The programme focuses on how the art market functions from both commercial and legal perspectives, whilst maintaining a critical and intellectual understanding of the art and artefacts around which the market turns.
The programme offers a high level of academic and critical understanding of art, art law, and art business, and directly networks you into professional practice. Many of the lectures and study visits are led by professional practitioners, such as commercial gallerists, lawyers, artists, and curators. You also have the benefit of an integrated work placement during the fourth term of study.
Creative and lively, the teaching and learning environment stimulates problem solving and original thinking through assignments based upon professional models of practice. In addition to a traditional rigorous academic foundation based on essays, reports, and examinations, you have the opportunity to create auction sales, assess art investment funds, and design curatorial projects for art fairs. You will also learn about established and emerging art markets through field work on international study trips to places such as Marrakech, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, and Venice.
The programme attracts students who are passionate, committed, and hardworking from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds worldwide. You will also become a part of the global Christie’s alumni network and be able to meet a range of alumni working in the art world, both in London and abroad.
Who Should Apply?
You are required to demonstrate genuine motivation for wanting to study the commercial art sector and should have obtained a degree preferably in one of the three disciplines studied on the course: history of art, law or business and economics.
Applications are encouraged from those wishing to change career, professionals, and mature students with experience of the art world.
English mother-tongue candidates should demonstrate knowledge of another language.
You should expect to show a capacity for sustained intense work and the ability to manage and organise your time.
Art (30 credits)
The programme places Art History and object-based study at the centre of the experience. It consists of two full and ambitious modules taught across three terms. It combines postgraduate level theory and methodology with practical object-based study offering training in the professional practice of cataloguing works of art, an essential skill for those seeking to work as art specialists. The Art component is taught through lectures, seminars and study visits as well as specialist ‘master classes’ led by artists, curators, conservation specialists, commercial gallerists and specialists in the auction house.
Art 1: Methodology and Theory (10 credits)
This module provides a ‘start-up’ toolbox of ideas and approaches to study historical and contemporary art and visual culture.
The module works at the level of ‘macro-analysis’ providing critical awareness of the History of Art as a broad field of study and as a discourse. It equips students to understand how art work/cultural artefacts become carriers of meaning and value and to discriminate between alternative interpretations. Seminar topics and discussions draw on issues of ongoing debate.
Through direct and discursive engagement with art work and artefacts experienced in diverse contexts such as commercial galleries, art fairs, art studios, museums and exhibitions, students learn about different frameworks of validation and valuation of works of art. The module encourages students to take an informed and critical stance in relation to vital issues at the forefront of cultural debate in a globalised art world.
Art 2: Discovering Art Works Case Studies and Contexts (20 credits)
This module shifts in approach to ‘micro-analysis’ to study art works in terms of specific instances of conception, production, distribution and consumption. It offers the opportunity to study specific art works in a highly focused way in order to grasp art’s dynamic relation to complex, ‘living’, cultural, historical, critical and commercial contexts. This module uses a range of current international Art Market categories as frameworks for case-study analysis.
It also provides the knowledge, understanding and practical skills to investigate art works and cultural artefacts through primary research incorporating an advanced understanding of its materials and production processes and a fundamental concern with creative practice
Teaching and learning bring particular emphasis to professional techniques of enquiry, including systematic visual analysis and recording, provenance research and cataloguing of works of art and cultural artefacts. Practical workshops and handling sessions demonstrated by auction house specialists, conservation specialists, studio technicians and artists provide unique insight into a range of media and production techniques.
Art Law (40 credits)
The Art Law component of the programme is designed to familiarise students with the fundamental legal principles that shape the global art market. The law component will be of great interest to students with a legal background, but is designed to be accessible to students who are new to the subject. Each term of Art Law study is designed to allow students to explore the roles of national and international legal frameworks impacting the movement of art in an increasingly globalised marketplace. Classroom lectures and seminar sessions are supplemented with visits from legal specialists lecturing on a variety of topics. Study will focus primarily on English law, with reference to international jurisdictions where appropriate.
Students are expected to lead class seminars, present on a variety of topics and engage in formal debates.
Assessment is in the form of in class and take home examinations.
Art Law 1: Art and Commerce (10 credits)
In the first module, students will discover the legal framework of art market transactions. Students will study contract law to gain a thorough understanding of how contracts are formed and the various duties owed by each party to an art market transaction, while looking at the ways in which galleries and auctions houses conduct their transactions with artists and clients. Students will examine corporate regulation principles, allowing greater understanding of the legal structures governing the ways in which businesses are constructed and run within the marketplace. This module will additionally ask students to explore the increasingly debated role of regulation within the art market and begin their own assessment of the extent to which the art market is regulated or may benefit from further regulation.
Art Law 2: Creativity and the Law (10 credits)
In Art Law 2, students will switch their focus from art market transactions to legal standards relating to issues of creativity and authorship. Through study of intellectual property law, students will critically assess the roles of copyright, moral rights, and resale rights in the production and sale of artworks. This module provides students with fundamental knowledge about artists’ rights related to their artistic output, and gives students the necessary skills to assess and analyse how those rights impact the trading of those works on the global and domestic markets. Students will also spend time critically assessing the role the law plays in addressing issues of authenticity,attribution, and fraud in the art world.
Art Law 3: Restrictions on the Moving Art (20 credits)
This module looks at various domestic and international legal frameworks in place impacting the movement of art between people and between countries. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the aspects of direct and indirect taxation law that are most applicable to the art market, such as capital gains tax, inheritance tax, acceptance in lieu schemes, and VAT. This module will also provide valuable knowledge relating to international trading restrictions such as export controls relating to cultural heritage and international treaties such as CITES. Students will engage in in-depth explorations of issues relating to title and restitution, looking at the problems that arise when art is stolen, looted, or traded illicitly and examining the legal frameworks that exist in an effort to respond to those problems.
NB: The Art Law component does not earn students an LLM or other legal qualification.
Art Business (50 credits)
The Business component consists of three modules focused on the practical and the critical understanding of the art markets and institutions, marketing in the art world, the auction process, and the most recent developments of the art markets.
Art Business 1: Art Markets & Institutions (20 credits)
This module is a fundamental component of the degree, designed to provide systematic and critical understanding of the art markets, their commercial and institutional players, and their dynamics. It also provides the methodological, practical and professional tools required to critically assess art markets, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
The first part of the module focuses on the macro- economic analysis of art markets. It enables students to identify demand/supply dynamics and discuss the role of the intermediaries (galleries, auction houses, etc.) and tackle key issues such as markets’ segmentation, generation of value and determination of pricing of artworks.
The second part of this module is designed to provide a critical understanding of the main non-commercial art players, such as museums, private foundations and corporate collections and their interaction with art markets, in particular examining critically the process of constructing value and validation of art works/cultural artefacts in different institutional contexts.
Art Business 2: Auctioneering and Art Marketing (20 credits)
This module brings together theory and practice, academic analysis and direct professional practice. It develops both practical and critical understanding of the process of preparing for an auction from the point of consignment through preparation to the management of the event itself, focusing on the role of the catalogue.
A specific component of this module is dedicated to the understanding of marketing theories and tools (in collaboration with SDA Bocconi Faculty) and their implementation in an art context.
Art Business 3: Art Market Developments (10 credits)
This module fosters creative application of theoretical knowledge of art markets and a synthesis of academic, practical and professional experience gained within diverse art world contexts. It is designed to present and discuss the latest dynamics in the art markets, providing a critical understanding of the role played by external factors in determining changes in the art market, with particular reference to art as an investment vehicle,the introduction of IT technologies in the art market, and the emergence of new markets.
The lecture and seminar component is complemented by interactions with professionals from the financial world and from Christie’s auction house, as well as international study visits to emerging markets.
Capstone Assessments (60 credits)
Single Object Catalogue (20 credits)
This project is designed to bring together elements from the three pillars of the Master’s degree in Art, Law and Business. This summative element of the programme builds on the range of academic and practical skills gained through the year.
The Single Object Catalogue provides a critical understanding of how an auction house builds a consignment proposal and provides an opportunity for students to employ similar professional skills, but advances the professional model with more academic and critical evaluation. Students must work autonomously to research and identify a commercially viable artwork or cultural artefact as the topic of their catalogue. The project incorporates an overview and critical analysis of a wide range of auction house processes and practice to give students the skills to evaluate the object from different perspectives: economic evaluation, selling strategy, critical art historical and contextual analysis, and legal assessment.
Research Report (40 credits)
The final module requires students to synthesize critical, practical and professional knowledge and understanding obtained in all three areas of the programme and to demonstrate advanced knowledge of the art market. Students must work independently to formulate, research, and write a report reflecting new thought or innovation relevant to the global art world.
This research report is underpinned by the direct professional experience of the integrated internship.
The work placement at Christie’s auction house is designed to develop new practical and professional skills whilst utilising and building upon any knowledge and skills already learnt from previous work and educational experiences. Students are expected to demonstrate professional behaviour over the course of the taught programme to prepare and qualify them for this placement.
The work placement feeds into the research report as it provides crucial professional insight into the dynamics of the art market, as well as invaluable primary resources and professional expertise.
Study trips are a key component of the hands-on approach that characterises Christie’s Education. Carefully chosen destinations are the key to experiencing the variety of international art markets and creative art practices.
Past study trips have included visits to: 1:54 Marrakech, Art Basel, Art Basel Hong Kong, Artissima, FIAC, the Inhotim Collection, the Istanbul Biennale and art fair, KIAF, MONA, the Sao Paolo Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, TEFAF, and the Venice Biennale.
The study trips for each academic year are confirmed to students at the start of study. The cost of study trips is contained within programme tuition fees.
The MSc in Art, Law and Business aims to provide you with a professional level of knowledge and understanding of international art markets, giving you the transferrable skills, both intellectual and practical, necessary to operate in the commercial art world and beyond. Graduates would be well positioned to work in auction houses, commercial galleries, art fairs, as well as professions dealing with art insurance, art marketing, and art publishing.
Possible early outcomes for employment include roles in client services, business development, business intelligence, art advisories or in related financial sectors.
• 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.
Interviews are not mandatory at Christie’s Education London.
MSc Art, Law and Business £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.
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
The MSc programme provided a great overview of the current developments in the commercial art sector, as well as an overview of art since 1900. The law component was very interesting and the study trips to Sydney, Istanbul and many international art fairs provided an overview of the artists and institutions in the region.
MSc Art, Law and Business
The MSc provided a deep understanding of the dynamic underpinnings of the art world. The course offered insight and knowledge to analytically and critically assess the art market, its players and its framework. Overall, the programme offered a wealth of opportunities and I wholly credit my budding career in the art world to it.
MSc Art, Law and Business