Taught course

Contemporary Art - London

Sotheby's Institute of Art · Contemporary Art

Entry requirements

All MA and Postgraduate Diploma applicants are required to have completed a BA degree or its equivalent. 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. This generally requires an undergraduate art history major or minor. In special cases, art-related work experience or exceptional exposure to art making and/or collecting will satisfy this requirement. (Applicants with insufficient art history background may be required to take coursework at the Institute or an institution of their choice that is approved by the Institute’s faculty.)
  • The ability to speak, write and analyse required subject matter fluently in English.

Months of entry


Course content

The Contemporary Art programme in London covers the period from 1960 to the present and is directed at students who wish to develop an in-depth understanding of contemporary art while honing their professional skills. It focuses on the art object itself, which is examined in relation to its cultural, institutional, and political contexts.

From the beginning, students study canonical figures and major movements in the history of contemporary art alongside artists and tendencies that have in the past received less attention in the traditional centres of the art world. Students participate in seminars, lectures, and study travel around London and other European cities where they visit major collections, galleries and biennials. In the gallery and in the classroom, attention is paid not just to art works but to the curatorial strategies that direct our experience of them and the institutional contexts in which they are displayed.

Graduates benefit from the global scope of the programme and pursue a variety of careers in the world of contemporary art.

Information for international students

The Institute does require an English language Proficiency Exam for non-native English speakers. We require the following exam score for Masters and Postgraduate Diploma programmes: IELTS level 7.

Fees and funding

UK students
Total: £24,900
International students
Total: £28,800

Scholarships and Financial Assistance are available for all Postgraduate Programmes.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Admissions Manager
+44 (0)20 7580 8160