Sotheby's Institute of Art

Sotheby's Institute of Art - London

Sothbey's Institute of Art - London: MA Fine and Decorative Art and Design


30 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury

London, England WC1B 3EE

United Kingdom


+44 (0)20 7462 3232


+44 (0)20 7580 8160

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Fine and Decorative Art

Format: Campus

Program Description:

About the Program
The Master’s in Fine and Decorative Art and Design derives from the oldest program at the Institute, the 'Works of Art' course, which started in 1969. It offers an integrated study of fine and decorative art and design based on case studies drawn from the late Renaissance through to the late Twentieth Century. These studies are used as lenses through which to examine the production and materiality of art objects, and to consider aspects of consumption, including patronage and collecting and the historical and contemporary art market. Students are equipped with sophisticated visual, critical and research skills, enabling them to work in all areas of the international art world.

About Our MA students 
The program welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds who are motivated by an object-based approach to the study of the fine and decorative arts, and who wish to pursue a career working closely with art works, whether in an auction house, commercial gallery, art fair, museum, or as a consultant or independent researcher. Students are able to specialise in areas of particular interest within the fine and decorative arts. In addition, students take two focused options which complement the core teaching, choosing from a range offered across the MA programs.

Navigating the Art World
All of the MA programs are enhanced by a shared core curriculum, Navigating the Art World, which introduces students to the global art world and provides them with understanding of art business principles, professional skills and critical understanding to mobilise at the completion of their degrees.

Program Structure
The program is of twelve months’ duration from September to September. In Semesters 1 and 2, students follow two core units: Fine and Decorative Art: Production and Patronage and, Art and Design: Modernity and Modernisms. These intensively-taught units comprise workshops, seminars and lectures given by faculty and visiting experts.

This teaching is supported by regular visits to museums, houses, galleries and the auction houses, and is further enhanced by a European study tour in each semester: possible venues include Paris, Venice, the Netherlands and Maastricht (TEFAF).

Students complete a range of assignments which are intended to develop both academic and professional art world skills. In Semester 2 students also take two elective units, choosing either from those offered by (Art and Authentication, Contemporary Design and its Markets) or from the other MA programs in areas such as Asian ceramics, photography or an aspect of art business. In Semester 3 students prepare a dissertation under the supervision of their tutor.

Build Your Concentration
The flexible structure of the Master’s program allows students to concentrate their studies on a chosen field by selecting 2 elective units. Specialist subject areas in which Sotheby’s Institute of Art - London faculty have high level of expertise include Contemporary Design, Photography, East Asian Art and Curating.


Degrees from the London Institute are validated by the University of Manchester.

Facts & Figures

Classification: Specialized Institution—School of art, music, or design

Locale: Large City

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