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Study Abroad in London

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Study Abroad in London

Spring & Fall 2023 | Spring 2024

Now accepting applications for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024

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

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, and provides opportunities for students who wish to explore the art world at the heart of a global cultural capital, London.

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 Global 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.
Faculty: Amanda Partridge and Ed Leeson

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.
Faculty: Catherine McCormack

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.
Faculty: Frances Liddell

Hogarth to Himid: Histories of British Art This course provides a survey of British art spanning from the seventeenth century to the present day, beginning with the of the establishment of a British school of painting in the early eighteenth century amid the backdrop of empire and the formation of the Royal Academy in 1768, before focusing on modern and contemporary artistic practice.
Faculty: Catherine McCormack

Contemporary Art and Global Feminisms Starting with Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay ‘Why have there been no great women artists?’, this course will consider the key global currents of fifty years of feminist art around a number of themes. These include feminist art about the body and sexuality, women’s domestic labour, feminist approaches to identity, motherhood and childcare, violence against women, feminism, and the art historical canon.
Faculty: Catherine McCormack

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.
Faculty: Lucy Bayley and Amy Mechowski

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. Students will gain 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.
Faculty: Ed Leeson

While the Study Abroad program allows students to gain undergraduate course credits, Gap Semester is offered as 6-week and 12-week terms, and ideal for those aged 18-21 to broaden their perspectives, meet new people, and develop an intimate understanding of the art world. For further information, download the brochure to explore collegiate options.


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

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

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

  • Study trips outside of London to further explore British museums and collections.

  • A network of industry experts, academics, and peers.

  • 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

Program Leader

Catherine is an art historian, author and independent curator and critic whose work often focuses on feminism and visual culture and critical approaches to art and art history.

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Ed Leeson

Course Leader, London

Ed Leeson is a UK based gallerist and curator. He has organised exhibitions internationally in both commercial and institutional spaces. Over the last decade he has been a staff lecturer at TATE and a course leader at Sotheby’s Institute of Art where he lectures on contemporary art, its markets, and wider cultural studies. His MA thesis focussed on identity capture in museum cyberspace, and his current PhD research is on the aesthetics of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He is the Director of 243 Luz.

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Frances Liddell

Course Leader, London

Frances Liddell is a researcher, writer, and lecturer working at the intersection of the arts field and web3 technologies. Her PhD research with National Museums Liverpool was one of the first empirical research studies to examine the impact on blockchain technology on museum audience engagement practices. Her current research focuses on the development of new ownership and participatory models in cultural institutions using web3 technologies.

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Amanda Partridge

Course Leader, London

Amanda is Senior Researcher for the Impressionist & Modern Department at Sotheby's London. She leads provenance research and writing for the London marquee sales as well as working to advise the global Evening and Private Sale teams. Read more...

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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


    Fall 2023: September 4 – December 17, 2023
    Spring 2024: January 22 – 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.

    We are happy to welcome visitors to Sotheby’s Institute of Art. If you would like to book a tour or meet with a member of our team, please contact

  • Topics


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