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M.A. On Campus

Contemporary Art

Sotheby's Institute of Art

12 months
Duration
Unknown
Tuition fee
Anytime
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About

The MA in Contemporary Art at Sotheby's Institute of Art is the longest running specialized Master’s program of its kind in the world.

Overview

Develop your expertise in art since 1968, examining the key movements, artistic tendencies, practices, and debates that have informed all aspects of contemporary art.

The MA in Contemporary Art is the longest running specialized Master’s program of its kind in the world. Established in 1991, it focuses on art in the period from 1968 to the present, with strands on art history, curatorial studies, and critical theory, and a strong emphasis throughout on professional career development. The program covers developments in contemporary art from around the world, examining a broad range of artistic practices and institutional structures, from the highly established to the most innovative. The program is designed for those who are fully committed to the study of contemporary art and who intend to pursue careers in the field. Graduates of this program have gone on to work at museums, commercial and not-for-profit galleries, auction houses, consultancies, journals, international art fairs, and universities.

Academic Structure

This twelve-month-long program is unique in combining rigorous academic study of contemporary art with the acquisition of skills of professional practice.

The Master’s degree is awarded for 120 taught credits across two semesters, as well as the completion of a 60-credit dissertation over the course of an additional semester.

The first two semesters are intensively taught on four (occasionally five) days per week. In the first semester, Navigating the Art World (30 Credits) brings students from different MAs together for an introduction to the art world and to a variety of postgraduate research skills and methodologies within the disciplines of art history and art business. Later in the program, specialist electives can be chosen from across all Institute Master’s programs, allowing a student to build a personalized Master’s profile. Students take two 15-credit electives across a variety of offerings for deeper expertise or to develop specialties. Core units (60 credits) for the Contemporary Art degree cover the period from 1968 to the present.

Students complete a range of assignments during the program that are designed to help them become sophisticated graduates with high caliber academic and vocational skills and knowledge, preparing them for success in their career. Object-based assignments foster students’ skills of observation, description and interpretation. Other assignments, such as essays, develop skills of research, analysis, contextualization, and criticism, promoting students’ ability to present material in different written and spoken modes. Students are encouraged to consider the networks in which art is created, exhibited, and collected. All students will be involved in assignments that simulate “real world” tasks, projects, and scenarios; for example, exhibition reviews, collection/catalogue entries, and planning for a hypothetical exhibition or journal.

For the MA degree, students must complete the 60-credit dissertation in their third semester. During this final semester there is no formal teaching, with students researching their dissertation topics under the guidance of individual supervisors. At the start of the program, students are allocated a personal tutor who supports their academic and personal development throughout. Lectures are given by members of the faculty as well as by consultants whose main work is within the art world, thus facilitating networking opportunities.

Programme Structure

  • This twelve-month-long program is unique in combining rigorous academic study of contemporary art with the acquisition of skills of professional practice.
  • The Master’s degree is awarded for 120 taught credits across two semesters, as well as the completion of a 60-credit dissertation over the course of an additional semester.

Key information

Duration

  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details

Rolling admission

Delivered

On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Academic transcripts/mark sheets: from all undergraduate and post-secondary academic institutions attended.
  • Two (2) letters of reference: References from an academic or professional contact. For those candidates with work experience, at least one reference should be professional.
  • A personal statement (1,000 words maximum): Please tell us about yourself, your reasons for your choice of program, any relevant academic or art related experience, and your future career goals.
  • A writing sample: A graded paper of no fewer than 1,000 words from an art history or art-related course or 1,000-word original essay or mock review written for an art publication or website. Footnotes are required for any citations.
  • A curriculum vitae or résumé.
  • An English language proficiency exam.

Tuition Fee

  • Please visit our website for pricing details.

Living costs for London

1137 - 2157 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.

Funding

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last year

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Our partners

Contemporary Art
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Sotheby's Institute of Art

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