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Art Market & Appraisal (Professional Practice) MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 days a week plus placement year September 2020

Choose Kingston's Art Market & Appraisal MA

Course leader, Stephanie Dieckvoss, contributed to a panel discussion on Art as Investment, hosted by Dellasposa Gallery – watch the full discussion in this video.

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 2018 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,230 in September 2019. Students commencing the course in September 2019 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2020 (provisionally £1,350).

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 introduces you to the history of the art market, an interdisciplinary academic discipline of great dynamism. It draws attention to the developments of the key agents in the art market within their historical perspective, such as notion of patronage, distribution channels for works of art and the auction and dealer systems. The module emphasises the way in which the European phenomena of collecting and exchange were globalised in the 20th century and continue to develop in multiple ways in the 21st century. The module guides you through the resources available for research into the history of the art market and introduces you to the cross-disciplinary skills involving economic, political and collecting histories, which are necessary to develop a rounded understanding of the subject. On completion you should achieve a new perspective upon the history of art within its markets, integrating the aesthetic and the economic. Taught through a series of lectures and seminars, it is assessed by presentation and a critical essay. Independent learning skills will be developed throughout the module, through directed reading and study visits.

  • This module introduces you to the different elements of the art market with a professional lense in order to enhance your understanding of the field as a professional career place. The module seeks to emulate a series of real-world tasks to allow you to develop essential knowledge and skills required in the work place in the market. You will examine and critically analyse practical professional tasks such as valuing objects for different purposes, and write a business plan to enhance your entrepreneurial and business skills. A core element of these are the meaning of professionalism and professional ethics, professional standards and the role of professional bodies - especially the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), together with the role of different stakeholders within the art market including, gallerists, collectors and others.

    The module is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars and debates and built around 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 your awareness of the range of demands upon art businesses.

  • This module aims to introduce you 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 you several key themes such as contract law and copyright. The module examines especially themes pertaining particularly to the art world such as international treaties to protect cultural heritage, and the problems of censorship and obscenity. You will 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.

  • Cultural Heritage: Ethics, Trade and Globalisation 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.

    Consideration is given to historical conditions such as colonialism and the imperial past, as well as to recent developments in liberal economic thought under the conditions of the global. The module asks: what is cultural heritage, how is it defined and by whom? How do objects acquire cultural, economic and social value and for whom, and what are the roles of nation states, international organisations and frameworks, art markets, museums and collectors in this process? How do heritage objects contribute to cultural contestation, for instance, by way of ownership, display or iconoclasm? What role do they play in the formation of identities and cultural belonging? What role do they play in regional and national revitalisation? How do they contribute to cultural diplomacy?

    The module is delivered in one teaching block from September to December to enable an intensive engagement with the subject and leads to an assessment by presentation and essay.

  • The Major Project is the capstone module of the Masters programme. Focusing on skills of critical research, analysis and presentation, the capstone project enables you to synthesise and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the course. It provides them with the opportunity to craft their own approach to the field through critical-theoretical and/or creative, practice-based research, supported by a series of taught sessions, enabling a depth and breadth of engagement with research methods. 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 creative project, such as a portfolio comprising a chosen medium or media, accompanied by a critical commentary. The intensity of the workload increases across the three teaching blocks, allowing increasing focus in line with the level of your expertise.

  • The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a Master's programme that incorporates professional placement learning, following completion of 120 credits. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject specific professional skills in their chosen subject. You may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for their subsequent major project module, and would be expected to use it to help inform their decisions about future careers.


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.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


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

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

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


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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