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Art Market & Appraisal (Professional Practice) MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week September 2018
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 days a week plus placement year September 2018
Part time 2 years 1 day a week September 2018

Choose Kingston's Art Market & Appraisal MA

If you are interested in developing a career in the art market, this course will prepare you for the opportunities lying ahead. MA Art Market & Appraisal allows you to develop key skills necessary to understand international art markets in a complex and changing art world.

It draws on a high standard of academic teaching by recognised scholars as well as on insights from art market professionals. The course is delivered through a carefully programmed mix of expert academic tuition, hands-on workshops and frequent exposure to a vast range of enterprises operating across different areas in London's dynamic art scene.

This degree is taught in the Department of Creative and Cultural Industries, part of Kingston School of Art. For regular updates please visit our Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Key features

  • This course is the only antiques and fine art course accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for entry as a probationer practitioner.
  • Benefit from a systematic approach to an understanding of core functions of the art market across different periods and mediums, from pre-modern markets to today; core modules include history of the art market, art law and professional practice
  • Enjoy being located within an art school environment where creative works are produced on a daily basis. Make the most of this unique environment and try out our workshops and rub shoulders with designers and makers
  • Take up the chance to undertake site visits, special behind the scenes tours, as well as overseas study trips, to supplement classroom learning
  • Hear it from the experts - art market professionals are at hand to share their experience and expertise. Guest Speakers in the academic year 2017/18 include:
    • Experts from Christie's Auction House
    • Experts from Axa Art Insurance
    • Independent Art Evaluators
    • Gallerists
    • Artists
    • Art Fair Organisers
    • PR Recruitment Agencies
    Find out more about our links with business and industry

    What will you study?

    With an emphasis on understanding how the art market functions, you will be introduced to a wide range of businesses, collections and professionals. You will also study the economic and legal contexts within which professional practice is grounded, and gain the ability to apply techniques related to the valuation of objects used within industry. You will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge of a particular specialist area of the art market, which may include anything from antiquities to cutting-edge contemporary art.


    Essays, seminar papers and presentations, case studies, and major research-based project or dissertation.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Invoicing on the placement courses is split into two stages. The standard course fee is payable in year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2017 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,070 in September 2018. Students commencing the course in September 2018 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2019 (provisionally £1,230).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.


  • This module aims to introduce students to issues thrown up by the interaction of law with the art world. Beginning with the fundamental basics of how statute and case law are established, the module explains to students several key themes such as contract and copyright. The module examines especially some themes pertaining particularly to the art world such as international treaties to protect cultural heritage, and the problems of censorship and obscenity. Students develop an understanding both of the abstract problems of applying law to a market place, as well as studying in detail the most significant art-related cases of recent years.

    Read full module description

  • This module investigates the political, ethical, social and economic questions clustering around cultural heritage objects. Responding to the resurgence of materialist philosophies and object oriented analyses, it examines how objects – primarily artworks and antiquities – function as actors in social ecologies, international relations and global trade.

    Read full module description

  • This module aims to introduce students to the history of the art market, an emerging academic discipline of great dynamism. It emphasises the way in which the European phenomena of collecting and exchange were globalised in the 20th century and continue to develop in different ways in the 21st century. The module guides students through the resources available for research into the history of the art market, and then invites them to write the history of a specific art-related business. The module introduces students to the cross-disciplinary skills involving economic, political and collecting histories which are necessary to develop a rounded understanding of the subject. On completion students should achieve a new perspective upon the history of art, integrating the aesthetic and the economic. Taught through a series of lectures and seminars, it is assessed by seminar papers and a critical essay.

    Read full module description

  • This module introduces students to the range of technical issues they will encounter as an Art Market Appraiser. The module seeks to emulate a series of real-world tasks to allow students to work through the problems likely to be faced. They examine and critically analyse practical professional issues such as valuing objects, tax, brokerage and agency, the meaning of professionalism and professional ethics, professional standards and the role of professional bodies – especially the RICS, together with the role of different stakeholders within the art market including journalists, museum curators and loss adjustors.

    The module is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars and debates and includes contributions from visiting practitioners. The module is assessed through a practical investigative exercise involving the research for and production of an auction catalogue in which the practice of valuation is thoroughly explored; and a business plan in which all the strands of the module are brought together to develop students' awareness of the range of demands upon art businesses.

    Read full module description

  • The Major Project is the capstone module of the MA and most significant piece of work that students deliver on a Master's programme. The capstone project enables students to synthesise and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the course and it provides them with the opportunity to craft their own approach to the field through critical-theoretical and/or creative, practice-based research. The Major Project can accommodate research projects developed through a range of academic and professional contexts depending on the motivation and interests of the student. It can be presented either as a dissertation or as a portfolio comprising a chose medium or media with a critical commentary. The Major Project can also provide a platform from which students can launch the next stage of their careers. Based on ideas of material thinking and creative practice the taught elements of the module provide students with a strong understanding of different aspects of contemporary practice of value to both academic and professional environments.

    Read full module description


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

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Contact us

Admissions team

*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.


This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps
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