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The Details
  • Dates & Fees

    Dates & Fees

    January 27 - April 23, 2021 | 12 weeks

    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. View sample week.

    • The first unit, The Art Museum and Curating, examines the major developments in the collection, care, interpretation, and exhibition of works of art in museums and galleries from the 16th century to the 20th century, particularly in Europe and North America. The unit introduces students to a chronological development of art museums and galleries and situates the role of the curator within this history, with reference to the expertise in collecting, research, interpretation, conservation, education, and exhibitions vital to the profession. Additional topics covered in this unit include: histories of collecting, conservation, and restoration, virtual and meta-collections, the Universal Survey Museum, gender and diversity in curating, and more.

    • The second unit, Curating in the Art World, moves forward in time to explore major changes to curatorial practice in the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East. It examines the changing role of the curator in the modern and contemporary art museum and also outside it, for example in commercial galleries, biennales, and art fairs. The unit also considers the relationship of curators to other professionals in the art world, such as exhibition designers, art loss officials, fine art shippers, documentation experts, and fundraisers. Additional topics covered in this unit include: curating in non-museum spaces, provenance research since World War II, artwork transportation and fine art shipping, current trends and developments in curating, and more.

    TEACHING: The remote learning experience includes lectures, seminar participation, practical workshops, and highly interactive virtual visits to historic and contemporary museums, artist studios, and commercial galleries. The course provides unique opportunities for direct student engagement with curators and other arts professionals, as well an extensive array of discussion forums and one-to-one tutorials.
    The teaching is intensive and supportive, with an emphasis on individual and small-group learning, and on developing a broad range of skills, knowledge and understanding related to curating and working in the art and museum worlds. It also focuses on the acquisition of valuable practical skills enabling students to gain confidence in developing their own curatorial projects and analyzing museums and exhibition spaces.
    ASSESSMENT: Students are assessed by a combination of visual analysis tests, essays, practical assignments and oral presentations. Assessment is designed to test visual, analytical, and critical capabilities as well as to develop the skills valued in a variety of museum and gallery professions, including but not limited to curating, interpretation, public programming and exhibition design. For example, students complete a group exhibition project in which they take undertake different tasks in order to curate and deliver their own virtual exhibition or display.
  • Virtual Site Visits

    Virtual Site Visits

    A variety of faculty led virtual visits to museums and galleries in London and beyond form an integral part of the learning experience. Virtual visits allow for a global array of museums, galleries 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 curation and art work, as well private interactive talks with key curators, gallery directors, and art world experts.
    Sample venues include:

    • British Museum

    • Victoria and Albert Museum

    • The Wallace Collection

    • Sir John Soane’s Museum

    • The Geffrye Museum

    • Serpentine Galleries

    • Tate Modern and Tate Britain

    • The Courtauld Gallery

    • The Whitechapel Gallery

    • Institute of Contemporary Arts

    • The Design Museum

    • Guildhall Art Gallery

    • The Royal Academy

    • The Queen’s House and Royal Museums, Greenwich

    • National Gallery

    • National Portrait Gallery

    • Chisenhale Gallery

    • Sotheby’s Auction House

    • Frieze Art Fair

  • Faculty


    Dr. Lilian Cameron (Course Leader) holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia and has worked in galleries and museums throughout London and the UK, including Tate Modern and Britain and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia. Her research specialty is in gallery and museum memory environments and she has a particular interest in the ways modern and contemporary artists intervene in and converse with historic or traditional gallery spaces. She also has extensive experience in museum and gallery education and a research interest in socially engaged and participatory art practice. Her BA (Hons) is in literature, history of art and museum studies. She has taught at the University of Melbourne and the University of East Anglia.
    Guest Lecturers
    Designed to introduce students to the art world's many career paths, this course features a wide range of top-level guest lecturers who provide a variety of perspectives on the industry. Previous lecturers have included: Martin Barnes (Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum), Minnie Scott (Curator of Interpretation at Tate), Jesse Ringham (Head of Content at the Serpentine Galleries), Francis Marshall (Senior Curator of Paintings, Prints and Drawings at the Museum of London), Susannah Avery-Quash (Senior Research Curator in the History of Collecting at the National Gallery, London), Jennifer Powell (Head of Exhibitions, Collection and Research at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge), Emma Cousin (contemporary artist), Sarah Hilliam (Head of Major Gifts and Campaigns at the Royal Academy).
  • 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

    The part-time option allows students to study one unit in this course.

    • January 27 – March 12, 2021: The Art Museum and Curating (Unit 1)

    • March 15 - April 23, 2021: Curating in the Art World (Unit 2)


    Students who complete one unit of the course successfully will gain 30 University of Manchester undergraduate credits.
  • FAQs


    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