Taught course

Luxury Business - London

Sotheby's Institute of Art · Art Business

Entry requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must have earned a bachelor's lower second-class honors (2:2) degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution by the date on which they enroll at the Institute. Please be advised that a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is a mandatory requirement, work experience cannot be accepted in lieu of this qualification.

Applicants should demonstrate the following skills:

  • The ability to perform at a postgraduate level, as indicated by academic achievement and recommendations.
  • Knowledge of art history. Applicants without an art history background might receive conditional offers based on completing pre-requisite coursework.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and analytical skills. For international students, an IELTS academic score of level 7 overall, TOEFL 100 IBT, Pearsons PTE Academic 61-65. Please be advised the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is not accepted for entry into the degree programs.
  • Professional experience is not a required element of our application process, however relevant employment and/or internships enhance a student’s application.

All prospective students must apply using the online application. A complete application includes:

  • Academic transcripts/mark sheets: from all undergraduate and post-secondary academic institutions attended.
    • Unofficial copies of transcripts are sufficient for the application process and for issuing decisions. The documents must be in English. If your original degree certificate, academic transcript or other relevant documents are not in English you must provide an officially certified translation. The admissions department will require an official transcript once you enroll in the program.
    • Official international transcripts must be accompanied by certified course by course credential evaluations. The evaluation will convert the grades and GPA into the United Kingdom grading scale.
  • 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. Luxury business applicants should provide a writing sample about an aspect of luxury/the luxury industry. Footnotes are required for any citations.
  • A curriculum vitae or résumé
  • An English language proficiency exam (required for all international students (EU included): A minimum overall score of IELTS academic level 7 or TOEFL 100 IBT or Pearsons PTE Academic 61-65 must be achieved. We also accept a number of additional Secure English Language tests. Please be advised the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is not accepted for entry into the degree program. Please note if you are from, or have studied in, an English-speaking country, you may be exempt from the need to provide additional evidence of your English language ability.
  • Payment of the application fee: A nonrefundable fee of £75 (GBP) is required for the 2021 online application. Applications are not considered complete until the fee has been paid.

GRE test scores are not required, but are accepted. The GRE code for Sotheby’s Institute of Art is 4161.

Months of entry


Course content

Luxury isn’t what it used to be. Shifts in consumer values, buying power, access, and technology are shaping an innovative and dynamic luxury market. The Sotheby’s Institute MA in Luxury Business examines this sophisticated industry as it is diversifying and expanding, and explores synergies with other industries and cultural landscapes, such as the art world. The luxury industry has been expanding constantly over the years, with positive growth in both key sectors, i.e. luxury personal goods and luxury experiences. Art and luxury have a long and fascinating history of influencing each other to create timeless, aspirational experiences.

The MA in Luxury Business responds to the recent creation by Sotheby’s auction house of a Luxury, Art and Objects division as one of the two major divisions of the company. The program also gives a nod to the more general trend in the high-end cultural and creative industry to synergise, break barriers, and find original ways of engaging with markets and audiences on a wider scale. Building on the Institute’s high level academic knowledge and industry expertise, the program adds a specific focus on transferrable skills and professional development. Through privileged access to industry experts and iconic institutions, graduates are equipped with the intellectual, theoretical, and personal skills to advance their careers in the luxury business.

Academic Structure

The MA in Luxury Business prepares students to specialize in the innovative and ever-changing luxury industry. Students will examine luxury’s social, historical and cultural evolution. They will critically reflect on how luxury businesses deliver value to their markets through specific branding and marketing strategies. They will become familiar with the sectors of the industry and its players, and with the financial, legal and strategic elements of business management in luxury. They will also consider intersections with other high-value cultural industries, particularly art. Graduates of this program will contribute to a growing area of expertise in the global luxury market and will be proficient in navigating both the business and the creative side of the field. The program is designed for students who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of luxury as an economic sector and a cultural phenomenon and who intend to pursue careers in this growing and dynamic field. The approach is a combination of rigorous academic study along with continuous professional development through direct access to key market players and industry experts. The program takes advantage of the privileged location of London, one of the global cultural and financial hubs for luxury, and other high-end creative and cultural sectors. Thus students will access luxury venues in London, exploring the creative and commercial processes as implemented in business 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 MA in Luxury Business is organized around 3 main curricular themes, each with further modular specifications:

Luxury in Context: the concept, the business. This unit introduces the students to the concept of luxury and its historical development. It considers luxury across different cultural contexts and examines the different ways in which luxury has been experienced, interpreted, and questioned. The unit delves into the social and economic processes through which luxury became a structured industry, and considers its evolution to the present.

The Luxury Market: explores consumer behaviour in luxury, omnichannel marketing and engagement strategies, as well as notions of branding. Teaching is constructed around practical business cases within the industry.

Managing a Luxury Business: emphasizes the structure and operations of the luxury business (law, finance) as well as shaping forces like sustainability, ethics, and CSR. It also considers professional attitudes and etiquette/netiquette required in the industry, as well as self- branding; leadership; entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.

Fees and funding

Sotheby's Institute of Art Scholarships

Sotheby’s Institute of Art offers partial-tuition scholarships to qualified domestic and international candidates. Scholarship awards are based on need and merit. Before you can apply for a scholarship, you must first apply for and hold an offer for a Master’s degree program at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. The Scholarship application will require filling out a basic form, and sending in the required documentation. Merit will be assessed holistically using the program application materials submitted. Please note that Scholarship awards are not guaranteed and award decisions are final.

Students seeking a scholarship based on financial need will be asked to submit evidence of household income of £27,500 or below on their application.

Scholarship Deadlines:

  • Applicants must have applied to the program on or before March 1, 2023

If you have any queries regarding submitting a scholarship application, please contact: admissions@sia.edu.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

London Admissions