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Study Abroad in London

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Study Abroad in London

Spring & Fall 2023 | Spring 2024

Creating the global leaders of tomorrow’s art world and the creative industries.

Beginning in Spring 2023, a Study Abroad option will be available for students who wish to explore the art world at the heart of a global cultural capital, London. Since 1969, Sotheby’s Institute of Art has offered postgraduate programs that combine cutting-edge teaching with business acumen and insider access to the art world. Study Abroad extends that opportunity to undergraduate students worldwide.

Study Abroad students will gain a deep understanding of the art world, its museums and collections, dealers and auction houses, public and commercial galleries. Combining a global perspective on contemporary visual culture with matchless access to industry experiences, students will be equipped with the intellectual and professional skills that will benefit them both in their future employment and complement their studies at their home institution.

The Art Market This foundational course uncovers the art world ecosystem, introducing the key concepts, individuals, and business models that underpin the global art market and wider creative economy. Exclusive access to individuals and institutions within the art world is a crucial learning tool for this course. Includes field trips to Sotheby’s auction house.

Exploring Collections, Exploding Canons This course takes a critical look at the Western tradition of art history through a range of London and UK art collections, and engages with some of the key contemporary cultural debates around the politics of collecting and display. This includes decolonisation, gender, and the future of monuments in the museums and cultural heritage sector. Includes fields trip to The British Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, and The National Gallery, London.

Digital Futures in Contemporary Art This course introduces the dynamic discourse at the intersection of art and technology. It examines the fast-evolving digital world and how it is reshaping art practice, the international art market, and the curatorial field. Includes field trips to contemporary art galleries and dealers and a digital studio.

The Curator Academy With a project-oriented focus, this unit will equip students with the contextual knowledge and practical skills to plan, develop, and deliver a curatorial project. Topics will include the curator as auteur, facilitator, mediator and project manager as well as contemporary curatorial approaches and research methodology.

Creative Business Accelerator In this unit, students will learn to develop and present a business plan for a commercial or social enterprise within the creative economy. Gaining a range of sought-after hard and soft skills, across five key areas: market analysis, product or service design, branding, assessing resources, and an in-depth financial forecasting.

Professional Placement This module offers the opportunity to undertake work experience in an art-related work environment in London, such as a museum, commercial gallery, art fair, arts PR firm or similar. Students enhance their professional skills, reflect upon and respond to the practical realities of the art world.


  • Modules on London’s museum and gallery collections and the politics of display, and the impact of digital technologies on contemporary art.

  • Professional experience gained through a choice of the Professional Placement, Curator Academy, or Creative Business Accelerator modules.

  • An international experience at the heart of an historic and cosmopolitan global city.

  • A network of industry experts, academics and peers in addition to a dedicated careers program.

  • A program validated by the University of Manchester, a prestigious Russell Group university.

  • Residential options and a full program of extra-curricular student life activities.


Catherine McCormack

Consultant Lecturer and Summer Study Course Leader, London

Catherine McCormack is an art history lecturer and writer on historical and contemporary art. She completed her PhD at UCL where she was a Teaching Fellow in the art history department and she lectures for Sotheby's Institute of Art from the 15th to 19th centuries.

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Ed Leeson

Consultant Lecturer, London

Ed Leeson is Associate Director of The Residence Gallery, London. He also lectures specializing in modern and contemporary art, its markets and wider cultural studies. He is a summer course leader at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London and a staff lecturer at TATE. He has organized exhibitions at galleries and project spaces across London.

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Amy Mechowski

Course Leader: Curating., and Course Leader: Art and Social Responsibility

Originally from Chicago, Amy holds a PhD in the History of Art from University College London on the construction of the self in fin-de-siècle photography. Since 2007 she has been an Assistant Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass Department, she has undertaken a very wide range of curatorial activities, working on major exhibition projects, with special responsibility for the sculpture collection and expertise on wax objects.

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Dan Vo

Gap Year Course Leader, London

Dan Vo is a media producer and museum professional specialising in queer history and inclusive museum practice. In 2021 he led the V&A Academy’s A Queer History of Objects course.

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More Information

  • Who is it for?

    Who is it for?

    All applicants must be at least 18 years old by beginning of the program and currently enrolled in an undergraduate university program.

    The Study Abroad program is suitable for students studying a wide range of major subjects across, humanities, arts, and business.

    The Humanities: History of Art, Visual Cultures, History, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

    Creative Industries: Fine Art, Design, Fashion and Luxury, Photography, Textiles

    Business: Creative Economy, Entrepreneurial and allied fields, Marketing

  • Dates


    Spring 2023: January 16 – May 7, 2023
    Fall 2023: August 29 – December 17, 2023
    Spring 2024: January 15 – May 5, 2024

  • Location


    Live and Learn in the city where tradition meets avant-garde.

    Our London Institute is situated in Bedford Square with the British Museum in the neighboring square. Sotheby’s auction house, the National Gallery, and the Royal Academy of Arts are a short walk away. The Institute is also close to Mayfair, the traditional center of the London art market where many dealers and galleries are located.

    Well-appointed student accommodation is located in Central London, with easy access to the cultural, educational, and social opportunities available within this dynamic city.

  • Topics


    • Art History
    • Art Business
    • Art and Tech
    • Contemporary Art
    • Curating
    • Museology
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Professional Experience