara. He has studied and taught in the US, Italy, Germany and the UK, where he has lived for over 10 years. In London, Antonio has taught at Roehampton University, King’s College London, University College London and Goldsmiths, where he has been Lecturer in History since 2009.
    Zoe Mogridge (Co-Course Leader) As the Director of Career Services at Sotheby's Institute-London, Mogridge leads the development and implementation of employability education and employer engagement programming at The Institute. Before joining Sotheby’s Institute, she was the Placements and Employer Liaison Manager at Falmouth University where she worked with Undergraduate and Master’s students specializing in extra- and intra-curricular placements and work-based learning initiatives linked to Enterprise Skills development. Zoe was previously with the BBC World Service as a qualified Studio Manager and in the publishing sector for Pearson Education.
    View all faculty
  • Student Stories

    Student Stories

    "I now have a more well-rounded understanding of the art world."
    —Veronica Henderson (Student)
    Hear from previous students about their experience.
  • Credit & Validation

    Credit & 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 credits 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.
    Students completing this program also receive a certificate from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
  • Tuition


    SPRING 2021:
    - Full-time: £8,800

    Our programs require travel that may include visits to galleries, special collections, art fairs, and art-related events including destinations abroad on Semester programs. Local travel costs, i.e. (public) transport within London, are borne by the student and vary from program to program. 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.
  • Admissions


    Semester students come from a range of educational and professional backgrounds, from current students visiting from other institutions to career professionals looking to develop new areas of knowledge. As such, each application is assessed on an individual basis, and takes into account a variety of factors.
    For non-native English speakers, a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or TOEFL score of 78 IBT is required.
    No prior art history or subject-matter knowledge is required.
    View Terms and Conditions
    Please note: if you are not from the EU you must be enrolled on an undergraduate degree program and must be 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. Those with substantial work experience should consider other semester or MA programs, during which they will be able to draw on the support of the Institute’s Careers Service to find jobs or internships.
    For further information, please contact: or +44 (0)20 7462 3229

Have a Question?

Provide your contact information and we’ll send you more information about our courses.

Continue Exploring

About London Student Stories Inside the Course Study Abroad Program Semester Booklet Request Information