The programme is clearly focused upon understanding the evolving meanings and status of artworks, both historically and today. In addition to lectures and seminars, the programme provides direct access to important works of art at Christie’s auction house, in major public and private collections, curated exhibitions, art fairs and art world events in the UK and abroad. Teaching is carried out by Christie’s Education staff as well as by invited distinguished art-world professionals and visiting lecturers from the UK and abroad.
Who Should Apply?
You should hold a good first degree, preferably but not necessarily in a related discipline. You are required to demonstrate genuine motivation for wishing to undertake the programme and an
understanding of how it could benefit your career development. You will need to show a capacity for sustained intense work and the ability to manage and organise your time. Applications are encouraged from those wishing to change career and mature students.
The Programme is comprised of the following Modules:
Art Methodology and Theory[10 Credits] provides a toolbox of ideas and approaches to study art. The module develops critical awareness of Art History as a broad field of study, enabling students to understand how artworks become carriers of meaning and value and to discriminate between alternative interpretations. Through direct and discursive engagements with artworks, the module provides an opportunity for students to take a critical stance in relation to vital issues at the forefront of cultural debate in a globalised art world.
The Interior [20 credits]. This module provides for students a compelling intellectual setting for the study of design and the decorative arts. The history of the domestic experience of the arts is now a central question in Art History, sparking debates of both a connoisseurial and a theoretical nature. Students will study a sequence of iconic homes and interiors, learn the language of design, and understand how decorative artworks shift, gather and lose their meanings as they are transferred from one location to another.
Topics covered include: types and forms of the decorative arts; the Romantic period and the idea of an interior; the decline and dispersal of London’s aristocratic collections; the Aesthetic Movement and the radical reinvention of the interior; Modernist aesthetics and the reform of the decorative arts; the interior as museum; the preservation and curation of iconic houses.
Cataloguing [30 credits] delivers a framework for the close and precise study of works of art. The module examines how art is analysed and classified in professional contexts, including museums, galleries, private collections, art fairs and heritage sites. It gives students a broad and detailed knowledge of material objects themselves – their materials, techniques, historis and contexts. It requires the intimate observation and detailed analysis of a wide range of objects of both fine and decorative arts.
The Cataloguing module teaches students how to research and produce professional reports and catalogue entries, including appropriate presentation and language. It familiarises students with relevant ethical and legal considerations, and furthers research skills and professional practice. Students will learn to implement a range of professional cataloguing methods as appropriate for distinct groups of objects, such as an antique vase, a medieval manuscript, a renaissance bronze or an Old Master painting.
Curatorial and Gallery Studies [30 credits] investigates the ways in which the meanings of art have always been inextricably bound up in questions of display. It introduces a wide range of issues in the theory and practice of curating, understood as an activity that is at once scholarly, professional and creative, from historical museum displays to twenty-first-century biennales, from the work of established public and commercial galleries to new voices that push the limits of curatorial practice.
Students will have the opportunity to take part in guided visits to a great range of museums and private galleries across London, further afield in the UK and abroad. Adopting the Programme’s strong focus upon objects themselves, this module also covers acquisitions (collection-building), exhibition programming, issues in conservation and museum ethics.
Art Market Studies [20 credits] interprets the global art market from an historical perspective, taking advantage of Christie’s position as a company that has been central to that market since the eighteenth century. We will study the historical development of the auction process, of the dealer system and of international art fairs; the inter-relationships between the market and museums; and the impact upon the international art market of digital technologies and emerging economies. The module also covers current regulatory aspects of trading works of art, and aims to achieve a thorough grasp of the structures of today’s markets through an understanding of their history.
The Thesis [60 credits] follows the taught components of the Programme, and is the opportunity for students to become true experts in a chosen field of specialist study. Supported throughout by Christie’s Education tutors and external experts, the Thesis is an extended piece of research, built over a series of formal stages of development across several months. Building directly upon the skills and knowledge gained during the Programme, students are helped to find research subjects which will lead to significant finished dissertations. Topics of all kinds are possible, and different types of approach are encouraged: there is the option to include a catalogue of the works discussed.
The Work Placement [10 credits] offers students excellent opportunities to commence their art-world careers by taking up positions with companies and institutions both in the UK and abroad for up to 12 weeks towards the end of the Programme. Destinations might include a museum, gallery, auction house, archive, foundation or other appropriate arts-related organisation. The Work Placement is designed to build new practical and professional experience whilst building upon the knowledge and skills already developed during the Programme.
Graduates of this programme will be able to combine advanced skills in research and writing with an acute awareness of the interrelated structures of art-world professions. They will be highly literate, in particular able to interpret specific artworks using accurate terminology. Students completing the programme will be skilled in the practical application of Art-Historical scholarship to the solution of the kinds of problems encountered in by art professionals.
Graduates of the programme will be well placed to work in either the commercial or public-sector art-worlds through a very broad range of possible entry points. These might include, but would by no means be restricted to: auction houses (as specialists or client-service professionals); art dealerships; art consultancies and advisory practices; companies providing tax and legal services to the art-world; public museums and galleries (as curators but also in many other potential roles such as development and learning); academia (PhD studentships, teaching and other roles with schools, colleges and universities).
• Completed application form
• A university degree, normally at 2.1 level
• Applicants whose first language is not English should normally have IELTS 7
• Applicants must also provide a 1,000 – 2,000 word writing sample on an art related subject
• Personal Statement (500 – 1,000 words)
• Two academic letter references on institutional letterhead (or equivalent professional references for mature students)
• Colour copy of passport photo page and previous UK visas if applicable
• Paid Application Fee: £30.00
Applications can be made online via our applications portal where you can login at any time to track its progress throughout the application stages.
As a small institution places are limited. Applicants are advised to submit an application as soon as possible from October of the year before they wish to study. There is a priority deadline of 11 January 2019 and we guarantee we will consider all applications submitted by this date. Applications will however be accepted after the priority deadline until a programme is full. All communication will be via the student gateway in Quercus. Once an application has been submitted you will also be able to tack your application through the system. All communication will be via the student gateway in Quercus. Once an application has been submitted you will also be able to tack your application through the system.
If you require a visa to study in the UK, we recommend you submit your application form by April of the year you intend to study. Applications will normally be acknowledged within three working days.
Tuition and Fee Structure
Interviews are not mandatory at Christie’s Education London.
Tuition and Fee Structure
MA Art History and Art World Practice £36,000*
All fees include study trips in the UK and abroad. Please note that all locations are subject to change and dates will be confirmed at the start of your programme.
Costs of Living for Students in London
Please note cost of living is hard to predict for each individual. This guide may help when considering your financial plans for your time at Christie’s Education.
Terms and Conditions
Any application made for enrolment on a programme listed in this prospectus shall be subject to the Terms and Conditions.
A non-refundable deposit of 5% of the first years fees is payable when offered a place on postgraduate programmes as well as the part-time courses.
The balance of the fee is payable by 1 September of the relevant academic year. Installment plans are available upon request. These will incur an additional administration fee and need to be agreed by 1 September. Payment may be made via the application portal. Please note that all locations are subject to change and dates will be confirmed at the start of your programme.
* Fees are correct at time of going to press, but may be subject to change. If this were to happen you would be notified in a timely manner and presented with the options available.
2019-2020 Term Dates
16-20 September 2019
23 September 2019 - 6 December 2019
6 January - 13 March 2020
20 April - 26 June 2020
21 September - 4 December 2020