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Go behind the scenes of the luxury business and explore the connection between luxury and art as a strategic partnership to generate innovation and stimulate economic and cultural growth.

This online course is an immersive introduction to the fast-changing global industry of luxury goods and services, designed for students and professionals considering careers in the luxury field. In recent years there has been a blurring of the boundaries between the worlds of fine art consumption and luxury more generally, as high-end consumers become as interested in art as in watches, wine, cars, yachts, jewelry, high fashion, property, and luxury lifestyles. Art fairs and auction houses are beginning to traverse these lines, while leading fashion brands engage with contemporary art as a way to connect on a deeper level with their customers and enhance their cultural leadership. This course examines these innovative intersections, providing the students with the specialist skills to create and manage the synergies between art and luxury.

Designed to fully illuminate this intersection, the course devotes one unit to the luxury industry and a second unit to the relationship between art and luxury. In the luxury unit, students explore luxury business models, strategies, and trends, and analyze its consumption. In the art and luxury unit, students examine the roles of artists, designers, and curators in the luxury industry as well as the role of brands in the art world. The teaching draws on Sotheby’s Institute’s wide network in the art and luxury sectors and emphasizes the acquisition of concepts and knowledge as well as practical skills.

This course offers a tailor-made pedagogical experience developed specifically for remote learning. Online delivery takes advantage of the inside expertise of our specialists, drawing from a global pool of leaders in the luxury field. Students will be introduced to a network of professionals from a wide variety of luxury sectors in order to understand the industry through exclusive behind-the-scenes access and knowledge.

Through a combination of learning methods, group activities and self-study, this course will guide the learner to develop the necessary hard and soft skills to operate successfully in the art and luxury world’s “new normal.”

This Online Accredited Course consists of lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, discussions, and virtual site visits that are streamed live. Recordings of the live sessions are accessible anytime during the course via our online learning platform, Canvas. Click here to download the Accredited Courses Booklet.

The Details
  • Dates & Fees

    Dates & Fees

    January 27 - April 23, 2021 | 12 weeks
    (£5,950 if registered by October 30, 2020)
    Online Accredited Courses are developed in London by Sotheby's Institute faculty, programming staff, and industry experts.
    Download the Accredited Courses Booklet
  • Curriculum


    STRUCTURE: The course is taught remotely and divided into two units, one on the luxury industry and one on intersections of art and luxury. View sample week.

    • The first unit, The Luxury Business, is taught on two days a week across the entire semester (Tuesdays and Wednesdays). It explores the history, theory and definitions of luxury and its contemporary economic, business, and social status. The unit focuses on identifying the particularities of luxury as well as its place in the broader consumer landscape, and how these particulars are changing in the current climate. Students will learn about networks, relationships, key roles and organizations in the luxury industry. They will examine the themes branding, marketing, and customer engagement; the roles of data and technology; emerging markets and challenges to market growth; and ethical practice in the luxury industry. The unit blends theoretical and applied learning, which includes lectures, flip classes, workshops and case studies.

    • The second unit, Art and Luxury, is taught on a different two days a week across the entire semester (Thursdays and Fridays), and explores the synergies between art and the luxury industry. The unit interrogates the theory, nature and significance of art-luxury collaborations, looking at organizations on both sides of the consumer equation and the implications, positive and negative, both for luxury and for art. In particular, Art and Luxury delves into the business practices and value frameworks in the art sector; from galleries and auction houses to art advisories and collectors. The unit also explores the ways in which dimensions of artistic and art world practice such as design and curation have been adopted in luxury contexts.

    ASSESSMENT: Assignments include essays, oral presentations, a journal, and group and individual projects.
  • Virtual Site Visits

    Virtual Site Visits

    A variety of faculty led virtual visits to art world and luxury locations form an integral part of the learning experience. Virtual visits allow for a global array of destinations and perspectives to be experienced. These intensive sessions provide a uniquely valuable depth of student engagement, combining faculty insights and discussions, a close-up exploration of key works in the particular exhibition or collection, as well private interactive talks with the key curators and gallery directors.
    Sample venues include:

    • Luxury flagship stores

    • Sotheby’s auction house

    • Victoria and Albert Museum

    • Newport Gallery

    • Wallace Collection

    • Tate Modern

    • Plus a range of global art world and luxury locations.

  • Faculty


    Dr. Federica Carlotto (Course Leader) has 10+ years of experience in the analysis of material culture. She has appeared as a guest speaker at conferences and workshops in Italy, UK, France, Australia, Canada, and Japan on topics such as: consumption and creation of social identity; luxury trends; place branding and luxury products; the concept of luxury; cross-cultural issues in clothing (focus on Japan and Asia); social and anthropological history of costume and fashion. Carlotto is the founder of SALT, a cultural branding consultancy with focus on luxury strategy. She also collaborates on specific qualitative projects with other boutique consultancies, providing insights to companies in the luxury, fashion, and beauty industry.
    Guest Lecturers
    Designed to introduce students to art world's many career paths, this course features a wide range of top-level guest lecturers who provide a wide variety of perspectives on the industry. Previous lecturers have included: Brendan Mitchell (Head of Sotheby's Bids Department), Serena Gossain (Associate lecturer in Branding, Advertising, and Luxury Brand Management), Alessandro Borruso (Deputy Director, Head of Sales, Sotheby's Diamonds), Fabio Ciquera (Visiting Lecturer - Luxury Brand Management & Marketing), Kirsty Mawhinney (Founder and Managing Director, Skininsight), Dr. Ellen-Andrea Seehusen (Founder of IAM – International Arts Management, Munich), Viviane Paraschiv (Retail Transformation Manager, Farfetch), Thomas Marks (Editor, Apollo Magazine)
  • Credits & Validation

    Credits & Validation

    The course is validated by The University of Manchester, one of the UK’s leading universities. Students who complete the course 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 course also receive a certificate from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
  • Part-Time Option

    Part-Time Option

    January 27 - April 23, 2021

    The part-time option allows students to study one unit in this course: The Luxury Business or Art and Luxury. Students will attend classes twice per week on the days their chosen unit meets.
    (£3,125 if registered by October 30, 2020)
    Students who complete one unit of the course successfully will gain 30 University of Manchester undergraduate credits.
  • Credits, Validation And Programme Admission

    Credits, Validation And Programme Admission

    Do Sotheby's Institute faculty have experience teaching remotely?
    Sotheby’s Institute of Art has been delivering courses online for many years and draws on a great deal of experience and in-house expertise. Our faculty also successfully delivered almost two months of entirely remote teaching in Spring 2020 and throughout Fall 2020. The Institute is confident that its teaching excellence is maintained in the online format.
    How will remote courses take place? What technology is required?
    Students will require a computer and broadband access. Remote courses will be delivered via Zoom Meetings inside the Institute’s regular Learning Management System, Canvas. Teaching will mix a variety of modes, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, small group work, project work, student presentations and discussions as well as guest speakers. Delivery will mix live with recorded teaching so as to cater to different global time-zones. Peer to peer learning will be fostered via online and social media student discussion boards and communities, as well as online social activities. The Institute’s Library offers a comprehensive and specialized digital collection and full online student support by experienced art librarians.
  • Admissions


    Students in our Accredited Courses 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.
    Click here for terms and conditions.
    For further information, please contact: or +44 (0)20 7462 3229